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PTC adopts leash law for safety

Dog owners in Peachtree City will now have to keep their dogs leashed at all times when off their property.

The option of “voice control” was eliminated

by unanimous vote of the City Council Thursday night in an effort to improve safety particularly on the cart paths. The change also improves the possibility of enforcement, as violation of the now-sacked voice control option was impossible to enforce in court.

At the last minute, council agreed to allow dog owners to be allowed to have their dogs unleashed but under voice control at one specific location: Drake Field and Lake Peachtree, so dogs may be allowed to swim in the lake.

Signage will be used at Drake Field to designate the voice control option there for dogs. The city will also use its website and weekly email notices to citizens to advertise the new regulation.

Police Chief H.C. “Skip” Clark promised there would not be many leash citations written, and that the department was hoping to educate the public for compliance.

The main goal, Clark added, “is to make sure everyone feels safe on the golf cart paths.”

While some concern was expressed on the negative affect the change would have on responsible dog owners, it was noted that a number of citizens have reported to council about occasions on which they were accosted by a dog while on the cart paths.

Mayor Don Haddix said the ability to allow dogs under voice control at Drake Field and the lake could be taken away if problems occur.

“This goes out to the populace: keeping this right is on the dog owner’s heads and if they can’t control their animals we’ll pull it,” Haddix said sternly. “I know it sounds like a threat because it is.”

Councilmember Kim Learnard said she would take this direction as an opportunity to work toward establishing an even larger passive dog park for the city in which dogs would be allowed to roam unleashed. The city already has a dog park located at the city’s Shakerag recreation complex off McIntosh Trail and the park is preparing an upcoming event to celebrate its recent expansion.

The Peachtree City Dog Park is staffed by volunteers but users are required to pay for a membership with the PTC Dog Park Association or pay a fee per use. The dog park is supposed to be offering “free play” days for those who aren’t members but none are currently advertised on the association’s website:

The changes will also be reviewed by council at the annual spring retreat for council.



If your going to tie the dogs up then do it. Why let them run loose at Drake field or at the lake where all the little kids are playing. We have a dog park in town, put them there. Typical government, do it half assed in stead of the correct way. Oh well maybe the copper heads in the lake will get them

Couldn't agree more. The dog park is the only place where voice commands should be allowed.

Want your dog to be able and swim? Get a pool!

Good pets will be punished due to a few bad owners and an out of control government. Another freedom gone. Over 30 years I have lived here and I walk/run everyday. I have never been threatened on the paths by a dog. I have been accosted a few times on the streets, mostly by dogs that escaped their pens, this ordinance can not effect that. Exactly how many attacks have there been on the cart paths? Several people have been killed here on golf carts, should we outlaw them? I know of a man that was killed while biking, surely that is enough to make bikes illegal... Government can not legislate safety into every aspect of our lives, something those in charge need to learn. I guess that is what the ballot box is for. SUPPORT FREEDOM and VOTE. -GP

Let me start off by saying that it is not uncommon that laws are passed which "punish" <your words> the good all because of a small handful of bad seeds. There are many laws on the books today that do just that. It is just a simple fact of life and we have to accept it.

No one ever said anything about "outlawing" dogs (even though you discussed outlawing bikes and golf carts) just requiring their owners to have them leashed and under better control. I see nothing wrong with that. I am required to have lights & a horn on my golf cart in order to make it more safe for everyone so I see putting a dog on a leash is a very small thing.

Mike King's picture

“This goes out to the populace: keeping this right is on the dog owner’s heads and if they can’t control their animals we’ll pull it,” Haddix said sternly. “I know it sounds like a threat because it is.”

And to think I voted for this egotistical buffoon. Could it be that he thinks he's speaking to children or does he really believe he is Napoleon?

PTC Observer's picture

I didn't vote for him..........but if you run pal I'll vote for you.

Go for it, I would love to see those fireworks!

Rather than eliminating voice control, couldn't the council mandate the use of reverse shock collars, which administer an electrical current to the necks of pet owners when when their animals stray a certain distance from them?

are carrying on like this. No one is asking you to have your dog "put down", only to have them on a leash when they are out in public. I do not see where is so onerous or traumatic to your dog. Maybe you know that your dog is a sweetheart and wouldn't hurt a flea--but I or anyone else approached does not know that. Even if I did know, that does not mean that I want your dog to run up to me and in many instances jump up on me. The usual reply is "Gee, he/she really likes you". This being said as this monster persistently insists on sniffing and slobbering in my crotch area. They never attempt to physically remove their animal--just stand there and say "Down Junior, get down, now you know you shouldn't do that", as I stand there being molested by a 150 pound monster. Then "He doesn't do that to everybody, he must really like you." Like I have been awarded some great honor. I'd like to know what he would do me if he didn't like me. Then they move on, never really apologizing while I am left with a wet crotch and curious stares from passers-by who wonder if I have a bladder control problem. These pet owners remind me of the indulgent parent who lets their child run amok in you home while admonishing Junior "You know you should'nt tear those curtains off the wall, you know Mommy doesn't like that" as she smiles at you as if he is the cutest, sweetest thing since Ding-Dongs. Before you tar me with the pet hater brush let me assure you that I love animals. Growing up I always had pets, dogs, cats and even sometimes ducks and rabbits. My children always had cats and/or dogs growing up. My pets along with my children were taught restraint and boundaries. They were never allowed to infringe on someone else's space. Up until several years ago I had dogs--usually one at a time and usually for the ten to twelve year life span they had. I made a decision after the last one died that I no longer wanted to own a pet. I like all animals in their place, that does not include coming onto my property to relieve themseves as their owner stands at a distance pretending he has no idea what his animal is doing, nor do I appreciate the cat owners who let their cats run loose to leave in my planters, what should have been left in their litter box or to leave on my door step the latest rodent they have killed. One neighbor told me, as if I should be delighted, when I informed her that her cat was bringing dead rodents to my door, that it meant that her animal loved me--this was it's way of showing affection. I informed her I would rather be admired from a distance---like the inside of her house. Needless to say she was offended.
If you really love your pets, keep them safe--no matter how well trained or how well mannered, they may chase a cat or other creature into traffic and get hit by an oncoming vehicle. And remember, it is your pet and you have chosen to have it and love it. The person coming toward you has not made that decision.

Did you mean it is OK for King to have fireworks, but not Haddix?

I'm glad to see things said that are not BS, suave, and unmindful!

He was elected and can say what he wants. How he wants. Even if possibly wrong.

I wish he would personally sometimes supervise the police department--take rides with them! Also, the fire department. Maybe even the ordnance people.
That could be dangerous, though!

Patton and other Generals did that sort of thing! Depends upon how serious he is to improve city situation above personal situation for the future!
If he is running for congress later, then his goal will be to make friends.

I will give Mr. Haddix the benefit of the doubt. I really think he means well but is just mis-guided. That being said, threats should never come from public servants. Threats propagate the notion that our freedoms come from government and not from God. -GP

I think what thr Mayor said was that it was his intention to enforce the dog leash law, unlike many of these kinds of thing that are oased to make a few happy and then ignore!

Like most of the ordinances, cart-path effective patrolling, crappy lawns, unmowed lawn. trailers in yard, junk piles visible, no grass, fire rules in commercial stores, etc.

Fluffy, with all due respect you missed my point. Was this law enacted to protect us from something dangerous? I believe it was. How many dog attacks have occurred on the paths? My point was life is full of dangers and this one, IMO is rather small. Where does the government protection stop? I for one require a whole lot less government than what we have now. Give me freedom. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, unencumbered by oppressive goverment. GP

I do not know what the number of actual attacks there have been but 1 is far to many for me. Dog's are animals and I see nothing wrong with a law that forces owners to keep control of them. If I owned a lion or a bear and walked it on the path system you would want me to keep them under control, right? Why should it be any different for dogs. Dogs can be unpredictable and even a well trained dog can become violent.
All Peachtree City did was get in line with other jurisdictions. I see nothing wrong with that. This law now also will allow me (and others like me) to defend ourselves and families if necessary. Before, dog owners argued that their dog was in 'voice control' and that we obviously did something to make their dog mad. Now, if the dog attacks it puts the liability square on the shoulder of where it belongs, the owner.

Those pesky statistics. I asked the number of attacks because I have never heard of one here on the cart paths. Perhaps we solving a path problem that does not exist? How about the well behaved animals (like mine) that need exercise and love to run up and down the creeks (while this old person watches with great joy)? Does my best friend have any rights? Are you telling me NOTHING could have been done to not punish the innocent well behaved dogs? If one dog attack is too many than is one golf cart/bike/trampoline/stepladder/etc accident too many? You get my point. As far as "getting in line" with everyone else I moved here 30 years ago because we are not like everyone else. How many of the comparison areas have 60 plus miles of cart paths? And one more thing about "getting in line", you might want to look toward the front end of that line and be sure there is not a cliff. Support Freedom, Vote. GP

TinCan's picture

You're asking about your dog's "rights"?

NO. My dog has no rights but he does have a loving owner that will fight for him. -GP

While my family and I do have rights and that includes to our own personal space and not having it violated by loose dogs..

Fluffy, finally we agree!! You have hope. The problem is your "personal space" has been extended by government to the small park near my home where my pup learned to catch a frisbee and to the small creek where he likes to stand in to cool off. Your "personal space" has been expanded (hastily) at the expense of freedom. -GP

I'm sorry but there are more residents in Peachtree City then just you and your dog and it is quite obvious that the majority favor this new law. My personal space is violated anytime I am in public and loose dog decides to come around me and/or my family and wants to be friendly or craps in my yard while the owner looks on in dismay.

GP, can I assume that you have had children at some point? Did you ever have to make a rule which hurts the enjoyment of another child (or a group) because one was bad? This is no different then what happens in the real world. You are upset and angry at the wrong people. Who you really should be angry with are the idiots who had abused the "voice control" law and ruined it for everyone else. I personally think PTC was more than generous by approving 2 off-leash areas. I'm sorry but if the decision were up to me, the only place your dog would be allowed off the leash would be on your own property (provided you had at least a 6 foot high fence) or at the dog park.

What makes you think the majority favor this law? I only know of only 5, ok 6 counting you. Put it on the ballot and phrase the question properly. You might be surprised. As far as irresponsible dog owners, I agree with you. Punish them, leave the peaceful law abiding citizens alone. Require a dog traing/certification course or a performance bond, I could live with that. But don't arbitrarily and capriciously take freedom away. -GP

TinCan's picture

Make that 7. I have a few extra leashes you can have if it kills this topic.

Make it 9, my husband and I both support the leash law.

PTC Observer's picture

Seems freedom is in the eye of the beholder. I thought freedom meant that one could walk around without threat of someone assaulting them? By extension by someone's property (dog) threatening them?

I think this law simply sets up valid lawsuits against those that let their dog roam freely to accost other people. Go ahead let you voice command dog run…….make my day.

Full disclosure, I own two dogs and they are always on a leash in PTC or otherwise.

when it is difficult to punish the guilty we take the easy route and sacrifice the freedom of all. I say punish the guilty. What do you mean by "make my day"? Are you an attorney that is itching for a lawsuit? You don't need this law to sue. Last time I heard a comment like that it was "Dirty Harry", someone I do agree with. We should all support that freedom (2nd amendment)that is threatened too. -GP

And you think the city council based their decision on just 5 or 6 people including myself? I think not! However will play by your game, I only know of 1 or 2 people including you who favor "voice control" so if we use your numbers against "voice control"and mine for, you are still in the minority. In the past, The Citizen has ran articles about the possibility of a leash law and oddly enough the # of unique user ID's in favor of the leash law clearly outnumbered those who favored "voice control". Even now, you are in the minority.
Since you are upset with the law then may I suggest you get yourself a petition together and force the city council to reconsider the law and put it on a ballot. I would think 5000 signatures should be enough to get them to reconsider.
I would have favored a bond but how does the city enforce that you have such a bond? How do I know which owners have been certified and carry a bond? Are we going to put a sticker on the dogs side? Shall we make it a criminal offense if you don't have a bond? I can just hear the screaming now when the PTC police go to arrest someone for not having a bond for their dog. Does the city get to impound and put down your dog if you fail to maintain a bond and certification? As I see it, the city hands were tied. There was no way to keep the law, enforce the idea of requiring a bond and still please the masses. I commend you for wanting to be such a responsible owner but for everyone of you, how many are there who are not. I pointed out in another post that my family was accosted by a dog and the owner was a good 500 feet behind the dog while the law clearly states owners must be within 25 feet.
I have said it before, you are mad at the wrong people! It is time you get upset with the people who did not obey the law and ruined it for people such as yourself.

No it doesn't have rights, it's an animal! If you want your dog to run off the leash then take it to a place designated for that. Peachtree City has designated two areas for thatpurpose and also has a wonderful dog park. I can't drive my golf cart down Highway 74 because there is a law which says I can not. I can throw my trash anywhere I please because there is a law which says I can not so what is wrong with you having an approved location where your dog can be off it's leash?
Can you also assure me that your animal will always be well behaved? You can tell me all you want that that you can but you know down deep that the answer is NO. Animal's are unpredictable.

If you have lived here for 30 years then you are old enough to know that sometimes laws have to made to better the community for everyone which "punishes" the good as well as the bad. It is just a simple fact of life.

BTW, I have owned my share of animals over the years including several dogs. I do not own an animal at this time and that is not because I do not like them but rather because my family likes to travel occasionally and I do not like having to put an animal in kenel or have to depend on someone else to take care of it. I have seen some perfectly calm and well behaved animals due things which can not be explained. I'm sorry but there is no reason which you can give me that can justify your animal having the "right" to be off a leash in public.

Are you equating my dog walking peacefully beside me on the cart path to randomly throwing trash out or driving your golf cart down highway 74? What an analogy, no wonder we have a problem. Do you harbor a deep seated fear of animals? Are you on the city council or related to someone who is? You seem to be fighting hard to justify their decision. Two days ago my life was changed. My abilty to enjoy my pet was taken away, without good cause, by an out of control government. That pretty much sums it up. Keep voting for a goverment to protect you, pretty soon it will hit home with something you care about, then maybe you will understand. -GP

Is my analogy any different then the ones you have used? Nope! Just as ridiculous.

I have no connection of any kind to anyone associated with any government but I am a a parent of small children who is concerned for their safety. No one has said you can not enjoy your pet just that you now have to keep control of your animal. Let me ask this question? Why should you have anymore right to enjoy the path system and be allowed to let your dog wander off and possibly attack some innocent person or let it crap in someone's yard then I do. It is obvious that the city council must have heard more feedback from residents who are in favor of this law then those who are not.

I also believe that I care more about animals then you? You would just as soon let your dog run free and possibly injure someone (and possibly put down because of that) or run-off and risk it getting killed by another animal, golf-cart, automobile, etc. while I refuse to own a pet at time where I can not devote full attention to it's care and would rather see it on leash where I can have control and protect it.

I'm sorry that you are upset with this new law and I am also sorry that you believe it has destroyed your ability to enjoy your pet. Would it be fair to assume that you will be getting rid of it? If No, then I guess your ability to enjoy it really has not been destroyed. For me and my family, we can now enjoy the path system and not have to fear being accosted by unwelcome pets.

""Two days ago my life was changed. My abilty to enjoy my pet was taken away, without good cause, by an out of control government""

Gee GA Pat, you must just be livid about having to be made responsible to carry health insurance. How do you feel about the PTC Police being a cash cow? At least Chief Skip said they weren't really going to write tixs.
I truly hope you have some cheap generic blood pressure meds. You are still in for a ride because I don't believe us National Socialist(Nazis)/Communist (this is a dichotomy) are finished.

I assume you are being facetious but just in case you aren't the socialist experiment is about to end. Our country is beginning to understand, the wake up call has been made. Patriotism is rising and we are going to see a restoration of the values of the founding fathers. There is hope for our country. November will be the start. -Gp

PTC Observer's picture

Sorry Bladderg I must correct your misstatement, which is a common mistake thanks to public schools, but that's a completely other story.

The National Socialists and the Communists are the same, just different degrees.

All Communists are socialists but not all socialists are communists, both believe that the State should control production and the tools of production.

Communists believe in total control of the economy by the State – no private property.

Socialists believe that control of the economy should come from central planning, private property is allowed but production and the direction of production is controlled by the state. Sort of like we have here in the U.S.A. or at least working our way there slowly.

So, there is no dichotomy, simply the same beliefs (government control of output) with different degrees.

So, you may ask why did the Nazis (fascists) hated the Communists and the other way around? Well, simply they were competing philosophies for power of the state. Communists believed that Socialist were corrupted by “private” interests and didn’t understand the true nature of the socialist state. The Socialists on the other hand believed they would be swept from power and their neo-capitalists cronies would be taken over by the Communists, which they would have.

In the United States, after the Second World War the Socialists (Progressives) didn’t want to be hung with the Socialist label so they did two things. They re-wrote history to make it sound as if the Nazis were “right wing”, which they weren’t and they re-labeled themselves “Liberals”. That in itself is an interesting twist of the “Big Lie”, as Liberalism or Classical Liberalism as it is now called is and was the philosophy of protecting the individual against government. The socialists stole the moniker for their own purposes. Call it a sort of “re-branding” that took place. Contemporary Liberals are in fact Socialists or Progressives, no matter how they would like to deny it the philosophy is the same as it has always been, government control.

If you would like to read more on this subject I would recommend:
The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek

I was at the meeting. The proceedings were a joke. There is NO EVIDENCE of any kind of a safety risk. Even the Police Chief could only cite 9 or less dog incidents over the past year, and more than half of those happened in private homes. This is another example of a few mealy-mouthed, whiney, bullying citizens who want to deprive others of their privileges based on nothing but their own wishes. I've lived here for years, and all of my neighbors walk their dogs under voice command and there haven't been any problems. This city government has lost the fact that it is here to represent the citizenry, not dictate new laws based upon no need and no evidence. (Remember the recent ban on gas-powered golf carts?) The only councilmember that showed any logic or backbone at all was Kim Learnard and she caved in the end. Don Haddix was totally unimpressive with his threat to dog owners, based on no evidence of anything but overwelmingly responsible behavior on the part of the citizenry. I would definitely never vote for him again.

The number of complaints to the Chief of Police providing he really remembers, is about like how many mail boxes have been knocked down in ptc that the Chief has a record of!

It is stupid to think that all dog encounters are reported and documented.
Neither are knocked down mailboxes! I know I haven't reported 2 out of 3!
Tried to talk me out of the one. Two disturbing dog encounters---unreported. Several mis-treatment of dogs by owners---unreported.
Same as reporting shoplifting where the culprit is gone!

Let's not kid one another with this kind of facts. It takes much research to know the extent of such things. Although common sense will tell a smart person about how much happens.

Now, people are free to sue for dog scares or bites. A cat scratched me once. Tried to pet it.

Maybe in the eons some of you have lived here.. things have changed. You know more people. I've mentioned this before. I have an anti-social dog. I did not make her that way & I truly wish she would get over it but it's how she came to us as a rescue. Many times (like today) I have encountered dogs "under" voice command. The dog approaches mine, she brissels up to do combat & the owner, "Mine is a good dog. Won't bite." Well guess what? Voice command doesn't work perfectly & dogs keep coming to explore & play. Again, I wish she wasn't like this but she is & my view is that we have as much right to use the path & do my best to stay out of your way. I have even encountered 1 guy riding a bike w/ his very well behaved dog running along. Voice command does not work as well as all of you Commanders believe. Check out some video to see what it really means & come back & tell me you have that control over your Fido. I think not. "Dogs run free. Why don't We?" B.Dylan.

Mike King's picture

... Can anyone in government guarantee that a child walking a leashed eighty pound pit bull maintain control? What happens if said canine approaches an 'in season' pooch who happens to be on leash by one of Don Haddix's many tourists that frequent our town? Of course not, this new ordinance simply placates a vocal minority, adds a new source of revenue for PTCPD, and strenthens the grip of local government on all of us.

Oh, I almost forgot, it adds another inconsequencial accomplishment by our elected leaders thereby avoiding another 2-3 vote.

"... Can anyone in government guarantee that a child walking a leashed eighty pound pit bull maintain control?"

The Govenrment doesn't need to.

Again, had you taken the time to research the real facts, not those you make up as you type, you would have known what the ordinance says.

Sec 14-34. Duty to keep animal under restraint.

((a) It shall be the duty of the owner of any animal to keep the animal under control at all times while the animal is off of the real property limits of the owner. For the purposes of this section, an animal is deemed under control when it is confined within a vehicle, parked or in motion, is secured by a leash or other device held <strong>by a competent person</strong>, or is properly confined within an enclosure with permission of the owner of the property where the enclosure is located.

PTC Observer's picture

Also, one other small point. A child can't legally own a dog, it is property. So, it is the adult owners responsibility that the dog is controlled no matter who is on the other end of the leash.

Mike King's picture

Get over yourself. All your Sec 14-34 (a) boils down to is that owners are responsible for their pets. I, for one, do not require an ordinance to specify my responsibility, but perhaps you do.

If you were not so dependent upon government for your lifestyle, perhaps you would understand that a 'real' world exists outside your beauracratic utopia.

“This goes out to the populace: keeping this right is on the dog owner’s heads and if they can’t control their animals we’ll pull it,” Haddix said sternly. “I know it sounds like a threat because it is.”

Well, Our Mayor has really pulled out all the stops now, and may have just defined his legacy in his term as PTC Mayor!
With this tough, no nonsense stand on the teeming dangers of a house pet stepping onto a golf cart to "say hi" and almost getting itself maced by the terrified occupants, Mayor Haddix is putting Sheriff Joe Arpaio down in Maricopa County, AZ to shame. Sheriff Joe only has tent cities in the AZ desert for convicts, re-instituted chain gangs (even for women), makes prisoners wear pink underwear and is accused of racial profiling! PFFFT! That's nothing! Don Haddix has the political courage, in spite of the voting power these genetically altered canine attack creatures weld, to look deep into his soul and vote his conscience.
Never again will a PTC path user have to experience the bowel chilling sight of a kids pet, ALONE, WANDERING FREELY, SPYING EASY, and HELPLESS PREY!!
Ex-Mayor Brown has blogged that he has been personally attacked twice, or three times....or five, I can't remember, by free roaming domesticated wildlife, but even he, barely having survived these onslaughts, would never have taken such a bold and brave stance as this.
I know that I for one will sleep soundly at night, stop locking up my house and vehicles and roam blissfully unaware anywhere in the confines, under the watchful eye of TOUGH GUY Mayor. Everyone who ever contemplated a trip to PTC for a little mayhem and mischief will by now have gotten the message that this the wrong place for any of that.
Thank you Mayor, thank you. I know others are trying to waste your time with budgets and planning and all that other boring stuff that we ignored in high school, but you have stayed the course with a laser focus and I for one appreciate it!

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Benjamin Franklin

the small print "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Benjamin Franklin

I moved here around three years ago from Michigan and I don't know how many miles on the PTC golf cart trails that I have run but it's gotta be 2000+, and I've never had an incident where I was threatened by a dog. I have been barked at numerous times, but never once felt threatened.

PTC is a great community, and I think this is a good idea as you cannot ensure that your dog is not going to do something crazy. Most properly socialized dogs will not, but you cannot guarantee that for the populace...

Sounds political. You don't ever walk on the paths? Have kids who do? Take a dog with you on a leash who is attacked?
Are you for or against leashes?
You might make everyone happy with that!

Government must consider everyone's problems with things, not just yours.

I don't know about the records they keep, but I do know that my wife and I called the police about three dogs coming out of the lake and running across Drake Field at my dog--a 15# Little girl that wasn't bothering anyone. The dogs ignored their owners repeated commands and all I could do was pick up my dog and yell at the offending dogs. Sure, they were probably just curious. Probably meant no harm. How was anyone to know that from them bounding across the field at us. So, I guess, I won't be able to walk my dog at Drake Field any longer because that will be where all the Dog Commanders will be.

That record must have gotten lost some where...or maybe they don't keep records of aggressive dogs unless they bite.

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