The Yarmouth Town Council voted unanimously last week to require dogs to be leashed at all times at Royal River Park and limited to five the number of dogs one person can walk at one time at any town park.

The new rules will be in effect as of Nov. 20. The leash rule for Royal River Park does not extend to Picnic Point, which is the grassy area north of the main parking lot.

The limit on the number of dogs per person was raised from the initial proposal of three after the council heard from some community members that it would negatively impact dog walking businesses in town, according to council Chairperson April Humphrey.

“Currently there are no limits to the number of dogs individuals can bring out on walks with them, and there have been anecdotal reports of individuals coming to places like Pratts Brook Park with large numbers of dogs,” Humphrey said. “This new rule is an attempt to mitigate those types of circumstances.”

Other communities have similar limits, including Cumberland, which limits individuals to three dogs at one time at all town parks.

Other than the concern about the number of dogs, Humphrey said the the council was “surprised with how little feedback we received from the public on the changes.”

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