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The 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey by the American Pet Product Association (APPA) found that 67% of homes, meaning 85 million families in the U.S. have a pet. At the top of the list are dogs. A total of 63.4 million households have them as pets.
Leash laws were implemented in many states, hoping to decrease dog bites and offer more protection to both people and animals.
Atlanta Leash Laws
Leash laws were designed to protect both the public from possible injury and pets as well. Many states have implemented leash laws. Georgia has a unique stance, as it did not pass a statewide leash law, instead individual counties have passed ordinances that specify the conditions for restraining dogs.
In Atlanta, the law requires dogs to always be on a leash when in public. The only exception is dog parks. The good news is that there are many dog parks in Atlanta, so owners have plenty of options for unleashing their pets in a safe environment.
There are a few important aspects to remember about Atlanta leash laws. To begin with, a pet must always be on a leash outside of the private property and off-leash dog parks. If a yard is not enclosed, the animal is required to be leashed, even though it is on private property.
A pet must be walked in public on a leash by a competent person. Before leaving, the owner must secure the leash to the collar or harness and not wrap it around the dog’s neck. The maximum length allowed for dog leashes is 6 feet. If an owner takes their companion animal off the leash in a public place, they can be cited by Atlanta Police.
The only exceptions from the above rule are dogs taking part in or belonging to:
- Law enforcement
- Dog shows
- Tracking work
- Obedience or training trials
Dog Bite Liability
If a dog bites someone, the owner can be held responsible under Georgia law. There are two main ways this can happen:
- The owner did not leash their dog while out in public.
- The owner knew or should have known that the dog is dangerous.
If the owner of a pet deemed dangerous allows the animal to roam free in a public space or have not managed the animal with care, they are held liable for any injury caused by their companion. The breed of the dog is not considered a legally valid factor in determining aggressiveness. A surefire way to establish if a pet is dangerous is through a city ordinance that requires the pet to be on a leash.
Whenever involved in a dog bite incident, it is recommended to contact a personal injury law attorney. A qualified lawyer can guide the client through the specific legislation and set an optimal course of action. Many law firms offer a no-cost consultation during which legal experts can determine if the client has legal recourse for the injury suffered.
Importance of Leash Laws
Injuries caused by unleashed dogs may cause serious physical and emotional pain for the victim. Legal cases for dog bites may take a long time and can be financially draining.
Determining whether or not an animal is aggressive or dangerous and if the owner knew or should have known is not an easy task. Especially since a dog bite precedent is not mandatory to deem a dog dangerous. Leash laws offer a possible way around this issue. The statute assigns liability to the owner if they did not follow the leash law when the incident occurred.
Leash laws are meant to offer protection to all parties involved. This helps decrease the chances of a passerby being bit by a dog since the animal is under the owner’s control. Also, leashed dogs are at a lower risk of getting attacked by other animals or get injured by vehicles. Finally, owners are less exposed to liability for injuries involving their pets.
Dog bite lawyers consider leash laws important because they limit the conditions under which injuries caused by pets occur. Also, this helps simplify legal proceedings related to injuries caused by dog bites. What is more, the pet is more protected, as they are less likely to get hurt by a car or another animal while on a leash. Although it might seem restrictive to the dog’s freedom, leash laws are a preventative measure that brings added protection to all parties involved.
About the Author
Cheryl Roy has built a successful legal career over the years. However, she wanted to reach out to people beyond her practice and decided to do so by writing. Cheryl took it as a personal mission to make legal information more accessible to the public. Therefore, she started sharing her expertise with individuals and businesses facing a legal dilemma. Now she has branched out to many online and offline platforms and works as a collaborative editor for baderscott.com.