Sunday, February 25, 2024

Letting your dog off-leash could result in hundreds of dollars in fines

DENVER (KDVR) – Leash laws in Denver are pretty simple. It is illegal for dogs to be off-leash, unless they are in a designated off-leash enclosure.

Dogs cannot run “free”. If found loose, the owner will either be fined or the dog will be impounded.

While your pups may look cute prancing around the park, keeping your dog off-leash is not only illegal, but there’s also a costly fine.

Denver Leash Law

The second. 8-16. – the leash law reads:

(a) It shall be unlawful for any owner or guardian of a dog to fail to prevent it from running at large.

(b) It is the duty of the chief of police, all other police officers and all animal protection officers, to ensure that a dog found at large is captured and impounded at the animal shelter. animals of Denver, and such dog may be so recaptured without the necessity of filing a complaint and shall be impounded and disposed of in accordance with the provisions of Article VII of this chapter.

(c) Paragraph (a) of this section does not apply if the dog is in a designated off-leash enclosure and is supervised by an owner or guardian who is at least eighteen (18) years of age.

(d) The Executive Director may, with the agreement and consent of the Executive Director of the agency responsible for controlling the subject property, designate specific areas for off-leash dog enclosures. The executive director shall, in accordance with Article VI of Chapter 2 of this Code, propose to the commission rules and regulations for the construction and use of off-leash dog enclosures.

Ordinance number 672-18, § 1, 7-16-18

But it’s not the Denver police who give out the tickets.

Law enforcement on a leash

Park Ranger Director Jodie Marozas said park rangers and animal control are the two main agencies responsible for enforcing off-leash dog laws. Usually, park rangers enforce the leash law if the dog and its owner are on Denver park property.

Between the two agencies, there are two ways to monitor off-leash dogs.

First, they patrol areas that specifically have a large number of park users with off-leash dogs. They also operate on a complaint-driven system, Marozas said. This means they respond to complaints and inquiries reporting off-leash dogs.

From there, the two agencies distribute the tickets, which are not cheap.

Penalties for off-leash dogs

Marozas said tickets range from $100 for a first offense and up to $999 for multiple offenses. Although tickets can be costly, they are only administrative and not criminal, Marozas said.

But the consequences can be even greater for off-leash dogs.

In Denver, owners are also responsible for the actions of their dogs, according to Denver Animal Protection.

“A court may determine that leaving a dog off-leash is reckless. So if something goes wrong, an owner could find themselves in legal hot water due to a bite, property damage, etc. said Denver Animal Protection.

It’s safest to keep your dog on a leash, and if your four-legged baby needs space to play, take him to an area dog park that allows off-leash dogs.

Note: The content and images used in this article is rewritten and sourced from



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