The City of Iowa City is home to countless parks and trails to enjoy with your four-legged pals. However, in light of recent complaints, Animal Control wishes to remind pet owners of the City's leash regulations.

The City requires all dogs and cats be confined to private properties or restrained by a leash not exceeding 10 feet. The pet must also be in control of a competent person. This regulation is in effect in all public areas in Iowa City, including parks, sidewalks, and trails. The exceptions are the Thornberry and Rita's Ranch dog parks.

"Leashes allow owners to have control over their dogs, mitigating the potential for animal bites to humans or other animals," said Chris Whitmore, Animal Control Coordinator. "Many times when contact is made with an owner after an animal bite, they have no idea it happened because the dog wasn’t in their line of sight."

Pets who are not kept on a leash are also mistaken as strays and are at a higher risk of being hit by a vehicle. 

Violating the City's leash law is punishable by a fine of up to $195 for the first offense. More information on Iowa City's pet regulations can be found here.

Members of the community who wish to train or play with their dogs off leash at one of Iowa City's two off leash dog parks can obtain a dog park tag. The dog park tag application and rules can be found here.

To report an off-leash animal, contact Animal Control at 319-356-5295 Monday through Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. For incidents outside of those hours, contact the non-emergency police line at 319-356-6800.

Date of publication

Wednesday, December 08, 2021