Letters to the Editor March 1, 2012

By Del Norte Triplicate Readers March 02, 2012 10:00 pm

Dogs must be under control by either leash or voice command

After reading a recent letter to the editor (“Sorry to see so many dogs that are unnecessarily leashed,” Feb. 14), I think it is important to provide the public with the legal requirements for controlling your dogs on and off of your property.

Del Norte County Code Section 8.04.081, otherwise known as the “Leash Law,” provides that all dogs who are off of the property of their residence must be under the control of a leash or voice command.

California Health and Safety Code Section 122335 provides limitations on the act of tethering your dog. Generally speaking, a dog may be tethered for a period of three hours in any 24-hour period; however, this time limitation can be modified at the discretion of an Animal Control Officer. Additionally, there are several exemptions on the time limitation for tethering including: tethering a dog to keep it safe during any task that could endanger the dog, while shepherding or herding cattle or livestock, cultivating or harvesting an agricultural crop, during the training of a dog for an activity related to any licensed activity like hunting, and at camping or recreational sites.

Compliance with lease and tethering laws demonstrates responsible pet ownership, protects your dog as well as dogs owned by others, the property of others, wildlife and wildlife habitat and public health and safety.

The failure to comply results in many investigations by Del Norte County Animal Control for dog bites, property damage and nuisance situations and can result in legal actions including court citations, administrative hearings and the declarations of dogs as either public nuisances, potentially dangerous or even vicious. Additionally, dog owners could face monetary penalties in civil court cases brought by others as a result of damages suffered.

Kenneth R. Smith, Del Norte County Director of Animal Control

Crescent City