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Dogs Get Their Hours at Rye Town Park

Dog owners can let their pets off the leash in the walking areas of Rye Town Park from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. during the summer season, which runs through September 30.

“This is an interim policy, formalizing what has already been happening informally,” said Bishop Nowognick, the Town of Rye’s confidential secretary. “It will be updated.”

The City of Rye’s policy requires dogs to be leashed at all times year-round at Rye Town Park. The Rye City Council discussed the policy at their May 25 meeting, but has yet to officially amend the dog-leash law.

“Some people say they don’t want to come to the park because of the dogs,” said Bill Lawyer, assistant director of development at the park. “It’s not just a safety issue, but a sanitary issue.”

Lawyer said park-goers have complained about owners not picking up after their dogs, which they feel is exacerbated by letting dogs run about. Regardless, the efforts of those against the amendment may be in vain.

“The reality is park rangers don’t come on duty before 9 a.m.,” said Lawyer, which means there would be no one to enforce a 24-hour leash policy. Additionally, park rangers only work during the summer, so the law can only be enforced during the off-season if someone calls the police.

Mark Cunningham was out in the park on Friday afternoon with his dog Buddy, a red-haired retriever mix.

“This is the first time he’s been on a leash in a while,” Cunningham said. “But after Labor Day, I’m not going to use it.”

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