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Ask HPD: Dogs on a Leash, Pets in Cars

Question: When do dogs have to be on a leash? Can I bring them to the park and let them roam freely?

Answer: The law requires anyone handling a dog on a public street, school grounds, or other public places to have the dog on a leash. This also applies if you are on private property without the owner's consent. The leash must not be longer than eight feet, with some exceptions, such as service dogs and police dogs. It's a $50 fine for the first offense and up to a $1,000 fine or 30 days in jail for subsequent offenses. While dogs are not allowed in most public parks, there are some public parks where dogs on leashes are allowed, and some parks where dogs may be off-leash. Check the posted signs at a park to see if dogs are allowed.

Question: What are the consequences for leaving a pet in an unattended car? What can witnesses do to help the animal?

Answer: Every situation is different. If you are concerned about an unattended pet in a vehicle, you can call 911 and the responding officer will make an assessment. It's against state law for an animal to be carried in a vehicle in a cruel or inhumane manner. This can be considered Cruelty to Animals. Violators can be subject to arrest.

Question: Do dogs need to be buckled up in a car that’s moving?

Answer: Yes, dogs need to be properly restrained while in a moving vehicle. An animal not restrained can get hurt, killed, or cause an accident when it’s loose in a moving vehicle. A driver can be cited $97 for driving with a dog on their lap or $57 if the animal is loose in a moving vehicle. Let’s play it safe. Remember to always keep your animals secure. Put them in a cage or tethered while the vehicle is in motion.

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Ask HPD will also air on the KHON2 News morning show, Wake Up 2Day.