Leashing Dogs Is Law

Every day, someone suffers catastrophic injuries in a dog attack. Dogs running loose or at large contribute to many severe and sometimes deadly incidents. In California, it is every pet owner’s legal responsibility to obey leash laws in public places. Otherwise, the dog owner could be responsible and held liable for what his or her dog does to another human or animal.

It is illegal to let your dog roam—referred to as running at large in most statutes—in most cities in California. 

In Orange County, according to regulation OCCO 4-1-45, “No person owning or having charge, care, custody, or control of any dog shall cause or permit, either willfully or through failure to exercise due care or control, any such dog to be upon any public property unless such dog be restrained by a substantial chain, or leash not exceeding six (6) feet in length, and is under the charge of a person competent to exercise care, custody, and control over such dog.”

Dogs Can Run Free at Designated Dog Parks 

Those who wish to give their dog an off-leash experience, designated dog parks throughout Orange County lawfully allow the absence of a leash. Laguna Woods’ dog park is located at 23190 Ridge Route Drive and is open from 7 a.m. to 7:15 p.m.; Laguna Beach’s dog park is located at 20672 Laguna Canyon Road and is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Hours may vary by season and on observed holidays. 

Dangers of Retractable Leashes

Retractable/extendable leashes are not your (or your dog’s) friend. There are myriad reasons to use a “flat lead,” a standard 6-foot dog leash typically made of nylon or leather, over a retractable leash, which is dangerous to humans and dogs. 

Retractable leashes, some of which can extend up to 26 feet, allow dogs to get far enough away from their humans to quickly turn a walk into a dangerous situation. A dog on a retractable leash is often able to run into the middle of the street, for example, or make uninvited contact with other dogs or people. It’s much easier to regain control of—or protect—a dog at the end of a 6-foot standard flat leash.

If a dog walker gets tangled up in a retractable leash cord, or grabs it in an attempt to reel in their dog, it can result in burns, cuts or worse. Many people have been pulled right off their feet by a dog that reaches the end of the leash and keeps going, resulting in bruises, “road rash” and broken bones. Dogs have also suffered terrible injuries as a result of the sudden jerk on their neck that occurs when they run out the leash, including neck wounds, lacerated trachea and spine injuries.

Click here to review Orange County pet laws. 

Filing an Anonymous Compliance Violation in the Village

If you witness an off-leash/lead dog in the Village, call Security at 949-580-1400 to make an anonymous report.

For more Village news, click on the tag “What’s Up in the Village” below. 


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