It’s the law – leash your dog and scoop its poop

March 17, 2015

Despite what many dog owners seem to think, public parks and trails in Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County are not places to let dogs run leash-free and poop at will. Not only is it rude, inconsiderate and hazardous for all involved, it is against the law. Refer to the Washoe County Code, Chapter 55, Sections 55.100 and 55.130 for regulations regarding restraining animals and disposing of their waste.

If you let your dogs run free in public parks and on trails within Washoe County’s designated animal congested area, you are asking for trouble. Not only is it illegal, you are likely to get sued if your animal bites someone or is the direct cause of any other injury. You also might find your dog injured by someone defending themselves from a threatening, unleashed dog. And you might get injured yourself if you attack a person for hurting your dog while defending themselves. This will also bring in Washoe County animal control and law enforcement officers so you can give them your excuses for illegally letting your unleased dog threaten and possibly attack someone. You have absolutely no right to allow your dog to annoy in any way other people visiting public parks and trails.

Clean up your dog poop
You are legally required to pick up and properly dispose of your dog’s poop unless it’s in your own yard, where you can let the dog poop anywhere and walk in it all you want. However, it’s part of your responsibility to scoop the poop if you take your dog to public places. Too many dog owners simply let the poop lie, making some parks and trails pretty disgusting. It would be nice if you consider other people who want to enjoy places belonging to all of us.

You and your dog may love each other and get along fine, but other people do not know you or your dog. Your excuses mean nothing when others are threatened by the approach your loose dog.

  • “He/she is friendly and just wants to say Hi.” Other people don’t know if your dog is friendly or not and might not want to say Hi. They also might not want to be licked, jumped on, knocked down, or have a dog nose shoved in their crotch.
  • “My dog won’t bite.” How would other people know that, especially if the dog is growling and barking at them? Truth is, you don’t know if your dog will bite or not, especially if it is not under your control. If it has teeth, it can bite.
  • “Don’t do that, you’re just upsetting my dog.” If someone assuming a defensive posture upsets your dog, you should leash it and keep it away from other people.

This situation is out of control. I hike on public trails within the animal congested area zone and frequently have unpleasant encounters with unleashed dogs and their owners. Somehow, most of them think it’s my fault that they are breaking the law and get hostile when I have the audacity to object to being approached by snarling, barking dogs. I now hike armed with trekking poles and a big canister of pepper spray and will not hesitate to use them. I carry a cell phone and will call Animal Control officers if I encounter loose dogs. If I am injured, I will sue and you will lose.

To let your dog run leash-free in a public park, take it to one of several dog parks in Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County. These places were created specifically to let dog owners enjoy their animals while not annoying or threatening other park visitors – use them.

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6 Responses to “It’s the law – leash your dog and scoop its poop”


  1. […] owners, be considerate of others using our trails – leash your dogs and pick up the poop. It’s not only common courtesy, it’s the law in designated congested areas of Washoe […]


  2. […] Attention dog owners – It’s the law to keep dogs on leash at all times in designated congested areas of Washoe County and in Nevada State Parks. It doesn’t matter if your dog is “friendly.” Other users of public trails do not want to be approached and/or threatened by unleashed dogs. The don’t enjoy piles of dog poop all over the place, either. Be considerate of others using our trails – leash your dogs and pick up the poop. […]

  3. REBECCA Says:

    Thank you for writing this. I am disabled and have a service dog in training. My family and I have tried to take my dog to Chrissie Caughlin park for walks, well, they walk, I am in a wheelchair, so I guess, roll would be more fitting 😉 and having so many dogs off leash charging at is literally puts my life at risk because a fall could land me on a hospital for a very long time and possibly not even never fully recover. We actually had one jump at hI’m and pin him down while he was on the leash. I don’t care how friendly or trained the dogs are, it is not okay to have them running around free. I wish that the leash laws were enforced more.


  4. […] about this in the past and see that I will probably be doing so again in the future. Refer to “It’s the law – leash your dog and scoop its poop” for more about irresponsible dog owners in Washoe […]


  5. […] Attention dog owners – It’s the law to keep dogs on leash at all times in designated congested areas of Washoe County and in Nevada State Parks. It doesn’t matter if your dog is “friendly.” Other users of public trails do not want to be approached and/or threatened by unleashed dogs. The don’t enjoy piles of dog poop all over the place, either. Be considerate of others using our trails – leash your dogs and pick up the poop. […]


  6. […] Attention dog owners – It’s the law to keep dogs on leash at all times in designated congested areas of Washoe County and in Nevada State Parks. It doesn’t matter if your dog is “friendly.” Other users of public trails do not want to be approached and/or threatened by unleashed dogs. They don’t enjoy piles of dog poop all over the place, either. Be considerate of others using our trails – leash your dogs and pick up the poop. […]


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