Do you recall the 1970 Rock Song by The 5 Man Electrical Band called signs.
Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?
Recently I have been listening to the concerns from citizens that I represent as they talk about how they are either for the leash law or they are not, many suggest there is too much talking about dog poop or those who say why not do something about it. They bring up issues such as the availability of parking for Kittery residents at Seapoint Beach, and much more.
Some people spoke about ambiguous signs or people not reading the signs.
I reflected on these different view points and researched several stories in the news. Let me start here. I own a Bulldog and he is walked everywhere. We pick up after him and he is always on a leash. He would like to run at large, but he is stubborn as heck and owner voice control would not work.
Let’s start with Fort Foster.
How about the LEASH LAW ordinance or Fort Foster Rules in Kittery. What do you think. Some say “If the signs are not right, we need to change them. If the signs are right, they need to be enforced.”
Click here to view the Fort Foster Rules. http://www.kitteryme.gov/sites/kitteryme/files/uploads/current_fort_foster_rules_regulations_-_amended_1-24-19.pdf
2.Littering is prohibited as provided by Chapter 8, Section 8.04.07 of the KitteryTown Code and users of the park must take their trash with them when they leave the park. (5/29/91), (9/3/97)
Neither the Fort Foster Rules, Kittery or the State of Maine has a provision that says it is not a violation if you litter as long as you come back for it. This is what they do, clean up after their dog and leave the bag. Oh, they were meaning to pick it up on the way out. Meanwhile, it’s fermenting and is litter.
Think about that for a minute. A person throws his garbage out on the side of the road but is it okay since they were planning on coming back and picking it up. LITTERING IS LITTERING.
9.Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times. Owners will be asked to leave the park if their dog is not under control. (9/3/97)
I guess I need help with this one. I cannot find where it says when the park is closed it is acceptable to run your dog without a leash. Apparently is says it somewhere since it does not matter whether it is opened or closed this behavior occurs quite regularly. I’m talking about official rules, not free forum websites or interpreted postings. The official rules voted on and enacted are above.
This brings me to the signs. Perhaps the signs should be changed if it is wrong. If you find it where it is officially allowed, feel free to email me where I can find it and I will update this article. firstname.lastname@example.org
I would like to hear from Kittery citizens and your opinion regarding how you feel about dogs being on a leash or not. Feel free to comment, This is how we affect change.
A Kittery Citizen said to me “give me one good reason why the dog should not be leash and I’ll give you 10 good reasons why it should be on a leash and another said, they can’t chase a ball on a leash.
Here are the signs at Fort Foster.
Here are pictures of the signs posted in Eliot Maine.
Recently an 11 year old boy was killed by being mauled by some dogs. Countless articles can be found on the web about being mauled by a dog, dogs mauled by dogs, people bitten and even the story of one of our own firefighters who was bit in the face rescuing a dog at Fort Foster.
It can happen and it may be your family member or your dog that is attacked by another dog. It does happen but it is not all dogs and a large percentage are perfectly behaved and are the perfect pet. Even a small dog can bite and cause injury.
NOTE: This little girl is from the news on the web and was attacked by another dog. It was not local.
Many say the best thing to do is keep them leashed and others believe free reign under the control of the dogs owner is acceptable. It is a tough call. Ultimately it should rely on common sense, the dogs owner and consideration of others. The dog on the leash may fear the approaching dog or feel it needs to protect its owner and once their engaged, its hard for any one to call it off.
However, tragically these situations occur close to home. Recently a Kittery Resident’s dog was shot dead in RYE N.H. when it allegedly went after and attacked a Pomeranian allegedly after after the Pomeranian bit the bigger dog. I am sure there are different sides to this particular story but it happens to good people and good dogs all over. Some people may over react and defend their dogs to the extreme.
It only takes a split second for a dog demeanor to change, defend itself or its owner, based on fear or domination, thinking it’s about to be attacked and or become aggressive for multiple reasons. I heard people say their dog is friendly, then they followed up and say, “he has never done that before.”
Yet, we can go years without an incident and dogs love just being around other dogs and the feeling of being unleashed, chasing a ball and saying hello to another dog is a great feeling for both the owner and the dog.
Moving onto DOG POOP BAGS which is LITTER!
Perhaps we have become immune to signs.
The people who left these POOP BAGS have.
Pictures taken at Fort Foster during park hours on May 19th and 20th.
Now onto Seapoint Beach.
Let’s look at the top of this sign posted at SEAPOINT BEACH. What does it say?
STICKER MUST BE
AFFIXED TO VEHICLE
MAY 15 to SEPT 30
AREA CLOSED FROM
11PM to 3AM
How do you interpret it. It can be read many different ways. How about this…
KITTERY DUMP STICKER MUST BE AFFIXED TO THE VEHICLE between MAY 15TH TO SEPT 30TH.
or can it be that between
MAY 15TH TO SEPT 30TH the AREA is CLOSED FROM 11PM TO 3 AM
or perhaps it is just
AREA CLOSED FROM 11PM to 3 AM
How do we explain what the dump sticker means regarding parking.?
PERHAPS ADDING A FEW PERIODS or DROPPING a FEW WORDS WOULD CLEAN THIS UP AND MAKE IT LESS CONFUSING. Perhaps Parking for Kittery Residents only. Kittery Dump stickers shall be affixed to your vehicles windshield.
Anything we could do might help end some of the confusion for all the out of State vehicle operators who continually park in the designated areas for KITTERY RESIDENTS.
Maybe let’s simplify the sign “KITTERY RESIDENT PARKING ONLY.”
It’s a pretty good indicator that if the vehicle has out of States plates affixed to it, it’s not a Kittery Resident. We all know that is a violation of Maine Law that if you live in Kittery for more then 30 days and you don’t register your vehicle in Maine. I’ll save this fiasco for another day.
Surely if it’s parked in the KITTERY RESIDENT PARKING spot, it’s a violation of the parking ordinance.
Here are some more of my favorite signs at Fort Foster.
“That will stop the trespassers.”
Credit to the Town Manager Amaral and Highway and who fixed this last week.
Feel free to leave a comment, I can go either way, but what ever happens, it needs to be spelled out, clear and understood and if needed, properly enforced.
In closing, Perhaps this sign would work.