Pets

Off leash dogs in parks

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 7th, 2022 9:59 am
[OP]
Newbie
Feb 6, 2015
5 posts
1 upvote
Mississauga, ON

Off leash dogs in parks

Hello,
I have very severe allergies to dogs and I don’t understand why people come to parks and running tracks that are NOT off- leash and let their dogs run around. It’s not safe and people don’t appreciate your dog running up to someone and attacking them. Please be a responsible pet owner and take your dogs to off leash parks or keep them on a leash. Thanks
31 replies
Deal Addict
Nov 7, 2013
1312 posts
1331 upvotes
Ottawa
I absolutely love dogs and have owned them but can't agree more. I agree asshats that think they and their dog are special and rules don't apply to them. Had my son knocked down by a dog when he was young from this practice and he was scared of them for years. Way more unnerving when it happens at school fields and they don't pick up after them on top of them running into kids. Grr
Deal Addict
Nov 7, 2013
1312 posts
1331 upvotes
Ottawa
jintau wrote: Get some dog spray?
Nah. Not the dogs fault. Rather get people spray. Thinking FaceFace With Stuck-out Tongue And Winking Eye
Newbie
May 16, 2012
35 posts
10 upvotes
Toronto
There's $365 fine for having dog off-leash in such public parks.
Call 311 and report, take pictures and video clip as evidence because 311 folks may ask for evidence as they asked me when I reported some other issue (which was not dog related).


For non-urgent cases, there is an online reporting system ➡ click "Report a dog off leash in a City park":
https://www.toronto.ca/home/311-toronto ... s-animals/




Quotes from source: https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/ ... off-leash/
The City requires dogs to be on a leash at all times while in a park or beach. Dog owners are only permitted to have their dogs off-leash in designated dogs off-leash areas


To report a dog off-leash, contact 311.


A fine of up to $365 can be issued for allowing a dog to run off-leash except in a designated dogs off-leash area.



Quotes from source: https://www.toronto.ca/community-people ... what-to-do
Your dog must be kept on a leash no more than two metres long. You must be holding on to the leash; leashing your dog to a pole or bike rack is not allowed. You can be fined $365 if your dog is off-leash.


If a dog attacks or menaces you, but does not break the skin
It is not necessary to contact Toronto Public Health.
However, the dog may still have committed a dangerous act. Call 311 and provide:
  • a clear description of dog (if possible)
  • dog owner’s name and address
  • date, time and location where the incident occurred
  • witness information, if possible.
This reminds me once I told two guys to put their "at large" dog on leash, and one of them said it did have a leash. But all it had was strap around neck and leash wasn't attached to the strap. The link above makes that clear too.

At another time, I had to yell at the owner to put his dog on leash and he was quick to do that. Although he made an all too familiar "my dog doesn't bite" statement. :)




Fine for "a dangerous act" is also $365

Dangerous Act Scale Level 0 = Dog growls, snarls, lunges, but no teeth touch skin
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Level 6 = death of victim (human or another animal).
If you have been bitten or attacked by a dog, report the bite or attack to Toronto Public Health (call 416-338-7600) and Toronto Animal Services (call 311) as soon as possible. If you are transported to the hospital, report the bite or attack to Toronto Public Health and Toronto Animal Services as soon as possible after treatment is complete.



If in a non-municipal (aka unorganized) area, you see dog threatens, lunges or charges towards you or your family/kids then:
Source: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/900732
(3) Where any person finds a dog running at large contrary to this Regulation and the dog is in the act of attacking or threatening to attack a human being, he or she may kill the dog.

(4) No damage or compensation shall be recovered for the killing of a dog under this section. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 732, s. 5.


I once saw a wolf-looking-dog (or may be it was a wolf?) with a leash that was about 20 feet long and it stared at my toddler with it's ear pricked and tail erect. For such a long leash scenario:

Leash not more than 2 meters, and leash is a must be put on even on sidewalk etc (by-law 349-12.1)
Source: https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/municode/1184_349.pdf
No person shall keep a dog off the premises of the owner other than on a leash which shall not exceed two metres in length, except in designated areas of a City park as permitted by Chapter 608, Parks


No owner of a dog shall cause or permit the dog to be at large in the City, including, but not limited to, upon or in any lands or grounds owned or operated by the City, such as sidewalks, curbs, boulevards, walkways or other public places owned by the City, except where expressly permitted by City by-law.
https://www.newmarket.ca/TownGovernment ... ontrol.pdf
No owner shall permit a dog to be off-leash on any Town park or any other property owned by the Town


Fines are:
https://www.toronto.ca/community-people ... ssistance/
Image
Last edited by manipani on Oct 10th, 2021 11:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Sep 18, 2004
869 posts
345 upvotes
Does Richmond Hill have similar laws? Who can I report in Richmond Hill if I see dogs running off leash
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
12928 posts
9802 upvotes
Edmonton
Airbum88 wrote: Does Richmond Hill have similar laws? Who can I report in Richmond Hill if I see dogs running off leash
You would probably start with Animal Control or Bylaws, depending on what's available in your town.

C
Deal Addict
Sep 14, 2012
1140 posts
1523 upvotes
Toronto
o2siddiq wrote: Hello,
I have very severe allergies to dogs and I don’t understand why people come to parks and running tracks that are NOT off- leash and let their dogs run around. It’s not safe and people don’t appreciate your dog running up to someone and attacking them. Please be a responsible pet owner and take your dogs to off leash parks or keep them on a leash. Thanks
They do it because they are selfish jerks.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 2, 2018
1330 posts
1314 upvotes
Toronto
Cities need to put many more off leash dog parks in, we have been wanting one in my neighborhood and has been 5 years and still not getting anywhere on it.

I have a tiny Haveneese and take her to an off leash 12km away so she can socialize with other small breed dogs, they have a section for large dogs as well. In our neighborhood always on leash, small breeds only take a 20 minute walk and she gets tired and wants home.
Youth is the gift of nature, age is a work of art.
Deal Addict
Apr 25, 2011
1408 posts
1090 upvotes
British Columbia
Ballroomblitz1 wrote: small breeds only take a 20 minute walk and she gets tired and wants home.
Try not to generalize, the size of a dog does not equate to its exercise needs. My under 20 lb dog could run for hours and hours a day. Fetching is her life. If she doesn't get to run for at least close to an hour, chaos can ensue at home.

Just to throw out there, off leash parks are a free-for-all danger zone for many dogs. A lot of people see it as a place to bring their out of control poorly mannered dogs to exercise, the dogs have zero recall abilities.

One of mine is afraid of big dogs, the other wants nothing to do but to be left alone and play fetch... Can't really play fetch when five other dogs are trying to get the ball from her.
Deal Addict
Jun 20, 2010
2120 posts
1554 upvotes
Karala wrote: Try not to generalize, the size of a dog does not equate to its exercise needs. My under 20 lb dog could run for hours and hours a day. Fetching is her life. If she doesn't get to run for at least close to an hour, chaos can ensue at home.

Just to throw out there, off leash parks are a free-for-all danger zone for many dogs. A lot of people see it as a place to bring their out of control poorly mannered dogs to exercise, the dogs have zero recall abilities.

One of mine is afraid of big dogs, the other wants nothing to do but to be left alone and play fetch... Can't really play fetch when five other dogs are trying to get the ball from her.
Still doesn't justify letting dogs run free wherever. Be a responsible owner. Either take take the dogs to off leash during off hours, have a fenced yard or give up the dog if their needs can't be provided for.

My shiba gets freaked when she's on her leash and feels threatened. She will attack and I always carry protection to defend her.
Deal Addict
Apr 25, 2011
1408 posts
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British Columbia
eclone wrote: Still doesn't justify letting dogs run free wherever. Be a responsible owner. Either take take the dogs to off leash during off hours, have a fenced yard or give up the dog if their needs can't be provided for.
A fenced yard? Truly not going to cut it, why people think a yard is the answer when you have a high energy dog is completely beyond me... Oh, and I do have a fenced yard, but I doubt everyone have a million or more to spend on real estate.

Moving on from that, most dog parks are quite small and I certainly don't have time to visit them daily "off hours" (which is probably the perfect time to run into super ill-mannered dogs)... What I do, is walk to one of numerous parks in the neighborhood and have my dogs off leash. There is usually literally no one else at the parks no matter the time of day. If someone walks by, I make sure I'm out of the way. My dogs want nothing to do with other people or dogs, leave them alone and they'll leave you alone. Walk up to them, and one of them will actually run away from you... so good luck getting near her.

But I'm sure you've never jaywalked on an empty street or anything like that.
Deal Addict
Jun 20, 2010
2120 posts
1554 upvotes
Karala wrote: A fenced yard? Truly not going to cut it, why people think a yard is the answer when you have a high energy dog is completely beyond me... Oh, and I do have a fenced yard, but I doubt everyone have a million or more to spend on real estate.

Moving on from that, most dog parks are quite small and I certainly don't have time to visit them daily "off hours" (which is probably the perfect time to run into super ill-mannered dogs)... What I do, is walk to one of numerous parks in the neighborhood and have my dogs off leash. There is usually literally no one else at the parks no matter the time of day. If someone walks by, I make sure I'm out of the way. My dogs want nothing to do with other people or dogs, leave them alone and they'll leave you alone. Walk up to them, and one of them will actually run away from you... so good luck getting near her.

But I'm sure you've never jaywalked on an empty street or anything like that.
Yeah, the options I provided are the answers. I have a "high energy" dog too and waited until I owned a fenced yard before I got her and it does just fine. Your dogs are not special and not an exception to the rule - point of the thread. Some people are afraid of dogs or in OPs case, allergic and shouldn't have to be afraid or wary because you can't leash yours. They don't know you, they don't know your dogs, dogs can be unpredictable and the world isn't your dog park.

Im not sure what your argument of jaywalk has to do with this. Maybe terrorists should use this excuse..well, dog owners are free to terrorize so I should be able too! Pretty ridiculous right?
Deal Addict
Nov 17, 2004
3049 posts
1278 upvotes
manipani wrote: There's $365 fine for having dog off-leash in such public parks.
Call 311 and report, take pictures and video clip as evidence because 311 folks may ask for evidence as they asked me when I reported some other issue (which was not dog related).


For non-urgent cases, there is an online reporting system ➡ click "Report a dog off leash in a City park":
https://www.toronto.ca/home/311-toronto ... s-animals/




Quotes from source: https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/ ... off-leash/





Quotes from source: https://www.toronto.ca/community-people ... what-to-do

This reminds me once I told two guys to put their "at large" dog on leash, and one of them said it did have a leash. But all it had was strap around neck and leash wasn't attached to the strap. The link above makes that clear too.

At another time, I had to yell at the owner to put his dog on leash and he was quick to do that. Although he made an all too familiar "my dog doesn't bite" statement. :)




Fine for "a dangerous act" is also $365

Dangerous Act Scale Level 0 = Dog growls, snarls, lunges, but no teeth touch skin
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Level 6 = death of victim (human or another animal).






If you see dog threatens, lunges or charges towards you or your family/kids then:
Source: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/900732





I once saw a wolf-looking-dog (or may be it was a wolf?) with a leash that was about 20 feet long and it stared at my toddler with it's ear pricked and tail erect. For such a long leash scenario:

Leash not more than 2 meters, and leash is a must be put on even on sidewalk etc (by-law 349-12.1)
Source: https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/municode/1184_349.pdf


https://www.newmarket.ca/TownGovernment ... ontrol.pdf




Fines are:
https://www.toronto.ca/community-people ... ssistance/
Image
Thank you for that info. Personally I’m not afraid of dogs and not too afraid of getting attacked. But more than once, I’ve had my kids with me and had dogs off off leash charge at them and bark at them where I had to step between them and the dogs.

If they actually attacked, I wouldn’t hesitate to do whatever it takes to protect my kids, but it’s good to know that the bylaws also protect people for defending themselves against dogs. My assumption is that if I had to defend myself or my kids against a dog, that I’d be killing it since the assumption is that it wouldn’t just choose to stop.
Deal Addict
Apr 25, 2011
1408 posts
1090 upvotes
British Columbia
eclone wrote: Im not sure what your argument of jaywalk has to do with this.
It's another arbitrary law that has no bearing on someone using common sense.

As I said, no one is in the parks I go to besides maybe other dog walkers. Similarly, if no one on is on the street what does it matter if you jaywalk?

But I'm done be here. I just threw out my 2 cents. I am totally against uncontrolled dogs at parks in general, at designated off leash locations or otherwise, especially if there's a lot of people around. If I see people around I respectfully tell my dogs to heel, most people smile and tell me how well behaved they are... It's called training.
Deal Addict
Jun 20, 2010
2120 posts
1554 upvotes
Karala wrote: It's another arbitrary law that has no bearing on someone using common sense.

As I said, no one is in the parks I go to besides maybe other dog walkers. Similarly, if no one on is on the street what does it matter if you jaywalk?

But I'm done be here. I just threw out my 2 cents. I am totally against uncontrolled dogs at parks in general, at designated off leash locations or otherwise, especially if there's a lot of people around. If I see people around I respectfully tell my dogs to heel, most people smile and tell me how well behaved they are... It's called training.
Common sense is when you're in control and you're not in control when your dogs are not leashed. Everything is under control until it's not. This thread is directed exactly at people like you. Like I said, you're not special and neither are your dogs.

I'm sorry you're unable to understand this.
Deal Addict
Apr 25, 2011
1408 posts
1090 upvotes
British Columbia
eclone wrote: I'm sorry you're unable to understand this.
I understand what you're saying very well, and we have different opinions. I don't have to agree with you. If you want to follow arbitrary laws when there is no one you are affecting, go for it. For instance, do you always follow posted speed limits when there's nobody around? I trust my dogs much more than the uncertainty of a vehicle hurtling down a road but it seems everyone breaks those laws.
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
20018 posts
17879 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
Karala wrote: I understand what you're saying very well, and we have different opinions. I don't have to agree with you. If you want to follow arbitrary laws when there is no one you are affecting, go for it. For instance, do you always follow posted speed limits when there's nobody around? I trust my dogs much more than the uncertainty of a vehicle hurtling down a road but it seems everyone breaks those laws.
Deflection …
:rolleyes:

Just be a responsible pet owner
And do the right thing

Otherwise …
Accept he consequences when you get caught with your dogs off leash

Just like the guy who gets a ticket for going even 1 Km over the speed limit should be
Deal Addict
Apr 25, 2011
1408 posts
1090 upvotes
British Columbia
Not deflection, a fact. If you're going to be hard nosed on one law, be so all.
Newbie
May 16, 2012
35 posts
10 upvotes
Toronto
CensoredByRFD wrote: Thank you for that info. Personally I’m not afraid of dogs and not too afraid of getting attacked. But more than once, I’ve had my kids with me and had dogs off off leash charge at them and bark at them where I had to step between them and the dogs.

If they actually attacked, I wouldn’t hesitate to do whatever it takes to protect my kids, but it’s good to know that the bylaws also protect people for defending themselves against dogs. My assumption is that if I had to defend myself or my kids against a dog, that I’d be killing it since the assumption is that it wouldn’t just choose to stop.
Irresponsible dog owners (not the responsible ones) have sense of entitlement that they can do whatever they want and if someone tried to ask them to leash their dogs, they often get furious.


Toronto By-Laws require dogs in public places MUST BE at all times:
1. on-leash (Municipal Code 608-34. (C)(1) and 349-12.1)
2. In direct sight of owner/handler. (608-34. (C)(4))
3. In direct control of owner/handler i.e. Not be At Large. If not in control it's considered "At Large". Even a leashed dog can be "At Large" if handler does not have "control" over dog. (608-34. (A)(1)) (***)
4. Not go in "Prohibited Areas". (608-34. (A)(2))


Prohibited areas include playgrounds, splash pads, sports fields, and more as below:

"Prohibited Areas" are (TORONTO MUNICIPAL CODE CHAPTER 608, PARKS):
608-1. Definitions:
• A. Natural or environmentally sensitive areas (including designated ravines, wooded or savannah areas, sites of natural or scientific interest, areas which have undergone significant habitat restoration, wetlands or their buffer zones).
• B. Playgrounds, splash pads or wading pools.
• C. Horticultural display areas or ornamental gardens.
• D. Skateboard bowls, tennis courts and other sports pads.
• E. Sports fields and stadiums.
• F. Artificial or natural ice rinks or toboggan hills.
• G. Animal display areas.
• H. Campgrounds. [Amended 2009-10-27 by By-law 1093-200914]
• I. Areas posted to prohibit dogs from entering.

(***) Definition of "At Large" has nothing to do with status of leash. It has to do with having direct control of the dog at all times. A dog on-leash can still be "At Large" if handler is not controlling it and letting it menace others, threaten others, make others fearful for their safety, or lunges at someone.

I quote bylaw "349-1. Definitions" :
AT LARGE - An animal found on any other property than that of the owner of the animal, and not under the control of the owner except where the owner of the property permits the animal to be on his or her property.




If you feel your children are in danger, don't hesitate to call police. Police may tell you to call 311 instead, but you can try to convince them that off leash dogs are in fact endangering your children's safety hence it is for police to handle.

There's a thing called criminal negligence [Search cc 219 (1) (b) ] e.g. if someone lets a dangerous dog be off leash and at large.
I quote, "omitting to do anything that it is his duty . . .shows wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons."

There's a thing called criminal harassment [search cc 264 (2)(d) ] e.g. if through reckless disregard of by-laws, someone makes you fear for your children's safety.
I quote, "or recklessly as to whether the other person is harassed, engage in conduct . . . . (d) engaging in threatening conduct directed at the other person or any member of their family.".



And finally, if you see irresponsible dog owners, please take out camera and start recording. Trust me you may need that evidence to prove your innocence if you did something trying to protect your children. Because police will charge you instead of the irresponsible dog owner. Hence it is very important to record as much evidence as possible. (Definitely first ensure your kids' safety). If you are accompanied by another adult, ask one to care for kids while other records the evidence.

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