Dog leash laws on Kauai
Unfortunately my phone company dropped my call several times while on air today with KKCR radio. I apologize to KKCR and any listeners. So I thought I would note here laws regarding leashing dogs on Kauai. Basically, our County ordinance (Chapter 22) requires all dogs to be leashed off your property unless in training class or accompanied by their hunter when being used for hunting in a legal hunting area. Basically, this means everywhere unless you have the property owner’s permission to have your dog off leash (like at our Freddie’s Dog Park) on their property which is a rare place on Kauai.
Dogs are required to be under control by a leash 8ft. or shorter off your property (just having a leash attached and the dog dragging it doesn’t work). This includes State owned property including State beaches unless State beach posts signs prohibiting animals – then dogs are prohibited period. ALL County parks and County beach parks prohibitdogs and all other animals period. The only exception is unless your are approved by permit from the County parks department (we commonly acquire for our dog training classes like the one we host in Hanapepe Town Park).
I was asked if it was legal to have a dog off leash in the water or on a surfboard and as far as I can tell, this is legal. BUT as soon as you land on ground, your dog must be immediately leashed and if you have to walk thru a County park from the ocean, you are in violation whether your dog is on leash or not because no animals are allowed in County parks.
Enforcement of these laws depend on the jurisdiction – State DOFAW/DLNR enforce State properties, County park rangers enforce County parks along with Kauai Police Department and we, the Kauai Humane Society enforce everywhere else like in our neighborhoods etc. along with KPD. State law violations like a loose dog not under leash control by it’s owner on State land or beach are subject to high fines as well as County park violations where all animals are prohibited (up to $500 I believe). Dogs loose in neigbhorhoods are subject to violations of Chapter 22 which requires appearance in court and minimum fines of $50 up to maximum fines of $250.
We are aware of numerous complaints regarding loose dogs causing a nuisance and interfering with public safety efforts on beaches around the island and as a result, stronger enforcement is happening as we speak from both State and County divisions on all public beaches.
I know we have all seen loose dogs at beaches on Kauai for many years. This has been against the law for many years but not well enforced. As more public attention is brought to irresponsible dog owners, more attention is given to enforcement. I honestly feel most dog owners are responsible but some are rude, inconsiderate, and just plain stupid - not picking up after our dogs on the beach or anywhere else is just inexcuseable to me. Leaving your dog loose on the beach while you swim or surf causes much grief to all others sharing the beach and is rude. Then some will tie their dog to a picnic table or their truck – causing dogs to bark and lunge at passersby, also rude. If you plan on surfing or swimming, leave your dog at home.
If we want more dog friendly places on Kauai, we need to correct irresponsible dog owners and speak out for responsible dog owners. If you see a loose dog with no owner or responsible person in sight, try and carefully round the dog up and bring him to the Society or call us to pick the dog up. If you see someone ignore their dog taking a dump or hear them say it is organic compost, “bark” at them loudly and demand they pick it up and dispose of it properly.
We need to speak out for dogs, but we all need to be more polite and considerate of others with our dogs.
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