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McKichan: ‘Keep your dogs on a leash’

Austin Police Chief David McKichan is reminding Austin residents that dogs are required to be on a leash while on walks after an increase in complaints of dogs not being on leashes.

“Austin does have ordinances to ensure that animals are kept in ways that are humane and limit impacts on neighbors who choose not to have animals,” he said. “One of the requirements under ordinance is that dogs not run at large and that they be kept on a leash when on walks.”

The APD community service officers are responsible for animal control within the City of Austin. McKichan said the APD handles approximately 1,100 to 1,200 animal calls per year with several hundred involving loose animals.

“We want all to enjoy our outdoors, sidewalks, and trails,” he said. “Not all young children will be excited to see a dog running up to them, even though it may mean no harm. Those with other dogs, who are leashed, are also generally not fond of strange dogs running up to their animals off leash. Sometimes those encounters do not remain friendly for the animals involved. Animals that do attack or display that they may attack, either people or other dogs, can be deemed potentially dangerous or dangerous depending on the circumstances. If you are looking for a place to exercise your dog off leash, please use the city’s dog park located on the east side of South Main Street.”

“We do think most owners are being responsible when it comes to this issue and want to be respectful to the others using our local recreational resources,” he added.

McKichan also suggested that residents ensure they can adequately secure their dogs.

“Summer is also a great time to inspect and repair your fencing and kennels to ensure that they are adequate to secure your animals,” he said. “Many of the incidents involving dogs that will get declared dangerous in some manner start with poor fencing or confinement measures.”

The pet ordinance can be read at www.ci.austin.mn.us/faq-items/did-you-know-that-austin-has-a-dog-park-a-pet-ordinance.

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