INDIAN TRAIL – A board member from the Bonterra Village Homeowners Association has approached the Indian Trail Town Council about strengthening leash laws by excluding electronic leashes as a means of restraining dogs.
Robert Roth, of the HOA, told the council July 27 that a jogger encountered what appeared to be a loose dog, but its owner assured her it was under control. After a couple of confrontations, law enforcement got involved.
The dog owner told officers that he uses an electronic leash.
“How do you know there's a leash there in the first place?” Roth said. “It could be inoperable. It could be turned off. It can break. The batteries could die. The dog may ignore it. And the person that is walking has no confidence that that dog is truly under control.”
Roth told the council it would help the HOA if the town clarified its leash law by noting that electronic leashes are not considered a leash.
Town attorney Karen Wolter said the ordinance offers examples of how to restrain dogs, including using a leash, fence, invisible fence or similar item. Wolter advised that the term “similar item” makes e-collars inclusive to the ordinance.
To exclude electronic collars as a measure of restraint, Wolter said, “would be an amendment to the ordinance but it would not be a challenging rewrite or text amendment.”
Town Manager Mike McLaurin said staff would evaluate electronic leashes and report back to the council.