Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Success in Mahwah New Jersey!

Great news - the Mahwah Town Council did the right thing, admitted they had made a mistake and voted unanimously to reject the proposed amended ordinance.


A huge thanks to you all!  

Mahwah dog owners

Here is the report from yesterday's Mahwah Town Council meeting where we were in attendance to speak out and oppose the ordinance to ban dogs from all town parks and recreational facilities:

This afternoon before we arrived for the meeting, we learned that council had already amended the ordinance. They have a new synthetic field they wanted to protect, so focused only on that property. But most people in the audience weren't aware until they arrived that the amendment had been offered. Packed house
with lots of speakers. Mahwah doesn't have a limit law, so there are some serious "dog people" there.

The amended version was rejected in a unanimous vote, with the intent to go back to the drawing board. We're not sure if it will go back to the ordinance committee or if there will first be an advisory board set up to
thrash out the details before it goes to the ordinance committee. There were lots of educated dog owners that stepped up and offered their help.

Kudos to everyone who showed up at the Mahwah Town Council meeting.  My husband counted over 100 people in attendance who opposed this ordinance to ban dogs from the town parks.  Approximately 20 people spoke, a mix of town residents, many of whom are dog trainers, breeders, involved with AKC, service & therapy dog programs and representatives from NAIA, NJ Federation of Dog Clubs and Legislative Liaisons from a number of breed clubs (including me).  The council had never seen such attendance for any issue and were overwhelmed by the numbers as well as the thoughtful comments made, suggestions and offers for help in devising future dog programs in town.

It was a town resident, who happened to see this in the local town paper, who posted a need for help on the NJ Agility list that alerted us to this, otherwise, it may have passed unnoticed.  A legislative group from across the state was formed, a website was created, flyers passed out, news in the local papers, etc,  The AKC responded with a letter to the council, that seemed to make an impact and offered concrete suggestions and a willingness to help. NAIA offered to donate poop bag dispensers for the town parks as well as share their model for a pet friendly community.

The dog community came together and the town council listened!

Just an aside, although this blog is dedicated to postings on my dogs, and I tend to keep my Legislative posts separate on a different forum, it is imperative that every animal owner be aware of the local ordinances as well as read their local town paper where by law, public announcements of changes/introductions of new ordinances must be posted.  Animal owners must come together and support each other to protect our rights to own and use animals whether it be for companionship, food, hunting, or life saving medical research.

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