Leash / Animal Restraint Law

Section V 

Restraint of Non-Vicious Animals

  1. This information is taken from Rowan County’s local ordinances. Section 5-36. Restraint of Non-Vicious Animals
    View Full Text of Rowan Animal Control Ordinances 

    (a) Sufficient restraint shall include, but is not be limited to, restraint by a leash, harness, or similar effective or humane device that is capable of restraining an animal, or confinement indoors or within a cage, fence, or vehicle or similar secure enclosure. Being loose in the back of an open truck does not constitute being restrained. Sufficient restraint shall also include immediate supervision of an animal by a competent person when both are in the limits of the real property of the animal’s owner or keeper.

    (b) It shall be unlawful for any person to keep any animal unless it is restrained, whether on or off the owner or keeper’s property.

    (c) Preferable containment of a dog is by keeping it indoors or confined within a fence or a kennel with the required dimensions of 10 feet by 10 feet per dog. If kept on an outside restraint, all restraints must be designed and placed so as to prevent choking or strangulation, and be of such design as to restrain the animal during its utmost physical attempts to free itself.

    Dogs over six months old may be tethered to a restraint system outdoors. A restraint system can be an overhead pulley trolley system, a retractable cable system, or a swivel cable anchored into the ground. All of these must allow the dog a minimum of 10 feet of travel perpendicular to the anchor point. For a pulley system, the stationary cable that the pulley runs on must be at least 10 feet in length and anchored on each end to a stationary object. The line attached to the pulley must allow the dog to move perpendicularly at least 10 feet from the stationary cable. The restraint line must be attached to the dog with a buckle type collar or body harness and the line can weigh no more than 10 percent of the animal’s body weight. A swivel to prevent entanglement should be on at least one end of the restraint line attached to the animal. Each animal should have access to shade and adequate shelter as defined in ordinance Section 5-35.

    Sporting and working dogs are exempt from these specific restraint requirements.

    (d) Nothing contained in these rules is intended to be in conflict with the laws of the state regarding dogs while being used in hunting. Nor are these rules intended to interfere with legal sporting events or exhibitions involving dogs, cats, or other animals. However, while engaged in such activities, the owner or keeper of such animals shall be strictly liable for damages done by those animals to the person, possessions or property of others.

    (e) All female dogs and cats in heat (estrus) must be confined. The owner or keeper of any female dog or cat in heat must confine the animal in a building or enclosure in such manner that it will not be in contact with another dog or cat. Restraining the animal in an open area with a chain or leash to a fixed object does not constitute confinement, and is a violation of these rules. This section shall not be construed to prohibit the intentional breeding of animals within an enclosed area on the premises of the owner or keeper of an animal involved in the breeding process.

    (f) An owner or keeper of any animal shall be held strictly liable for any damages done by the animal while on or off the owner’s or keeper’s real property.

    (g) Animals may not remain on uninhabited property such as a vacant lot or a lot without an occupied domicile.

    (h) Penalty.

    Fee for failure to restrain non-vicious animals, subsection (b): $25.

    Fee for failure to properly confine females in heat, subsection (e): $50.

    (Ordinance of 6-7-95, § V; Ordinance of 11-6-00, § V; Amendment of 10-3-16)

    Failure to Comply

    If you are found in violation of the Leash Law you can be issued citations and/or further action may result. Penalty

    • $25 Failure to restrain non-vicious animals (Section V.2)
    • $50 Failure to properly confine females in heat (Section V.5)