The Leash Law in Manatee County, Florida

Tue, Oct 4, 2011

General Legal Issues

Manatee County's Leash Law
Manatee County, like many Florida counties, requires that dogs and cats not be allowed to roam at-large. The only exception to this is with permission on private property. Let us examine this a little more.

The complete leash law can be found here.

The specific ordinance is found in Sec 2-4-11 (Dogs and cats at large; direct control; exceptions). This applies to all areas of Bradenton and includes areas like Holmes Beach, Anna Maria, and most of Lakewood Ranch.

Public property

The ordinance states that dogs and cats cannot be at large, basically roaming free without a leash and without being under the control of the owner, on public property (which includes streets and sidewalks.)

Private property

A private property owner can give permission for animals to run free on their property. If a dog or cat is caught running free on private property without the owner’s permission, the property owner is allowed to humanely capture the animal and turn it over to an animal organization or animal authorities. Once the animal has been captured, it is the duty of the property owner to responsibly care for the animal until it is properly turned over.

Chaining of animals

The ordinance also addresses chaining or tethering of animals as a way of preventing animals from being at large. This type of animal restraint must be done humanely–it must not injure the animal. It also must be done in a way that denies the animal access to anyone else’s property, including streets and sidewalks.

Sterilization of animals

This ordinance briefly discusses sterilization of cats. In order for your cat to run free, it must be sterilized. Otherwise, it cannot have free reign of your property without being under your direct control.

Police and work dogs

Some noted exceptions to the direct control requirement for dogs include police dogs, ranch and farm dogs, and hunting dogs. Dogs working with farm animals may run free, but only in specified green belt areas. Dogs being trained for hunting (or who are in the process of hunting) may be at large only during hunting in approved areas.

The leash laws of Manatee County, Florida require a dog or cat to be under the direct control of the owner most of the time. We hope that this article helps you understand the exceptions to this county ordinance.

SmithLaw previously wrote a post on dogs at restaurants. Check out this link to learn about those ordinances.

Photo by donjd2 (Flickr/Creative Commons)

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