Twp. dog leash law?

Holly of Grand Haven Township asked, “As a new resident of Grand Haven Township, I am curious if there is an ordinance in the township pertaining to unleashed dogs in the neighborhoods."
Mark Brooky
May 16, 2014


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.

Do you have a question for the Tribune? E-mail it to, and type MAILBAG in the subject line. Or mail it the old-fashioned way to: Grand Haven Tribune, MAILBAG, 101 N. Third St., Grand Haven, MI 49417. We'll do our best to get you an answer! A new Mailbag appears on three times a week: at 5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.



Your not alone Holly..we to recently moved to the township and have found that certain people just let thier dogs roam around without a care in the world..or bark ALL night till the morning..Figured the township would be more peaceful...wrong!


I hear ya SeaRay, I was gonna move way out there to the township but with them dogs roaming around and barkin "ALL NIGHT LONG" Figured the township would have more hi-tech equipment to exterminate or control every aspect of a canines existence . . .


Nope..just thought owners should take care of their animals? And yes..all night long

Grand Haven Happy

The key is the dog NOT being on the owners property or under control.

Constant barking is an enforcable noise complaint and is not restricted to just the owner's property. It is an enforcable violation and will be acted upon if you complain by phone to the Ottawa County Sheriff for in the township. We live in GH township and have for 46 years and have always had a large dog. Ours are trained quite well but we've had Ottawa County Sheriff Animal Control take care of other dog problems more than once over the years. Loose vicious dogs are a real problem until you do something about it. Obviously not if a dog is barking half a mile away though. However, will be acted upon if it is close and in "violation of excessive noise" at your property location. However, it's you who has to invoke the action.

If you have an issue with loose, roaming, or out of control dogs or cats where you live, get on the phone and lodge a complaint as it works! Bitching about it to anyone other the the dog's owner or the appropriate LEO is senseless and will solve absolutely nothing!

Most dog and cat owners take proper care of their dogs and cats and it's up to us to force the others to or have the laws enforced. Wild or roaming dogs or cats are a problem and it won't go away until you get the ball rolling. Loose cats tantalize and provoke dogs penned or tied up and why blame the dog then. We have more problems with loose cats than dogs where we live!

Vicious dogs/animals must be reported immediately with no exceptions and followed up on until the animal is removed etc.

There's so many other ways to have true control over an animal or dog than just keeping it on a leash at all times.


Thank you for your insight here..Seems as though some cannot grasp this concept for themselves so others have to tell them to do so.


Post a Comment

Log in to your account to post comments here and on other stories, galleries and polls. Share your thoughts and reply to comments posted by others. Don't have an account on Create a new account today to get started.