I’m writing to let everyone know that there have been no changes to Essex’s current leash laws, and dogs are allowed to run off leash at Indian Brook in certain designated areas. The current dog ordinance (4.040.010 part C) requires that at Indian Brook dogs must be leashed in the “boat launch area, boat launch parking lot, upper parking lot, lower parking lot, dam and beach area, and picnic area on the west side of Indian Brook Dam.” This part of the ordinance has been in effect since 1996. In all other parts of Indian Brook Park dogs may be off leash.

The Selectboard and Village Trustees recently discussed revisions to the Town’s dog ordinance regarding dogs that attack other animals. The ordinance will be revised based on feedback from the Selectboard and Trustees as well as the large number of residents who attended the meeting. Neither board has discussed the ordinance since that meeting, and it’s unlikely it will come back up before Town Meeting in March.

At one point in the meeting we briefly discussed dogs running off leash. Indian Brook Park was mentioned as an area of concern. But this was a very brief discussion and no revisions to the dog ordinance were made about leashing. Several Selectboard members and Trustees agreed that no changes to leash laws would be made without public input and I’d like to thank everyone who has written to me and all municipal board members sharing their thoughts and concerns.

I’d like to ask everyone to please do their best to be good neighbors and observe leash laws, keep your dogs under your control, and be respectful of others’ personal space when encountering people as you walk your dog.

I’d also like to ask everyone to pick up your dog’s poop, no matter where or when it happens (even in the winter). Indian Brook was closed to swimming several times this summer because of E. coli. These closures are a direct result of dog poop running into the water when it rains. Please be considerate of all the users of Indian Brook Park and pick up your dog’s poop. There are bags for this at each entrance.

Thanks very much for being considerate of your neighbors, and remember to always clean up after your pups.

Elaine Haney

Essex Selectboard Chair