On a typical day, it is rare to see dogs running down the street unsupervised and at large. While we do encounter a stray or come across our neighbor’s dog that escaped a fenced yard every once in a while, we normally walk freely down the street with few encounters with unleashed dogs. This is largely due to the laws most states, including Louisiana, have in place that prohibit dogs from being out in public without restraint.
Louisiana Leash Laws Protect You and Your Property
Louisiana Leash Law
The State of Louisiana has very specific laws for the protection of its citizens. It is expected that dogs and cats, as well as other domestic animals, will be restrained in some way. Specifically for dogs, the Louisiana law states, “No person shall suffer or permit any dog in his possession, or kept by him about his premises, to run at large on any unenclosed land, or trespass upon any enclosed or unenclosed lands of another.” This means that an owner of a dog cannot at any time, legally allow his or her dog to run freely across your property.
Individual cities require further standards and define what is needed for owners to maintain dogs in their possession. Baton Rouge’s Code of Ordinances defines an “at-large” animal to be any dog that is not on the owner’s property or on a leash less than six feet long.. Other cities and parishes require different criteria for the restraint of animals. Be sure to check your parish’s laws.
What Happens if a Dog is at Large
While there are laws put in place that help prevent dog owners from allowing their pets to run freely, it frequently occurs. When dogs escape their owner’s notice, you may encounter a difficult and sometimes dangerous situation, with an unrestrained dog. Louisiana’s State Legislature has put statutes into place that protect you. One such statute states that any citizen or officer may seize a dog that is trespassing on a public or private property when not accompanied by its owner. Citizens and officers may also protect themselves from vicious dogs under this statute without the risk of being liable for damages done to the animal. These statutes protect you and your right to defend yourself and your property from dogs at large.
Baton Rouge Parish has enacted ordinances to protect citizens and their property from dogs that are roaming unsupervised. One ordinance states that the owner of any dog roaming at large is responsible for actions and damages caused by the animal. The damages and actions could include threatening, biting, or attacking citizens or other animals on the public or private property. We can help locate ordinances in your city or town.
Knowing the leash laws in Louisiana and your parish will help you better understand your rights when it comes to dogs roaming your neighborhoods. Call Scott T. Gegenheimer when you are unsure of your rights or what you are entitled to when a dog attacks you, your pet, or trespasses on your property.
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