Restraint and the Law
Download our educational brochure "Responsible Pet Ownership and the Law" here (PDF): Restraint brochure. A leash is a great way to protect your pet from the dangers of the outside world such as cars, wild animals, and other people's pets. By keeping your pet on a leash, you are also acting as a good neighbor.
The municipal ordinance (Title 17) requires generally that a person who owns an animal, such as a dog or cat, shall control it at all times. In a public place, with some exceptions, the municipal ordinance requires that an owner shall have his/her animal under control and shall not allow it to roam neighborhoods or have access to other people's property.
Controlling an animal means to simultaneously monitor, direct, and restrict an animal's movement and activities in a humane manner.
Control by leash means to control an animal by securely attaching a leash, chain, or an item which is physically capable of restraining the animal, including electronic collar, to the animal which is in the secure possession of a person physically and mentally capable of monitoring, directing, and restricting the animal's movements and activities.
Control by command means to control an animal by visual or audible commands, or a combination thereof, to which the animal responds promptly and accurately. Control by command is only allowed if the following cireria are met:
- The animal is engaged in an activity that precludes it from accomplishing that activity if restrained, AND
- The animal is in an area normally associated with that activity, AND
- The activity is conducted in a manner that minimizes impact with the general public.
All three of the above criteria must be met in order for a pet to legitimately be off-leash in public. Examples of allowed activities may include dog agility trials, retriever training, and throwing/catching a Frisbee. The code doesn't allow for off-leash dog walking unless the pet is in a designated off-leash dog park space.