Does California Have a Statewide Leash Law?

Unfortunately,  no.  While California does not have a state wide leash law, it does allow local governments (counties, cities and towns) to pass their own leash law ordinances. For example, in Sacramento County, with few exceptions, a dog is not allowed to run “at-large” .   Outside of designated “off-leash” dog parks, if a person brings his or her dog to any County park in Sacramento County and lets the dog run loose, he or she could get a citation for violating Code 9.36.061 (d) requires dogs to be safely under control of it’s owner and on a leash at all times.  The City of Sacramento also has a leash law that requires dogs to be leashed and under control of it’s owner.

rottweilersf6There are numerous reasons why dogs must be on a leash and under control of it’s owner at all times such as:

1.  It’s the law – dogs must be on a leash that is six feet or less in length.

2. Safety of your dog – a dog can become trapped, injured or bitten by bees or a snake and even become exposed to poison ivy or ticks.  Also, a loose dog could get hit by a car.

3. Safety of people – some people are afraid of dogs.  Even friendly dogs that are loose can scare a person or knock someone down, especially a small child.   Additionally, an off leash dog can cause a car accident.

4. Decrease fights with other dogs – an off leash dog could come across as a threat to a leashed dog or wonder up to an unfriendly leashed dog causing a fight.

California does not have a statewide leash law, however, ordinances in your neighborhood exist through the county or city for these reasons.

In California, if you or a loved one have been attacked or bitten by a dog, the owner is held liable for your injuries and damages. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Edward A. Smith have been handling animal and dog bite cases in Sacramento and throughout California for over 30 years.  Please contact my office for free friendly advise at (916) 921-6400 or 1-800-404-5400,

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