City Should Pull In Reigns On Leash Law

One interesting question in the wake of last week’s shooting of a dog by two Jamestown police officers involves the city’s leash law.

The code states, “No dog shall be permitted to be at large or allowed to run at large within the city, except that a dog may be upon the private property or premises of another only with the knowledge, consent and approval of the owner of such premises …”

It would appear a dog doesn’t need to be leashed on private property, though we have seen twice in the past couple of years instances in which dogs, on private property and not leashed, have acted aggressively toward police officers. Those instances made news — we have a pretty good inkling that there are many more instances in which unleashed dogs have terrified walkers or bicyclists.

The owner of the dog involved in last week’s incident was cited for having a dog at-large that attacks, but we wonder if the code shouldn’t be tightened a little bit to further protect the public by making it clear that dogs should be leashed outside, even on private property, unless there is a fence or hedges that keep a dog contained on the dog owner’s property.

Not only would such a change protect the public, but it would lessen the circumstances in which something happens to a beloved family pet.