LA To Fine Pet Owners Who Walk Dogs Without Leash

STUDIO CITY (CBSLA.com) — Los Angeles pet owners may soon need to leash their dogs or feel the bite of a hefty fine.

The city of L.A. plans to slap owners who let their animals roam free in public with a $100 ticket.

And the fine gets steeper with subsequent infractions.

“We have dozens of these quality-of-life issues that both Animal Control and the LAPD enforce. This will give us a mechanism,” L.A. City Councilman Paul Koretz said.

“Owners have come up to me when he’s not on a leash and said, ‘Could you please put your dog on a leash,’ ” said a woman in Studio City out walking a small dog.

Currently, walking a dog with a leash is a law that isn’t always followed or enforced. And some don’t think it should be.

“I trust in the dog owners to be responsible,” a woman said while out walking a small poodle mix in Studio City.

But most dog owners who spoke to CBS2/KCAL9’s Amy Johnson support Koretz and think it’s about time leashes are enforced.

“I think it’s a great idea, especially with the big dogs going on leash, because it could be dangerous,” said Joseph Damirjian, who was out walking his German shepherd.

“If it’s going to encourage people to leash their dogs, then it’s a good idea,” a woman out walking her dog said.

The dog-leash law is one of a new set of fines doled out for quality-of-life offenses, including: $250 for drinking in public, $250 for using fireworks and $250 for smoking in prohibited areas.

Koretz has been working on the Administrative Citation Enforcement program for the past five years: “This is about providing some tools for them to better enforce quality-of-life issues.”

The program could generate more than $1 million each year and fines would cover the extra cost needed to pay officers.

The councilman said the pilot program could be expanded to also include building and safety violations.

The ACE program is one step away from taking effect, pending the mayor’s approval. Koretz feels confident Mayor Eric Garcetti will back the increased enforcement.

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