We all love our canine companions, but it's worth reviewing some local ordinances that help to ensure dog owners in Buena Vista are doing their part to keep our canine companions safe and out of trouble. At the BVPD we get frequent calls about dogs running at large and about dogs acting aggressively toward other people or other animals (to include wildlife). These calls certainly increase in the summer months, as visitors to our town often travel with their canine companions.
Specifically, Buena Vista Municipal Code (BVMC) 7-136 prohibits dogs running at large, meaning all dogs in town limits, off of private property, must be leashed. Dogs are allowed off-leash in the designated area near the Rodeo Grounds and at the Dog Park, but they must still be under the control of the owner in these areas. Dogs are not allowed on the green at the River Park. Officers of the BVPD often give verbal warnings about dogs running at large, but when the problem is persistent or the dog creates a nuisance (such as running in the highway, chasing wildlife, etc.), a citation to court is often issued, and the dog is often impounded for it's own safety until an owner can be located.
BVMC 7-143 deals with dogs creating nuisance noise in a neighborhood. The reality is, dogs will bark, and the police cannot and will not respond to every instance of a dog doing what it does, which is bark at things they find interesting or alarming around their house. But if the barking is persistent and it generates multiple complaints from multiple neighbors, then it becomes a nuisance. If you know your dog barks, don't leave it unattended, especially at night when people are trying to sleep. This ordinance allows officers to first issue a written warning, but upon a second complaint, a summons to court can be issued. We recommend first just talking to your neighbor about this concern. If your neighbor is away at work when their dog is barking, they might not know about the problem if you don't tell them. Sometimes the fix can be this simple.
Lastly, BVMC 7-141 deals with aggressive or vicious dogs…in other words, if your dog bites another dog or a person, consequences will ensue. These unfortunate situations can actually have pretty serious consequences for the dog owner and the dog. Unfortunately, we deal with several dog bites throughout the year, and some have been quite severe, where people have had to get stitches. While you may think your Fluffy is sweet and cute at home, they sometimes have very territorial and protective instincts when in strange places or around other people or dogs, and suddenly Fluffy may not be so nice. It is the responsibility of the dog owner to ensure their dog does not put the public at risk. Often, the simplest way to do this is to ensure your dog can't get off your property, and when in public, ensuring your dog is on a leash, as required by law.
If you have questions about the local ordinances concerning dogs, these can be found on-line in the Buena Vista Municipal Code, and you can call the BVPD with questions. Thanks to Mariane Maes with PAWS for LEOS for taking the picture of Chief Tidwell and me, just a few days before his retirement, with one of her dogs, Emy. 🇺🇸🐶🇺🇸
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