What is a leash law?

The leash law is a provision in the code of the City of Liberal that prohibits certain domestic animals from roaming free.  Liberal City Code states that "It shall be unlawful for any person owning, harboring, or having the custody or possession of any dog to cause or allow such animal to run at large within the city.  If any dog is found at large withing the city, the owner shall be presumed to have violated this article. " Chapter 2 of city code also defines " at large" as "To be outside of a fence or other enclosure which restrains the animals to particular premises or not under the control, by leash or lead, of the owner or other authorized person capable of restraining the animal.  Animals tethered to a stationary object within range of pyblic thoroughfares are deemed to be "At Large."

What that means is that all dogs must be confined by either a leash, rope, chain, fenced area, or inside a dwelling 24 hours a day and not allowed to roam free.

Why does the leash law exist?

The leash law is important in order to protect the community health and prevent the pain and suffering that is caused to both animals and humans by free roaming pets.

  • Animals roaming free are more likely to come into contact with known rabies carriers such as skunks and raccoons.  They are also more likely to pick up and spread parasites and other diseases to animals and humans, usually their own owners.
  • Each year, free roaming animals cause millions of dollars in insurance claims, property loss and damage, medical bills, and loss of productivity.  Animal bite injuries, property damage, and car accidents are major problems caused by animals allowed to run at large.
  • Animals allowed to roam contribute to pet overpopulation.  Millions of pets are euthanized each year at animal shelters, humane societies, and ASPCA's in efforts to just keep up with the exploding homeless pet population in our nation.  Free roaming, unaltered dogs breed indiscriminately and add to this already tragic situation.  In addition to contributing to pet overpopulation, packs of dogs pursuing a female in season become more aggressive and will bite more readily.