Leash laws in various parts of the country?

Oct 10th, 2006, 09:48 AM
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TX - I purchased a small canister of pepper spray from a sporting good store. I don't know if it is the best for this purpose, so if there is something better I'd also like to know.

Lynnejoe, I forgot to tell you that I'm sorry about your dog. Besides paying the medical bills, what action is the owner taking toward the dog? Did you report this to authorities? Some may not like this, but I would want that dog put down before it hurts or kills a child.
wtm003 is online now  
Oct 10th, 2006, 10:24 AM
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lynneloel1015 - I am very sorry to hear about your dog. I hope she's feeling better soon.

Leash laws vary widely from place to place. NYC has strict laws. All dogs must be leashed in public places (and their handlers must clean up after them), but there are off-the-books courtesy hours in most of the city parks. Before 9am and after 9pm dogs that are under voice command are allowed off leash in most areas of most parks. The argument is that encouraging the dogs and their generally law-abiding owners to be in the parks when they are otherwise lightly populated makes the parks safer for everyone. I know dog owners in Central Park who have disrupted muggings and at least one attempted sexual assault, always late in the evening (after 10pm) when these parts of the park would otherwise be fairly empty. CP may be the safest police precinct in NYC, but it's not perfect. That said, there are, however, some dogs that should never be allowed off-leash and their owners always know.
bgans is offline  
Oct 10th, 2006, 11:17 AM
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I am so sorry to hear about your dog. they really are such dear parts of our families. I also am sorry it was a pit too. Our (grown)children have one each and they are both docile (scaredy cats)and very loving. They are at times at a disadvantage due to their nauture at times. (submitting to daschunds just looks silly!) Thank you to all of you who are doing to your best to keep an open mind about the breed. We just went to a great "Blessing of the Beasts" in Yountville (CA) Saturday. Hope they are blessed and good to go for a year!
applejacks1 is offline  
Oct 10th, 2006, 02:25 PM
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lynnejoel, Please keep us updated on your poor greyhound's recovery. That must have been terrifying for you both.

obxgirl is online now  
Oct 10th, 2006, 02:45 PM
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GoTravel--since the owner of the other dog has volunteered to pay for the greyhound's medical expenses, what exactly do you think lynnejoe should or more importantly cas sue for. I'm sorry but I really dislike this kind of off-handed advice to sue, which dislays no knowledge of applicable law.
SAB is offline  
Oct 10th, 2006, 08:40 PM
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hi everyone,

thank you so much for your wisdom and kind wishes.

timber, our greyhound, is doing as well as can be expected. today she has more light in her eyes and greater strength getting up. progress, to be sure! we're watching for fluid build-up and infection. but it seems she's coming along well.

it's so interesting to read the various perspectives. i think i mentioned that i was bit as a 5 yr old- so i've always known how careful you need to be as a dog owner. (oh! and it was a small dog that mauled me when i was a kid-- a cocker spaniel!)

which brings me to a hard lesson i had to swallow a few years ago. the first greyhound we adopted (NOT the current one) had unexplained violent tendencies. we were her 4th adoption home- people kept returning her. i quickly learned that she sometimes acted aggressively toward other dogs and as the months went by, she began getting aggressive toward people (never an actual bite, but i wasn't going to wait for something horrible to happen). with the advice of the greyhound adoption agency, various animal behavior experts, and my vet, we had her put down. a real heartache, and still fresh to us (this was back in july 2003).

so from two first-hand experiences, i know all about the tough choices and responsibilities you have to take as a dog owner. it's not something you can take lightly because yes, other lives are at stake.

bravo to all the loving and responsible pet owners out there. let's continue to educate those around us about taking our responsibilities seriously.
lynnejoel1015 is offline  
Oct 10th, 2006, 10:48 PM
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I am glad to hear that your dog is doing well.

I had a similiar experience. My Maltese was attacked by a Doberman Pinscher. Guess which dog was on a leash? She survived with no more than puncture wounds. The vet said she was very lucky. Of course she is now terriffied at the sight of a big black dog and the attack happened 13 years ago.

Oh,yeah, the city I live in has a leash law.
cheribob is offline  
Oct 11th, 2006, 06:21 AM
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You know, I just had to reply to this as off-leash dogs are a HUGE pet peeve of mine. We live in Colorado, in a very suburban neighborhood with a large park and running trails everywhere. EVERY time I take my daughter out for a walk in a stroller or otherwise there are dogs on the trail off leash. I mean really, what would I do if one decided to go for the stroller? Owners that claim 'dont worry shes friendly" are, frankly, idiots. No dog can be comletely trusted-they ARE, after all, animals.
We also have a multitude of owners who do not clean up after their dogs. CHARMING.
Ani is offline  
Oct 11th, 2006, 06:42 AM
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SAB, my reasoning is that these tends of lawsuits tend to generate publicity which may make people think twice about letting their dog off a leash.

That is 'exactly' why I think lynnejoel should sue.
Oct 11th, 2006, 10:33 AM
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Ani, I agree with you (and others) about ALWAYS having your dog on a leash. I live in a quiet neighborhood by the water. One day while jogging in the morning, I was going past a house and a giant rottweiler came down the driveway into the street charging right for me!! It scared the crap out of me and I ran as fast as I could and he finally gave up and turned back. When speaking with my neighbor about it, she mentioned that she had encountered the same dog (in charging mode) when walking by with her brand new baby in the pram. She took off running as well and called the police -- obviously the owners of that onerous dog just "don't get it". A few neighbors got together and wrote the family who owns the dog a letter indicating (somewhat nicely) that we were all very concerned about the dog's behavior and that they should keep the dog restrained. Nothing. Another letter (not so nice) followed indicating that should anything occur with the dog, such as a bite or other injury (fall while running from the dog) directly related to the animal we would seek immediate legal recourse -- no holds barred. The dog is now restrained.
michelleNYC is offline  
Oct 11th, 2006, 10:35 AM
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By the way.... If you couldn't tell already, I think it is EXTREMELY irresponsible for dog owners NOT to leash their pet. I don't care if you live in the middle of Antarctica or Manhattan. You NEVER know when something can happen where someone walks by or the dog runs into the street. It's not that hard to leash them!!
michelleNYC is offline  
Oct 11th, 2006, 10:47 AM
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Michelle, I respectfully disagree. Your living conditions create your mindset. It doesn't necessarily transfer to the middle of Antarctica - or America. When you live in the middle of 5 acres or 60 acres or 200 acres you will probably have a different mindset. Everything is not black and white according to your life experiences.

I do believe that EVERYONE should follow the local, city, state, park, beach, etc. regulations.
starrsville is offline  
Oct 11th, 2006, 11:04 AM
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BTW, I've never walked a dog off-leash in Manhattan. He has been off-leash in designated dog runs.
starrsville is offline  
Oct 11th, 2006, 11:10 AM
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GoTravel--my point is that if the other owner has agreed to pay the medical bills, there is nothing to sue for--there will be no damages, and therefore no cause of action. Whether we like it or not animals are considered property in the eyes of the law in almost all states--if her "property" has been repaired, she has no claim. There is no lesson that can be taught!! If she had been injured that is a different story.

What she can do if she chooses and depending on where she lives in California, is to report the owner to the police and there can be a dangerous dog hearing.
SAB is offline  
Oct 11th, 2006, 11:26 AM
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hi again,

the owner gave me his word that he would pay for the expenses -half this month, half next. but whether he is good for his word is another story, and we would consider legal action if he doesn't keep his word. (mostly for the sake of teaching him a hard lesson that he needs to obey the law... not to be vindictive- honest!)

my brother had an excellent idea- a public awareness campaign, posting signs in the neighborhood basically stating that the leash law is in place for a reason. if you have your dog off-leash in a public area, you're breaking the law, and add cropped color photos to show the extent of my dog's injuries. the point is, of course, to help people think twice about obeying the law.

lynnejoel1015 is offline  
Oct 11th, 2006, 11:40 AM
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wtm003...I had the same rottweiler experience you did while running, but it was two of them not one. I was running without my contacts and didn't notice them until it was too late. I didn't dare try to outrun them though--you are a way faster runner than I. Someone passing on the street noticed my predicament, honked his horn to try to scare the dogs away (both had their noses on my thighs and their haunches up ) and when they wouldn't leave me, he rolled down his window and invited me into his car. LOL I eased over, dogs with me, and jumped in without a 2nd thought! Stranger danger indeed. LOL He drove me about 1/2 mile off and let me out. Phew.

Dogs loose in their yard are protecting their territory, and "friendly" no longer counts. Don't you love it when dogs are yapping and acting threatening and their owners say, "Oh don't worry, he's friendly"!! What goes through their heads.

Speaking of which, I was bitten yesterday, going in to feed my neighbor's dogs after he called and asked me to because he had forgotten. The Boston terrier licks you to death with his tongue, the other, a mini dachshund has bitten before. I agreed with some trepidation, but owner thought he'd be fine with me. So much for that. Peroxide and Neosporin are doing their job and it wasn't that deep...they have little teeth thankfully, but trust me, that's the last time I'm playing good neighbor to the dogs and so much for listening to dog's owners assessment of their dogs' temperaments!!
OO is offline  
Oct 11th, 2006, 01:24 PM
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OO sorry about your bite! Switch from the peroxide to a lot of warm water and a little soap or betadine. You won't get as much tissue damage.
Birdie is offline  
Oct 11th, 2006, 02:59 PM
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Always had my greyhounds on leashes in Dallas, but I was licensed to carry a concealed weapon and was prepared to use it if necessary.
Only time I ever saw a greyhound attacked was by other greyhounds.
Wishing yours a speedy recovery.
mikemo is offline  
Oct 11th, 2006, 04:48 PM
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OO, MichelleNYC, and others- you all have such scary stories!

a runner friend of mine was attacked by a dog (a mix) while out running. the owner was even close by, but the dog was of course, off leash. she said the owner didn't do a da_mn thing! awful, huh? i too run and within a mile of my home (hancock park area of LA), there's a rottie who's kept in his front yard - corner lot- with a VERY low fence. the dog always charges out at anyone walking or running by, barking and growling and following you wherever you go. i'm afraid that one day he'll scale the fence and attack and/or kill someone ....
lynnejoel1015 is offline  
Oct 15th, 2006, 02:26 PM
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My son and I were walking our dog and a neighbor's dog when we were attacked by three loose dogs in a small neighborhood park. We have a leash law, and I called to the owners to control their dogs. They were two women, who were standing in the middle of the park watching the dogs run at us. The owners laughed and told me not to upset the dogs by yelling!

I think that three dogs being loose together can develop a 'pack mentality', where they excite one another and charge together at someone or another animal. These dogs were snarling, baring their teeth, and their back hair was standing on end. I yelled 'authoritatively' at the dogs, as I'm used to working with dogs, to tell them to stop and to go away. They actually slowed down enough that my son and I were able to exit off the path and cross the street without them following us. The two owners never once called their dogs back, or tried to help, or even thought it was a bad situation.

I was really shaken, so we went to a friend's house across the street, and used her phone to call Animal Control. My son and I waited in her yard for 45 minutes, while the dog owners continued to stand in the middle of the park, like they owned it, with their three dogs still running loose. They even taunted us by yelling over at us.

When Animal Control arrived, unfortunately it was my word against the other dog owners' word, and they had leashed their dogs when they saw the animal truck pull up. So the officer called them over to talk about the incident. The two women came over, and very insolently told him they'd done nothing, called me names, and then did a really dumb thing-- which they must have planned in advance: they both took their respective dogs and RAN AWAY in two different directions, into the neighborhood, away from the officer! I couldn't believe that grown women would act this way. The officer took off after one woman, and my son and I followed the second one.

We went a few blocks, when the woman stopped suddenly, turned around and faced my son with our neighbor's dog, because he was closest behind her. This woman raised her fist threateningly at my 11-year old son, used the F word at him, and kicked his dog very soundly in the stomach! We were so shocked at this. Then she turned around and ran again. I was sure not going to let her disappear at this point, believe me-- so we continued to follow her and saw the house she entered.

At this point, thankfully, police cars drove up, as the animal officer had called for help. The animal officer had tracked the first woman to her house, and given her a warrant. We informed the police where the second woman lived, and they served her with a warrant, too. This was all pretty sad, given that it was my son's very first day of dog-walking our neighbor's dog. Poor kid really saw the mean side of some people that afternoon.

This was in Denver, and the judge called me for a statement. She was really wanting to throw the book at the two women, especially when other neighbors told of also being harassed by these loose dogs and their abusive owners. The judge did everything she could in court, but she said the women cried in court, begged her to go lightly as they didn't have any money (which was B.S. as they lived in nice houses). As it turned out, unfortunately, the women got the smallest fine possible, as it was their first official offense. They each paid just $50 fine.

The good news is that I never saw those dogs again at that park, or anywhere nearby. Neighbors thanked me for going to so much trouble to get the women into court. We all felt we could take back that park, after those two crazy women were banished. I believe the judge made it clear to them that another offense would cost them dearly.

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