If you are lucky enough to own a dog, you know that braving Wisconsin weather to give your dog some exercise is a must, but what do you need to consider before you hit the streets?
Take a look at what you need to know about leashes, dog bites, legal statutes and most importantly, my picks for the best dog-friendly exercise spots around Milwaukee.
Keep It Leashed and Please Pick Up – It’s the Law!
If you are going to walk your dog in the neighborhood, virtually all Metro-Milwaukee area municipalities require dogs to be on a leash, under control of the owner, and also, the owner is required to pick up after a dog.
The City of Milwaukee, for instance, disallows "at large" animals, and states that an animal is not "at large" if it is attached to a leash not more than 6 feet in length, which is sufficient strength to restrain the animal and the leash is held by a competent person.
In addition to a leash, the law states that you must pick up after your pet. The City of Milwaukee can issue a citation to individuals who do not clean up after their dog. Citizens observing litter incidents can report them with the address of the animal to the Department of Neighborhood Services at 286-2268. Be sure to provide the address of the animal owner.
There are similar ordinances in surrounding communities, including: Shorewood, Greenfield and Greendale, to name a few.
What You Need to Know About Dog Bites and Owner Liability
In Wisconsin, dog owners are responsible for any injuries that are caused by their dogs – whether a bite, jumping on someone and knocking them over, or darting out in front of a bicycle. The law that holds dog owners liable, Wis. Stat. § 174.02, is commonly known as the “Dog Bite Statute,” although it does not strictly pertain to biting.
Following are a few more City of Milwaukee dog rules:
- No one may own more than three dogs.
- All dogs and cats are required to be licensed.
- All dogs much be leashed in public places, with a leash of no more than 6 feet.
- Owners of pit bulls must have a fenced yard or kennel area with a concrete floor and must attend at least one dog behavior class.
- While leashed, the leash of a pit bull must be held by a person 16 years of age or older and competent to govern the animal.
One key legal point you may not know is that you could be liable if your dog startles someone and they get injured. If you have trouble controlling your leashed dog, you may want to avoid public areas where your dog may startle nearby pedestrians.
Find A Dog Friendly Park, Near You
There are plenty of places to exercise yourself and your dog around Metro-Milwaukee. Here are a few of my favorites:
The East Bank Trail - If you want to follow along the Milwaukee River, this trail is for you.
Milwaukee County Parks - Visit your favorite Milwaukee County Park to get some much-needed exercise. Be sure to check which local park allows dogs because dogs are not generally allowed on beaches, picnic areas, children’s' play areas or athletic fields. Park signs clearly indicate when dogs are, or are not allowed.
Hank Aaron State Trail runs along the lakefront near downtown Milwaukee, and is a great, dog friendly place for some exercise.
Warnimont Park Dog Exercise Area, located in Cudahy, is one of my favorite dog exercise areas. It offers a 5 arch fenced in dog park, which includes scenic trails and an exercise area, all off the leash.
So enjoy your next walk with you dog, armed with the knowledge you need to know to keep you, your dog and your neighborhood clean and safe.