What are the leash laws in my town? What if I see an off-leash dog?
Pet owners who allow their pets to roam unattended are putting the animals' welfare in jeopardy and creating a nuisance to neighbors, other domestic pets and wildlife. Allowing dogs to run off leash in inappropriate places is dangerous for the dog, puts people and other animals at risk and, in many towns and cities,is illegal. Leash laws exist to protect animals and people, and we urge you, as a responsible pet owner,to abide by them.Any animal control officer, police officer, or appropriate law enforcement agent can issue a summons upon witnessing a violation. Contact your local humane organization or animal control facility to determine what laws apply in your area.
In New York City
For leash law complaints in New York City, please contact the Department of Health at (212) 442-9666.
The ASPCA applauds the New York City Board of Health’s December 2006 decision to allow dogs to run without leashes in certain parks between 9:00 P.M. and 9:00 A.M. This new legislation codifies the off-leash courtesy many Big Apple parks have had in effect for nearly two decades. Download a PDF of the complete amendment to Article 161 of the New York City Health Code.
In light of this exciting development, the ASPCA encourages dog owners to show their gratitude by cleaning up after their pets, obtaining a dog license and spaying or neutering their pets. For more great tips on etiquette for urban dogs and their owners, check out Urban Dog Etiquette.