ASK A COP: Does your dog really need to be leashed when walking? | Columnists
Q. Does your dog really need to be on a leash when walking or in the park even though you know he won’t run away? Can people be held responsible for not picking up dog poop?
A. Yes, dogs really should be on a leash even if you don’t think they’ll run away. The city ordinance clearly outlines leash requirements and in reality; you are able to keep your dog safe by maintaining this control. Even if you think your dog wouldn’t run away, you never know and it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry.
This rule does not apply if your dog is on your property. The problem here is that the city of Scottsbluff’s ordinance states that no pets should run loose in the city. An animal will be considered free when it is outside the premises of the owner and not in a receptacle, a closed vehicle or kept on a leash.
As for being in a park, the leash law still applies to “urban” parks but does not include dog parks. Both the Riverside Dog Park and the Monument Dog Park are considered “off-leash” areas where dogs are free to run and play without worry.
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When it comes to picking up dog messes, the owner is absolutely responsible for picking up messes and disposing of them appropriately. The City of Scottsbluff ordinance notes that it is illegal for the owner or person in control of an animal not to remove and dispose of any feces or defecation deposited by said animal in a park in a sanitary manner. public, street, lane, sidewalk or other public property, or on any private property other than that of the owner of the animal.
Another thing pet owners need to be aware of is the possibility of their pet being declared a pest. A dog, a cat or a mini-pig can be declared harmful when it damages, defiles, defiles or defecates, on a private property other than that of the owner of the animal; damages, defiles, defiles or defecates a public park or other public place, with the exception of a street or an alley; causes unsanitary, dangerous or offensive conditions; or molests, attacks or interferes with people or animals, or chases vehicles, on any public street, driveway or other public place, or on any private property other than that of the owner of the animal.
While it’s all about being a responsible pet owner, most cities (including Scottsbluff and Gering) require pets to be registered and vaccinated against rabies. The license tag and rabies tag must be displayed on the animal’s harness or collar when in a public area.