Wednesday, April 13, 2011

In Portland, off-leash dogs are illegal

Liam is on a leash as he should be in Multnomah County
OK, folks. It's time to get tough. I have talked about this on the blog before, but some people still seem to need a reminder.

In Multnomah County, dogs must be on a leash while in public areas. This means they must be on leashes while they're in parks, at stores, at the local dog-friendly bar ... and they must be on leashes while they jog alongside you in the morning. If you don't believe me, please visit this link to the Portland Parks and Recreation website. If you flout the law, you can be fined up to $150 per infraction.

Once again this morning, Liam and I were forced to deal with an oblivious dog owner jogging along with an off-leash dog. This dog ran up to other dogs on leashes, wandered up on porches, urinated and defecated on the front lawns of several houses and darted into the street. At the end of our walk, he bounded behind us, hackles raised, and I had to fend him off until his owner rounded the corner.

Normally, I dislike hollering at my neighbors when this sort of thing happens. People tend to have routines, and the people you yell at today, you're likely to see again tomorrow. In addition, this is a terrible way to start the day. However, today I did yell, "You should be using a leash!" I feel pretty good about it.

Dogs who aren't on leashes can run into traffic and get hit by cars. They can bound up to leash-aggressive dogs and get into serious altercations. They can startle pedestrians who may react with fear and violence. It doesn't matter how good your dog is. It's against the law.

Let's start reminding one another about this. Let's have confrontations. Let's get this solved together.