Holly continues: "It seems that most of my neighbors let their dogs run loose. I tried finding the ordinance on the township website, but was unable to find anything. I am also wondering, if there is an ordinance, who I can call so they enforce it.”
Unlike the City of Grand Haven, the township does not have a separate ordinance requiring dogs to be leashed. The township instead relies on state law, Township Manager Bill Cargo explained.
Under Michigan law, it is illegal for anyone to allow their dog to leave their property without being “under control,” Cargo noted.
“In general, the sheriff’s deputies encourage an owner to maintain control of the dog(s) by using a leash, invisible fence/shock collar, fenced-in yard, etc.,” he said. “I would note that some owners have trained their animals so highly that the animal is ‘under control’ without a leash, but this is rare.”
Should the dog owner fail to make an effort to correct the issue, then the deputy would begin enforcement through a citation. The Ottawa County Sheriff's Department’s animal control deputies or road patrol deputies normally handle these complaints.
The bottom line, according to Cargo: If the person has a complaint or concern regarding dogs that are roaming outside of the dog owner’s property and/or dogs that are not under the control of the owner, call 911 and let a deputy resolve the matter.
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