Jefferson County passes new leash law

PORT TOWNSEND — The Jefferson County commissioners accredited adjustments to the Animal Handle Code that calls for all canines to be on a leash when not at a specified off-leash park or their owners’ assets.

The accepted improvements also consist of permitting much more than one particular designated county shelter in addition to precise definition improvements and additions.

The 3 commissioners unanimously approved the code variations in the course of their Monday early morning assembly. They executed a community hearing about the adjustments on Could 17.

The leash legislation calls for all canine that are not on the house of their owner, keeper or handler to be on a leash up to 8 ft very long, with their owner, handler or keeper retaining handle of the leash, according to fee paperwork.

That excludes certain off-leash pet dog parks, this sort of as the a person at Mountain Check out Commons in Port Townsend, as very well as pet dogs competing in demonstrates, staying applied to hunt, finishing area and/or obedience trials, and other specific exceptions that can be uncovered along with the comprehensive code at

Former animal command guidelines let for dogs to run whilst under verbal instructions from their owner. Even so, the county has experienced difficulties with entrepreneurs not managing their puppies and letting them run cost-free.

Animal handle officers will not be patrolling or hunting to produce tickets for people who do not have their puppy on a leash, but if an incident takes place, such as a bite or an assault, the proposed law would give them the capability to create a ticket if needed, Sheriff Joe Nole stated throughout the original presentation of the code adjustments on
April 12.

The alter to permit a lot more than 1 designated shelter for Jefferson County is to streamline the procedure of having wounded animals to correct care and help you save the county money, Nole stated.

The Jefferson County Humane Culture does not have veterinary care, and the code utilised to have to have deputies to push to Poulsbo for emergency conditions. The modification of the code to enable a lot more than just one shelter makes it possible for deputies to transportation wounded animals to Quilcene’s Center Valley Animal Rescue, which has the capacity to care for severely wounded animals, Nole claimed.

The commissioners agreed to modify the definition of “service animal” from mentioning canines and miniature horses directly, to “any animal as outlined by RCW 49.60.040,” which lists the state’s authorised assistance animals, including dogs and miniature horses, following the commissioners obtained community comment opposing miniature horses as support animals.

The definition of a “dangerous dog” also was current. A unsafe pet is just one that inflicts intense harm to a human without provocation whilst on community or non-public assets or kills a domestic animal or livestock devoid of provocation off their owner’s home, or was formerly observed to be potentially risky prior to an harm inflicted on a human and the pet once more aggressively bites, assaults or endangers the protection of individuals, according to commission documents.

A most likely unsafe doggy is one that, when unprovoked, inflicts bites on a human, domestic animal or livestock, or chases or ways a human aggressively, or a doggy with a recognised inclination to attack or threaten the security of people, animals or livestock, the updated files stated.

The definition of domestic animal was expanded from cats and pet dogs to “an animal ordinarily saved as a pet, these as a fowl, cat, pet, or rabbit.”


Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at [email protected]