Keep a leash on it: Millville passes dog-control ordinance

Millville has a new leash law for dogs, starting immediately, after the town council unanimously approved Ordinance 17-03 at their May 24 workshop.

“It’s minor. It’s just for dogs being on a leash,” said Councilman Steve Maneri.

Dogs aren’t allowed to run free on public or private property in Millville now, unless a property owner has given permission. Basically, the new Chapter 41 of the town code forbids any dog from being unrestrained when off its owner’s property.

That does not apply to specially trained companion dogs or police dogs when they are engaged in their official duties.

Millville is starting to get a lot more property owners, which means a lot more dogs, said Maneri.

“We really don’t have [a law]. We go underneath the County’s. I feel we should have our own,” Maneri explained.

The move seemed especially timely for the council as the Town begins planning a new municipal park. What if a dog were to jump on or bite someone? Maneri hypothesized.

“We’ve seen two large dogs roaming around in this area, and if we think we know who the owners are, we can call, and we can do something,” Town Manager Debbie Botchie explained.

Any complaints could be directed to Millville Code Enforcement Constable Eric Evans, or straight to Delaware Animal Services at (302) 255-4646.

Millville’s penalty for a dog not being on a leash is not specifically stated in this ordinance, so it falls under other code violations: a fine of up to $1,000 for each offense, plus with the costs of prosecution.

Cats weren’t included because they’re different, said Botchie. Most people don’t put cats on a leash, and there are more feral cats locally.