If you go for a run and you encounter an off-leash dog, it can be very frustrating. At best, you may feel nervous and scared as you have to dodge this animal that you don’t know anything about. At worst, it will attack and you could suffer injuries.
You may find yourself wondering if it’s illegal for someone to leave their dog outside and off a leash, where they could harm someone else.
The laws are set by the local codes
Dog leash laws are set by each municipality and different cities have different codes. Generally, dogs are supposed to be controlled. This is done to prevent injury.
In Opelika, for instance, the local code states that dogs are typically supposed to be on a leash unless they are at a designated off-leash dog park or a similar recreational area. Dogs can also be off-leash when on the owner’s property.
That being said, the use of a designated off-leash dog park does not mean that the owner is not liable if their dog injured someone else at the park or even injured someone else’s dog. All owners are still responsible, so those who bring their dogs to the park need to know that they are able to safely interact with others.
What are your rights?
Regardless of the law regarding lease usage in your area, if a dog does attack you and injures you, you may have a right to financial compensation. Even when dog owners are technically following the law, they’re still responsible for what their animals do and the harm they may cause. Make sure you know your rights and your legal options.