We love our dogs -- that's why we keep them leashed in public

Our team here at Aventus Law Group feel especially passionate about dog bite injuries and their victims. This is because I myself grew up with 6 dogs throughout my childhood and currently have my Gina, a German Shepherd by my side; Robert has his army of chihuahuas protecting his two little sons; and, Jonathan has his guard dog Bella protecting over his family.

At the end of the day we all love our dogs dearly. And because of this, we urge you to keep your pets and those around you safe and to follow all proper state, county, and local laws relating to dogs and other pets, for the benefit of all pets and pet owners.

Robert, his family, and his bodyguards

Robert, his family, and his bodyguards

 

SAMPLES OF DIFFERENT STATE, COUNTY, AND LOCAL LAWS

It is important for pet owners to know that different cities and counties may have different laws relating to leashing a dog while in public. For example, Long Beach requires a leash that is no longer than 8 feet long. The city of Livermore allows dogs to be unleashed even in public if under the voice control of the owner.

Sacramento will allow a dog to be unleashed if it has completed obedience school, but, if your dog has not yet completed obedience school it must be on a leash not exceeding 6 feet. If the dog is on a retractable leash that can extend beyond 6 feet, then it is illegal no matter what the length you set it at.

As you can see above, laws can get very specific and convoluted, and they may even contradict each other from one city to the next. Therefore, you should research and learn the dog laws of your resident city and other cities you frequent with your dog.

The list below is not meant to be exclusive; as always, read our disclaimer regarding our blog content. Remember that all applicable County and California state laws will apply along with the city laws listed below.

City of Irvine:

  • Leash of 6-foot or shorter, held by a person who can completely control the dog at all times;
  • Dogs older than 4 months must be licensed;
  • Dogs older than 4 months must be vaccinated for rabies;
  • Households may have only up to 3 dogs;
  • All animals adopted from a shelter must be neutered/spayed;

City of Corona:

  • Dogs in public must be under control and not allowed to run “at large” (per County Code);
  • Dogs older than 4 months must be licensed;
  • Households may have only up to 3 dogs;

City of Los Angeles:

  • Must “be on a leash” unless they are in your fenced yard or at  a dog park that allows off leash exercise;
  • Typing up your dog for more than three hours in a 24 hour period  is illegal;
  • Dogs older than 4 months must be licensed;
  • Households may have only up to 3 dogs;
  • Dogs older than 4 months must be vaccinated for rabies;

 

Bella demands respect!

Bella demands respect!

YOUR DOG HAS RIGHTS TOO – TREAT THEM WITH RESPECT

As our best friends, our dogs deserve to be treated with respect and given the care that they deserve. Given this basic assumption, California has laws in place that make it illegal to leash a dog to anything unless it is provided with adequate food and shelter.

This means that leashing your dog outside of Starbucks while you run into grab a cup of coffee is illegal unless your dog has food, water, enough shade (if on a hot day), and sufficient leash length to roam around physically.

We recommend you do not tie up your dog and leave them alone in public, even briefly, as any dogs left alone may bite innocent passer-byers no matter how well you may think you know your dog.

 

Gina waiting patiently behind her gate for the delivermen

Gina waiting patiently behind her gate for the delivermen

MY EXPERIENCES AS A DOG OWNING PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER

We’ve all seen pictures and videos of newborn babies sleeping with the family dog that weighs 5-10x as much as them. I love my dog, but I will never allow my ~40 pound German Shepherd get near a baby. And this has nothing to do with my dog’s personality, she is the sweetest dog that has never harmed another soul.

But, the reality is that animals have deep rooted instincts, you never really know for sure what can make your dog react in a triggered manner and attack or bite what is nearby. As the American Animal Hospital Association warned:

"Children are often at eye level, and may stare directly into dogs’ eyes. They also run and move suddenly, appearing like prey. Any dog may bite, even your family pet. Adults should always supervise children when they play with any dog, and they should teach children the best ways to approach and treat animals to avoid being bitten. "

While there is no ill intent on the part of any dog, usually the damage is done. One bite from a dog to any part of a newborn or toddler is likely to result in significant and permanent injuries to that toddler. This is not a risk you should take with your child or any child, nor your dog, who will have to face the consequences of such an attack in animal court.

 

CONCLUSION: IF YOU LOVE YOUR DOG, KEEP THEM UNDER CONTROL AND FOLLOW ALL LAWS

When an innocent person gets bitten by a loose dog, there is more victim than one. The dog will likely be called to face animal court and may face punishment. The dog owner may face harsh penalties with government entities and can be sued in civil court for the injuries that their dog caused.

Lastly, and looking at the big picture, when one dog owner breaks leash laws, every single one of us dog owners are harmed. When a loose dog bites an innocent person, trust in all dog owners diminishes.

For your dog and everyone else's sake, keep your furry best friend under control at all times when in public and follow all applicable laws to keep yourself and others safe.

Here is Bella, wishing you a happy holiday season!

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author: Jay S. Yu, Esq.

Jay is a licensed attorney that represents only personal injury victims in California. Contact him for a free consultation today.