Charleston leash law

Earlier this year (amid some fuss from a few people that City Council didn't have anything better to do), Charleston City Council saw fit to amend the city's leash ordinances, which become effective March 1, 2009.

Significantly, the new ordinances remove the provision that allowed animals to run at large as long as they were under voice control. Now animals must be under physical control or leashed, with a maximum leash length of 16' (~4.8m).

Further, the new ordinance gets more specific about where animals can and can't be.

No person owning or having possession, charge, custody or control of any animal shal cause, permit or allow the animal to stray or in any manner to run at large in or upon any public street, sidewalk, athletic field, athletic facility, or park or upon the property of another, if such animal is not under a physical restraint or a leash so as to allow the animal to be controlled.
No animal of any kind shall be permitted on any tennis court, fenced recreation field, or athletic field at any time, even if such animal is physically restrained, leashed or otherwise controlled.

Fortunately, the city has opened up several areas as off-leash areas in addition to the three existing city operated dog parks (with possibly more dog parks to come).

  • Ansonborough Field, Concord Street (All day)
  • Brittlebank Park, Lockwood Blvd. (All day)
  • Cannon Park, Calhoun Street (Restricted hours)
  • Governors Park, Seven Farms Drive (All day)
  • Hazel Parker Playground, East Bay Street (Restricted hours)
  • The Horse Lot, Chisolm Street (All day)
  • Johns Island Park, Rewes Lane (All day)
  • Lenevar Playground, Lenevar Drive (All day)
  • West Ashley Park, Mary Ader Avenue (All day)
  • White Point Garden, Murray Blvd. (Restricted hours)
While in dog runs or off-leash areas, animals are required to remain under sufficient strict voice control, and handlers must abide by the rules posted at each site. Owners are reminded that they are required to clean up after their pets. During the first two weeks of March, the City's Animal Control officers will be focused on educating off-leash area users. Afterwards, violators will be subject to fines for violations.

That means watch your dog, control your dog, and pick up after your dog.

I guess I'll have to add these new spots to my dog park tour series now.