Edgartown selectmen ordered Oak Bluffs resident John Labell to restrain his dogs on a leash whenever he brings them to Edgartown, and that includes while walking in the Manuel Correllus State Forest. The decision followed a dog hearing at Monday’s regular meeting.
The selectmen conducted the hearing following a nuisance complaint filed by Karl Nelson of Edgartown, after two separate incidents about a year apart where dogs owned by the two families tangled in the state forest. Neither the dogs nor the people involved were bitten or injured, but the Nelsons’ dog was frightened and ran away, to be found several hours later, in the second incident.
Edgartown animal control officer Barbara Prada noted that neither dog involved in the two incidents was on a leash, as required both by state forest regulations and Edgartown regulations.
“I think it’s clear the most important thing is no matter how friendly your dog is, to have it on a leash,” chairman Art Smadbeck said.
Selectmen declined to issue a $200 bond, which could be forfeited in the event of any further violation of the leash law.
“It was an unfortunate incident, and very difficult because both of them were off leashes,” selectman Margaret Serpa said. “If there’s a further incident of any kind, then we can discuss a bond.”
Also Monday, selectmen declined to get involved in a dispute between residents of Mullen Way and developer Michael Kidder, who has proposed a nine-home development off Mullen Way. Selectmen referred the homeowners to the Edgartown planning board, where the project is now under review.