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Ennis Daily News

Dogs unleashed: It really is against the law

Ennis leash laws apply throughout the city, say animal control officials
It’s common courtesy to keep a dog on a leash when walking within the city, but it’s also the law.
Within the city of Ennis, those walking dogs without a leash are not only causing a potentially dangerous situation for themselves and their pet but for the public as well.
Local dog trainer Haley Pruitt explained the importance of having a dog on a leash when in public.
“The leash is really an important part of safety for the dog and for the owner,” she said. “When you and the dog are out in public you meet all kinds of people and you have no guarantee how the dog will react. Having the dog on a leash just makes the most sense for the issue of safety and also the issue of respect. Just because you love your dog doesn’t mean that everyone else will and you need to be respectful of that and those that do not want to have an encounter with your pet.”
Pruitt recommends that before owners take their pets out on a busy street they test their behavior in a less populated area.
“Dogs are an important member of the family and it will be easier on them and their owners if they behave well while on their leash,” she said. “The only way to make sure that will happen is so get them used to it and ease them into busier outings.”
Not having your dog on a leash and allowing them to wander in public, even if you are following close behind them, is cause for a citation for violating the leash law, according to Ennis Animal Control Officer Patrick Bonn.
“Dogs are supposed to be on their leash when being walked anywhere but in the owner’s yard,” he said.
“It is for everyone’s protection and it reduces damage that can be done to other people’s yards if they get loose and tear things up.”
A woman living in the vicinity of Lions Park but who wished not to be identified, shared with the Ennis Daily News her frustration with a family of pet owners who allowed their large dog to walk without a leash ahead of them on their evening walks.
“This huge dog they let roam the streets while they chit-chatted and laughed, not noticing that the dog trampled my flower bed and relieved himself on my front lawn,” she said.
“I was shocked and am still upset.”
For first time offenders, a warning is usually given but from there a citation is issued and a fine could cost anywhere from $60-120.
“When we issue the citation we can assess a fine but it can be higher if the matter goes before the municipal judge,” Bonn said.
Repeat offenders face even more stringent fines but Bonn said most people do the right thing and check their behavior.
“We don’t really have many repeat offenders because most people are responsible and do what they should,” he said.
“A lot of our time is actually used to catch stray dogs and make sure neighborhoods in the city are safe.”
For more information regarding the leash laws or to report a stray dog, contact the Ennis Animal Control Office at 972-875-1234.

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Posted by on Jul 29 2008. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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