Unenforceable Leash Law???
Last comment by SCT1969 6 years, 2 months ago.

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A couple of weeks ago, my husband and our dogs were on their daily evening walk around our neighborhood when suddenly 2 small dogs, off leash, ran out from a front yard and went after our leashed dogs. My husband was able to get the dogs away from ours and the lady who owns the dogs gathered them up and went into her house. About a week later while walking past the same house, but on the other side of the street, the same 2 dogs came running out of their yard, crossed the street, and again came after our dogs. My husband yelled at the woman, who was unloading something from her car in the driveway, to get her dogs and after a few moment's scuffle, the dogs were again separated and the woman took her dogs in.

Now knowing that the first event was not an isolated incident, we called Animal Care and Control and reported it. By this time, it was after hours but the lady on the phone was very nice and said that they would send someone out to talk to the people.

THE VERY NEXT EVENING, while on their walk as they approached the house with the 2 little dogs, my husband could see a man standing in the front yard but didn't see the dogs so they continued up the sidewalk passing the house. Just as they were walking by, the 2 little dogs jumped through the bushes that separate their front yard from the sidewalk and they AGAIN attacked our dogs! This time, however, one of our dogs was able to grab one of the little dogs by the neck and had it pinned in the street gutter. The little dog that was pinned down was screaming and our dog wasn't letting go. Meanwhile, the other little dog and our other dog were going crazy, my husband was now just trying to pull our dogs away and yelling at the man to help and yelling at our dog to let go of the other dog. When our dog suddenly released (and by the way, he didn't hurt it...he only held it down) the momentum of my husband pulling and our dog releasing, sent my husband with both of our leashed dogs, flying into the street! My husband was able to land on his hands and when he got up, he saw injuries on our dogs and he saw his (now broken)telephone laying in the street. The man had retreated with his dogs into his house without saying a word.

My husband immediately came home, visibly shaken, telling me to get peroxide and cotton. While cleaning up our dog's wounds (missing fur and skin...road rash) he's telling me what happened. His hands were beet red from his fall in the street. I was furious...having had reported these people just the night before, so I immediately picked up the phone and called the non-emergency number of the Sheriff's Department. The deputy I spoke with told me to call Animal Control. When I explained that I had the night before for the SAME DOGS, she again told me that I had to call Animal Control and that there wasn't anything the Sheriff's Department could do. When I brought up the leash law, she informed me that they couldn't enforce it unless they had witness it. I then called Animal Control and made a second report.

The next morning, still very upset about what had happened the prior evening, I e-mailed the Sheriff's Department, outlining the events and explaining my frustration. I received a very nice e-mail response from a Sergeant wherein he explained that the Deputy I had spoken to was correct. His note reads in part, "even those criminal in nature are generally handled by the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control unless there is an immediate threat to public safety, gross criminal negligence or severe injury necessitating that the Sheriff’s Department assume or assist in the investigation." His note also said that he would forward my e-mail to him, as well as his response to me, to the 'higher-ups' (he gave me their names and titles) at the Castaic Shelter and that I should follow up with them.

Within an hour, I received a call from one of the people, whose name he had given me, at Castaic. Although Animal Control had not done anything with regard to my first complaint, she assured me that an Officer had gone out to the address I provided earlier that morning. She also said that they would be following up.

This morning, I got another call from the lady at Castaic Animal Control and she wanted to let me know that they had followed up and that had cited the owner's of the little dogs for not having a dog license and not having proof of rabies vaccinations. She again told me that they could not cite them for being off leash because no Animal Control officer had witnessed it.

While I'm glad to know some action was taken, I'm still bothered by the fact that these people are allowed to be totally irresponsible and the only result will be that they have to license and vaccinate their dogs which is what ALL responsible pet owners do. They can break the leash law, not once, not twice, but THREE times and totally get away with it. I mean, the third incident even caused minor injuries and property damage! This whole experience has still got me shaking my head. Something is really wrong when a law, any law cannot be enforced unless it's witnessed by an Officer. Something needs to be changed...but how???

Latest Activity: Nov 08, 2011 at 1:29 PM

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SCT1969 commented on Tuesday, Nov 08, 2011 at 16:29 PM

Sorry, just catching up with the blogs!

Unfortunately many laws specific to canines are to protect people from the actual dogs...when they should be to protect us from the substandard owners!

As a responsible guardian for 3 bully breed type dogs, my husband and I must be extrememly vigilant while walking ours. Many owners let their dogs out in the front yard with no leash, or have fences barely able to contain the barking dog(s)...it gets scary.

Stricter laws would be great, however, they still won't have the resources to enforce them. Not sure what else could be done. :(

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