Dogs in the city

Sasha of Grand Haven asked, "Will I get a ticket if my dog runs around off his leash in the city? How about on the beach?"
Mark Brooky
Jul 10, 2013



The city ordinance requires owners to have their dogs on a leash that's no more than 6 feet long. If it's one of those retractable leashes, it can be as long as 25 feet.

Regardless, your pet must be under control at all times anywhere in the city, except on private property.

You could receive a civil infraction (ticket), with fines ranging from $50 up to $500. And dogs found roaming the streets by themselves could be seized and turned over to the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department.

Dogs are allowed to be off the leash in a section of Mulligan's Hollow on the north side of Lake Avenue, between the street and the roadway to the water tanks and along the base of the sand dune; and at a new fenced dog park at East Grand River Park.

On the beach? Keep 'em on the leash.

In fact, dogs are not allowed at all between the swim buoys on City Beach, from Memorial Day through Labor Day. They are permitted south of the buoys.

The city's dog enforcement policy brochure (PDF) can be downloaded by clicking the Related File below.

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what about in Grand Haven Township?

Mark Brooky

I don't see where the township specifically requires dogs to be leashed, except in certain parks. And there are two parks where they are not allowed at all:

"Pets are strictly prohibited from Mercury Park and Pottawattomie Park, except that a pet may be transported in a vehicle in said parks if continuously enclosed within the vehicle. For the purpose of this Ordinance, the phrase 'allow a pet to run loose' shall mean that the pet is neither on a leash held by nor otherwise under the immediate control of, the person in custody of the pet. For purposes of this Ordinance, the phrase 'otherwise under the immediate control of the person' shall mean that the pet is subject to the control of a person because of training, familiarity, and proximity to the person."


"They are permitted south of the buoys."

I do not think this should be used as a marker for where dogs are allowed on the beach. There are signs that mark where dogs are allowed way south of the Bil-Mar restaurant. Currently there are buoys missing and dogs are north of where they should be. This statement is currently all over the place and is incorrect and needs to be adjusted, even the City is wrong in their own paperwork. Don't get me wrong, I am a dog lover at heart, but the owners need to respect people that are not and the rules that go along with it, just as this article states.


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