Gallatin County Commissioners reject dog leash law - KBZK.com | Continuous News | Bozeman, Montana

Gallatin County Commissioners reject dog leash law

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In a packed Community Room Tuesday morning, Gallatin Commissioners heard from citizens who were upset about a proposal to change the current dog ordinance.  "I'm absolutely against this ordinance.  Frankly it's asinine," said one county resident who testified.  One by one, Gallatin County residents spoke out against the proposed ordinance.  "This is about our way of life, about recreation with our families and our beloved pets which are part of our families,"  said a man.

At least one commissioner was surprised by the turnout.  "Yes, I was.  A very passionate crowd, very passionate subject and I'm glad everybody came out and participated,' said Commissioner Don Seifert.  

The proposed ordinance would require most dogs to be on a leash in unincorporated Gallatin County.  Bozeman has a similar law and Tuesday two Bozeman animal control officers spoke about leash laws. "They don't work, anywhere you live, they don't work.  What we see here in the City of Bozeman is nothing but problems from the leash ordinance we have," said Bozeman animal control officer John Edelen.

Even the Gallatin County Sheriff weighed in suggesting they form a group to look at a better way to update the current dog ordinance. "I have a 12-year-old dog and he would look at me like I'm crazy if I try to put a leash on him. I'd have to write myself a ticket so I don't want to do that," said Sheriff Brian Gootkin.

In the end the ordinance, which was proposed by the County Attorney's Office, was unanimously rejected by the Commission. "There's some confusion about what it really means....  We just need to clean it up and probably take out the leash requirements of it," said Seifert.

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