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Police Seek to Curb Off-Leash Dog Incidents

Police volunteers to give out educational materials on the city off-leash ordinance at city parks and recreation areas.

In an attempt to reduce the number of off-leash dog incidents, the Napa Police Department is taking steps to inform city park users on the dog leash ordinance.

NPD Capt. Jeff Troendly said the new initiative was triggered by a flurry of phone calls and emails from residents reporting various issues with off-leash dogs, he said.

"Dogs must be on leash in all public areas, except in those areas identified by city ordinance," Troendly said Monday.

For a poster summary of the ordinance, click on the attached PDF.

Troendly said police volunteers will start this week providing information on the city's off-leash ordinance to people with dogs using the city recreational areas. The plan is to continue the educational efforts for the new few weeks.

"This information has been developed by the Napa Parks and Recreation Department and identifies the applicable Municipal Code sections as well as contact information for anyone wishing more details," Troendly aid.

"Our goal is to gain compliance from dog owners and to make the use of all recreational areas a positive experience for all," he added. 

"Violations of the applicable Municipal Code section may lead to the person in control of the dog receiving a citation," Troendly  added.

Below is the ordinance related to dogs on leash.

  6.04.170 When dogs to be leashed.

A. Any person owning or possessing a dog must keep the dog on a leash not exceeding six feet in length. The leash must be of sufficient strength to hold the dog, and the leash must be held by a person physically able to control the dog.

B. Exceptions. A dog may be unleashed under any of the following circumstances:

1. When the dog is on enclosed property with the consent of the owner, lessee, or other person with legal control of the property; or

2.  When the dog is assisting a peace officer who is engaged in law enforcement duties; or

3. When the dog is a service animal, guide dog or Seeing-Eye dog used by a visually or mobility-impaired individual; or

4.  When the dog is assisting a duly authorized person in an official search and rescue operation; or

5.  When the dog is participating in law enforcement training as authorized by the Chief of Police; or

6.   When the dog is in a designated off-leash area as designated by the City Council pursuant to resolution authorized by Section 12.36.190(A); or when the dog and the dog owner are in compliance with a park use permit issued by the Community Resources Director for training, exhibition, or competition, and the permit is displayed, on request of any city employee, establishing the dog’s compliance with the permit.

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Justin Tiem February 06, 2013 at 04:42 AM
to "summerlane"...Leash law or not, cat or dog. It's your responsibility to protect your cat. Put it on a leash or keep it in your home. Also to protect me from my allergies to cats, keep them off the street. Don't let laws discourage you from protecting your own cat. Just because you may be within your rights, you should still protect your animal if you care enough.
Logans Runner February 06, 2013 at 09:56 PM
It's best for dogs to be on leash except where there are dog parks set up for dogs without leashes. Dog leash laws should be enforced and the laws for cleaning up after a dog too.
firewater February 06, 2013 at 11:37 PM
Watch out they might put Video Camera's up next..an a $500.00 fine. Napa knows how to make money off us locals..lol
Anita D'Groin February 07, 2013 at 02:25 AM
Personally, I would welcome your "suggestions". It's not like the violators aren't the ones in control of their animals - and it would solve the problem, wouldn't it?
Bill Miller February 07, 2013 at 11:45 PM
I visit Alston Park about 4-5 times a week with my very friendly Labrador. I'd love to see the "On Leash" and "Off Leash" areas more clearly marked along the trails in several spots. On the flip side, it really pisses me off when a dog is aggressive and leashed in the "Off Leash" area. Dogs love to socialize and it is important for them to greet each other, sniff and be on their way. However, if your dog is aggressive, don't bring them to an area where dogs are running around off leash Keep them in the "On Leash" area. There are plenty of trails with "On Leash". Thankfully, my dog stays away from those types of aggressive dogs - the dog and owner must give off a bad vibe. Thanks!

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