I was riding Tucker last night at the local park and came upon someone I know, hiking the trails. We chatted a bit, then he informed me that his dogs were running loose in the woods. As a horse rider, I tried to politely explain that this could be problematic. Dogs darting out of the woods can scare horse, hurt riders. I’ve also seen off leash dogs bite horse ankles, if they get too close, your dogs can get kicked. He brushed it off. Saying my horse didn’t look like he’d be too afraid of a dog. Realizing I was talking to an ignorant individual not one bit interested in changing behavior or learning about horse psychology, I told him I’d send him the hospital bills should there be any problems and rode off. But seriously…WTF???
Leash laws are in place for a reason and one of my pet peeves is owners who, for whatever reason, seem to think these rules don’t apply to them. In all my years on the trail I’ve seen like MAYBE 10 dogs that were actually trained well enough and under control enough, that they had truly earned their freedom from restriction. The two from last night, out of eye and ear shot of their owner…were definitely not among those 10.
Our county is FULL of dog parks. If your dog must be off leash, take it there. If your dog is not dog friendly enough for a dog park. Use common sense…it shouldn’t be off leash at a regular park either…NEWS FLASH: THERE ARE DOGS THERE.
Off leash dogs are a a public safety issue and it is beyond me why this particular law is so frequently violated. Most dogs (mine included) are not trained well enough to be allowed this freedom. So many of the domestic animal problems that arise are due to irresponsible owners. Keep your dog at home, take it to a dog park or put it on a damn leash, this really isn’t that hard .
For those of you interested, Mecklenburg County’s leash law:
The City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County have strict leash laws that apply to all animals except cats (see the nuisance animal section for laws pertaining to cats).
Animals must be on a leash, contained within a fence or an operable and marked invisible fence. The invisible fence company should give owners a sign to place at the mailbox to indicate that there is an invisible fence present.
An animal may be loose in its own yard if there is an adult (18 years or older) immediately next to the animal and the animal responds to direct verbal commands of the person.
ALL dog owners that take their dogs for walks in their neighborhoods and/or in public parks (not designated as a dog park) are required to keep their dogs on leash and under physical restraint at ALL TIMES. Please note that having the leash in your possession and not attached to the dog is not considered having the dog on a leash and you will still be subject to a fine.
All regulations aim to protect the health and safety of our citizens. Please be a responsible pet owner and abide by the law. Violations will be investigated and stiff fines may be applied. Fines range from a $50.00 citation for the first violation and up to a $500.00 citation and permanent seizure of the animal for a fifth violation.
To report an animal at large, please call 311. Please note that it could take up to 4 hours for an officer to respond. Any information about where the owner lives would help greatly.
There are dog parks in Char-Meck that will allow pet owners to let their dogs off-leash in a fenced in and controlled area. To find where these parks are located and the rules for participation, visit the Dog Parks page.