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Dog owners dread tighter leash laws

The debate over whether to tighten the leash rules for dogs at a popular Portland park is front and center this week.

PORTLAND, Maine — A popular Portland park is the subject of a city workshop happening this week.

The debate is over whether to allow dogs to continue to run off-leash, or not.

For some dog owners, if the rules change, they'll have to find a new place to go.

Baxter Woods has allowed dogs off-leash, under voice control, since the 1980s.

In recent years, there's been a push to strengthen the leash laws which has included concerns over safety and a need to protect wildlife.

Credit: NCM

There will be a public workshop to discuss the issue on Wednesday night, and dog owners like Mitchell Richardson are ready to push back.

"This is such a community rallying point," he said. "Basically, if you have a dog, you live in this neighborhood, you know everyone in this neighborhood because everyone in this neighborhood comes here."

Richardson has lived nearby nearly all his life and doesn't want to see the rules change. He said if the leash law changes he will no longer bring his two dogs to the park.

The workshop is Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at Portland City Hall. 

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