Questions Posted to "Ask a Dispatcher"
Q. Does the city have any regulations about dogs needing to be on leashes? Several times we have been on trails and strange dogs have charged up to us and jumped on us all the while barking and growling. The owners always say the same thing, "oh they won't hurt you." Well I don't know you or your dog - therefore it's a threatening situation. What do you suggest for protecting myself and my family from these unleashed dogs? Does the city ever ticket residents for not picking up their dog's crap left on trails - thinking the airport trail in particular. If not, you could be making a fortune. Thank you for your insight!
Dear Juneau Resident,
This question is a can of worms, or at least a litter of labs! Juneau has really struggled with animal control ordinance language. Animal control ordinances were recently re-written and there were assembly meetings where you could say the fur was flying!
An experienced Gastineau Humane Society officer weighed in on these issues because he is one of the animal control officers who writes tickets concerning the type of violations you described. JPD doesn't work with those specific ordinances.
Animal control says that dogs don't have to be on leashes in many trail areas. The do have to be under 'competent voice control'. The pros at animal control provided this definition. Competent voice control means when all the following are met:
(1) The person exhibiting the voice control is present with the animal and monitors all of its activities;
(2) The person exhibiting the voice control is capable of directing all of the animal's movements and activities by voice commands; and
(3) The animal under voice control follows all of the vocal commands quickly and accurately.
If someone isn't providing the required voice control, it is appropriate to call animal control. The number is 789-6997. Animal control officers like calls immediately so they can contact the owner when that person comes off the trail.
Now the scoop on doggy doodoo not being cleaned up is that behavior is classified as 'objectionable behavior' same as chasing of birds or other wildlife. The fine is $50 for a first offense, $100 for the second, and $200 plus an appearance in front of a judge on the third offense. I shared your complaint about the airport area trail with animal control. If there is no animal control officers around to see the behavior, they need a call with a description of the owner, vehicle, description of the dog, etc... Animal control officers need information to help them identify the right ignorer of doodoo. The officer can then try to intercept the person at the trail head after getting a call from someone who sees an ordinance violation.