Restraint and Confinement Laws




Restraint and Confinement Laws

Under restraint and confinement laws, owners are responsible for controlling their own domestic animals, or those under their control, at all times on or off personal property. 

Each state and local jurisdiction is responsible for developing and implementing restraint and confinement laws.  For this reason, the laws from state to state and city to city may vary.  The following is a broad overview of common restraint and confinement laws which exist throughout the United States. 

Reasons for Restraint and Confinement Laws

There are many reasons why restrain and confinement laws are enacted and enforced.  When a domestic animal is properly restrained and confined in accordance with humane legal guidelines, the risks of that animal causing harm to a human or animal is greatly mitigated. 

Nearly five million Americans suffer dog bite injuries each year.  In the majority of these cases the owner didn’t have control of their canine as required by law. 

Protecting Domestic Animals

Restraint and confinement laws also protect domestic animals from the many perils they face when allowed to roam freely about the community.  These dangers include injuries from other animals, diseases, retaliation from angry property owners, traffic, garbage and other sources of poison, and the like. 

Restraint and confinement laws also function to reduce over population of domestic animals by reducing unplanned breeding.  Millions of unwanted animals are put to sleep every year in our shelters, because we are not able to care for the surplus of animals in our communities. 

Restraint and Confinement Laws Affecting Owners

Restraint and confinement laws generally prohibit owners from allowing their animals to run at large beyond the owner’s property.  Even when the animal is on their owner’s property, most restraint and confinement laws require the owner to contain their animal(s) via fencing (high enough so that the animal cannot escape), an enclosure, chain, leash, and other physical means of control by a competent adult. 

Because chaining or tethering an animal to a fixed object is dangerous and inhumane, many municipalities have outlawed such activities.  Restraint and confinement laws also require that owners control their animals off their property by way of vehicle, leash, or enclosure permitted by property owner. 

Vehicle confinement must not place an animal in danger from such risks as extreme temperatures or lack of ventilation.  In addition to restraint and confinement laws, there are a number of laws designed to protect animals and ensure that they receive safe and humane treatment

Contact a Restraint and Confinement Lawyer

In general, restraint and confinement laws require that an owner maintain control over his/her animal at all times.  These laws exist to protect children, adults, animals, and property.  When an animal causes damage to another person, animal, or property (i.e. dog bite) the owner can be held responsible for any damages that were caused. 

Any animal owner who violates restraint and confinement laws or humane treatment statutes faces fines and penalties for their offenses.  Therefore, owners face civil, punitive, and possibly criminal consequences for failing to comply with animal related laws. 

If you would like to learn more about restraint and confinement laws in your area or have been injured by an animal, please contact us to speak with a qualified and experienced attorney who can help. 

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