Citation Given for Non-Leashed SD - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-30-2014, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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Citation Given for Non-Leashed SD

Q. My city has a leash law but my dog is being trained and proofed to obey without a leash. I was given a citation just before I entered the gates into the dog park. I explained to the officer that my dog is a SD and I am working with him to do his tasks off-leash. I showed him my dog's license and credentials. He would not listen and gave me a citation anyway to appear in court. What should I do? My paperwork says that a misdemeanor carries time in jail and or a fine.


A. Public Access Rights of a person with disabilities are to ensure that each individual has a chance of entering and enjoying the benefits equally. Public Access Rights are not to give the person with a disability preferred treatment.

If the city has a leash law then the DOJ gives further allowance to the handler of a SD for the dog to be off leash only under a strict criteria. Training is not part of this excemption. To claim training (or maintenance) rights you will need to look elsewhere.

Off Leash Training or training of any type is not addressed by the ADA/DOJ. The DOJ only deals with task trained dogs and their handlers.

There are NO SD licenses or credentials at the Federal Level.

If your city issues a SD license what benefits do they give through the license? The only benefit by most cities that give any to the owner/handler is the issuing of a regular city dog license at no or at a reduced fee vrs. everyone else having to pay full fee.

What credential? There are no printed credentials required by the Dept. of Justice. There are no printed credentials issued at the Federal Level or by any State Agency. Only valid credentials are those issued by a training organization stating that X dog completed training at its facility or that a team completed team training through them. Such credentials do not give any additional Public Access benefits. So at the Federal, State, County, City levels such a credential gives no rights in addition to any SD handler over someone who trained their own dog. A Program Dog and an Owner Trained Dog are equal in the eyes of Federal Regulatory Law on Handler Public Access Rights thereby an OT handler has as many rights as a handler who receives a trained dog from another source.

If the credentials are from an Internet source than that just means the owner/handler paid someone via a computer to write their information down in a data bank. Legally that gives no more benefit than if someone were to hand me $25 or more to write their information down by pencil into a spiral notebook. With the right computer program, I too can print out a certificate and a nice looking ID.

Courts usually don't want to add extra case loads into a normally already crowded legal system. But they do want you to know they frown on breaking of the law. Many of these violation citations (city or county ordinances) are dropped within minutes. Some are dropped without the person given the citation even standing up in front of the judge. But the judge does have the option of charging you a fine of some type. He may charge you a fine plus court filing cost. The handler has the option to have a legal representative go into the proceedings with them.

Don't show up to even something as minor as taking a dog's leash off too early and the judge will issue a warrant for you to be brought into the court system. Then your trouble will really begin. If the judge plans on pursuing the charge in the legal system he will advise you of the need to either hire an attorney or if you are not able to hire an attorney the court will appoint one for you.

I am NOT giving you the above as a professional LEGAL source. For that you need to speak with someone who is a professional in the law.

The above information that I gave you is my NON-LEGAL OPINIONS based on my previous life and work experiences.

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-30-2014, 02:01 PM
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I doubt you will get jail time, maybe a fine, maybe dropped. But in any case, you should show up.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-30-2014, 03:36 PM
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Great post. Out of curiosity, where was this question originally asked?

Many people think having a SD is a sort of free for all, leading to exceptions from laws such as leash laws or taking full responsibility for their dogs. Unless there's a valid reason why the dog would have been unable to perform a specific task while on leash, and the dog was ONLY off leash during that task, there's no ground at all to stand on.


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-30-2014, 05:39 PM
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Just show up in court, say you are sorry that you were training a service dog and thought that the rules were different. You'll never do it again. Didn't know. Sorry. And if you are able to get a bit in on why/how/wonderful your dogs are it may help

Alot of the time the officer can't show up and they may dismiss the ticket with a scolding. Or they dismiss it ANYWAYS (with a scolding) if they know it's the first time and you weren't DELIBERATELY choosing to break the law.

At most you'll get a fine. I have my dogs off leash all the time and know if I do get a ticket, then it's a fine on me and I'll take the ticket graciously. Your circumstances with the training are different and well worth a calm explanation. I've been to court many times and being sorry and confused gets people out of tickets all the time (if it's their first time especially )




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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-30-2014, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lin View Post
Great post. Out of curiosity, where was this question originally asked?

Many people think having a SD is a sort of free for all, leading to exceptions from laws such as leash laws or taking full responsibility for their dogs. Unless there's a valid reason why the dog would have been unable to perform a specific task while on leash, and the dog was ONLY off leash during that task, there's no ground at all to stand on.
The question was based in part on a question from another site that I am an Admin on .... the answer is based again in part on the answer that I gave. Details from the original were changed so only the basic concept is the same. Personal details of course are not given.

Lin, you are welcome to use any of the A&Q in your advocacy work.

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


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