The reason for a leash law

As a dog owner, it is a matter of faith that our trusted companion would not hurt a fly.

As a resident of Maui County, that matter of faith takes second place to a county ordinance, commonly referred to as a “leash law.”

Under Title 6, Chapter 6.04.040 Animal Regulations — General is the following:

“A. An owner of a dog shall keep the dog under restraint, except the following:

1. A dog being used by law enforcement agencies for law enforcement purposes;

2. A dog used during hunting; accompanied by its owner, and used with the consent of the owner of the real property upon which the hunting occurs;

3. A dog used during organized competitions, or during training for such competitions, accompanied by its owner, and used with the consent of the owner of the real property upon which the dog is used;

4. A dog being monitored by its owner or handler within the confines of an authorized dog park;

5. Dog(s) actively engaged in farming, agricultural activities, or ranching;

6. Service dog(s) where being under restraint interferes with the service dog(s) work or the individual’s disability prevents them from placing the service dog under restraint.”

Pretty specific. The dog will be kept under restraint unless one of the instances specifically mentioned in the ordinance exists. Period.

It is interesting to hear some pet defenders claim that it is irrational to fear dogs — that the animals can sense this fear and act on it. Well, irrational or not, there are a bunch of dogs we fear and we’d just as soon not have a bunch of unleashed dogs running around.

Even if our pet is not with us, we’d rather not have to sort out which unleashed dogs we are right to fear.

The “leash law” is designed to protect everybody. Nobody is being singled out by its application.

Most of us feel a lot safer knowing that an unfamiliar dog is under its owner’s control.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.


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