Is There An Actual Leash Law In Grand Junction Colorado?
Grand Junction loves dogs, but not everybody understands exactly what the law says about keeping dogs on a leash.
Grand Junction Loves Dogs
Take an evening drive or walk through just about any Grand Junction neighborhood and you will see many people taking a walk with their dogs. Most of the time, the dogs are leashed - as they should be. Take a walk in a park and you're likely to see most dogs are being restrained. Even without leash laws, common sense would dictate the wisdom of keeping a pet under control and safe from neighborhood traffic.
Seeing leashed dogs on the Riverfront Trail is less common. As someone who uses the trail frequently, I have personally experienced plenty of encounters with unleashed dogs. Fortunately, nothing bad has happened aside from the angst I experience when I run past an unleashed dog. I never know exactly how a dog is going to react.
What Is Grand Junction's Leash Law?
Simply put, when a dog is not on your property, it needs to be on a leash. That's the law. Whether it's walking down the street, through a city park, or on a local trail - dogs in Grand Junction are required to be on a leash.
Here's what the city code says:
No dog owner, or any person who harbors, keeps or is custodian of the dog, shall fail to prevent the dog from being or running at large. Any dog off its owner’s premises shall be under leash control by its owner.
So there is the general ordinance for keeping a dog under control, and then there is a provision that specifically addresses dogs in common and public areas.
No dog owner, or any person who harbors a dog, shall fail to prevent his dog from running at large in the yard of any multiple-occupancy building which is occupied by other persons; or in the common areas of mobile home complexes, apartments, or condominium developments; or in open space areas of subdivisions or parks, unless permission is otherwise granted by the property owner or public authorities allowing dogs to be off leash.
There are exceptions to the law, specifically at Canyon View Park and at select area hiking trails where dogs are allowed to be off-leash. Having dogs unleashed at one of Grand Junction's dog parks is not a violation of the leash law. The general rule of thumb, though, is if you are at a city park the dog needs to be on a leash.
Dogs Allowed At Some Grand Junction Events
The city code address the prohibition of dogs at downtown Grand Junction events leashed or unleashed:
No dog owner, or any person who harbors a dog, shall permit his dog to be at, in or within the permitted area of any special event(s) in downtown Grand Junction...
Obviously, there are exceptions to the rules where dogs are specifically allowed such as the annual Woofstock Festival and other dog-related events. However, even in those instances, the dogs need to be controlled and leashed.
What Is the Penalty For Grand Junction Leash Law Violations?
How strictly the leash law is enforced in Grand Junction may be questioned. There certainly isn't anyone on the Riverfront Trail policing unleashed dogs and making sure dog owners are in compliance. It seems that it is generally hoped for and expected that dog owners will take proper responsibility and abide by the city's leash laws.
The fine for a first offense is up to $50. The fine for a second offense is $100 and then goes up to $250 for a third offense and $500 for any subsequent violations.
There is, in fact, a leash law in Grand Junction - and violation of the law is accompanied by a penalty. We've all seen violations, but how often that leash law is enforced and subsequently penalized is hard to say.
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