Current Dog Laws (Effective as of November 25, 2021):

 

On Leash

Off Leash

Hinckley Park**

May 1-September 30: 6am-9pm

October 1-April 30: between 10am-3pm (required)

May 1-September 30: 6am-9pm

October 1-April 30: between 6am-10am and between 3pm-9pm

Willard Beach**

May 1-September 30: between 7am-9am & between 7pm-9pm

October 1-April 30: between 10am-3pm (required)

May 1-September 30: between 7am-9am & between 7pm-9pm

October 1-April 30: between 6am-10am and between 3pm-9pm

Greenbelt Walkway,
Mill Creek Park**

Yes (required)

No

All other public parks in the City**

Yes - Year-round, between 6am-9pm

Yes - Year-round, between 6am-9pm

Public Streets, Parking Lots and Sidewalks in the City

Yes (required)

No

** Parks & Beaches are open between 6am-9pm.

  • Dogs must be leashed when on the Greenbelt, Mill Creek Park, in any public sidewalk, street, or way, and may be unleashed at any other public park, between the hours of 6am-9pm– except between the hours of 10am-3pm at Willard Beach and Hinckley Park where dogs must be on-leash from October 1-April 30.  Summer hours for Willard Beach remain the same, taking effect May 1-Sept 30:  Dogs are only allowed between 7am-9am, and 7pm-9pm.
  • Dogs and people must stay on designated trails and access waterways by designated entry points.
  • No owner is allowed to have more than 2 dogs off-leash at a time.  (If there are 3 or more dogs, all dogs must be leashed.)
  • When off-leash, owners must carry a leash in hand at all times.
  • When off-leash, all dogs must be under voice and sight control.

 Owners are responsible for their dogs and must pick up after their dog(s).

Reference: Chapter 3, City's Code of Ordinances & Ordinance #3-21/22, effective 11/25/21

For more information, contact the Parks Department at (207) 767-7670.  The public is also advised that the City Council has created the ad-hoc Dogs & Public Spaces Advisory Committee to look into potential changes regarding dogs in public spaces. These meetings are open to the public and agendas are posted on the Committee's webpage. 

At the May 3, 2022 City Council meeting, proposed ordinance changes were put forward for first reading.  These amendments would do the following:

  • For areas where dogs are allowed off leash, dogs must be under voice and sight control at all times and be within 50 feet of their owner or keeper.
  • If an owner or keeper has three or more dogs, at least one must be on a leash. If they have four or more dogs, all must be leashed.
  • Dogs must be leashed from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Willard Beach from Oct. 1 through Apr. 30. Dogs prohibited during the other months, except from 7-9 a.m. and 7-9 p.m.
  • Dogs must be leashed from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hinckley Park year-round.
  • Dogs are prohibited on City athletic fields, fenced-in playgrounds, and school yards.
  • Dogs and owners/keepers shall not enter upon or cross over any City sand dunes.
  • Dog owners must pick up and properly dispose of dog waste.
  • If a dog jumps on, barks at, or acts aggressively toward people and/or other dogs, or does not consistently come immediately upon command, or chases wildlife, the dog shall be leashed when not on private premises.

Second reading is scheduled for the May 17 City Council meeting.  The public is invited to attend and speak for up to 5 minutes on the issue.  If passed at second reading, the ordinance will take effect June 7, 2022.