Real Estate News for North Pinellas County

Archive for the 'animal laws' Category

Dog parks in Pinellas County

There are some great parks in Pinellas County, but did you know there are a number of parks where dogs are welcome? In fact, there are seven parks in the county that provide fenced areas where unleashed dogs can frolic to their heart’s content.


And it gets better; there are some parks in the county that are not run by Pinellas County, but which are managed by municipalities. And some of those parks are very welcoming of dogs, as well. An example: North Anclote River Nature Park in Tarpon Springs. This park is near my home, and it welcomes dogs. It even provides free poop bags (and really hopes that you’ll use them); free dog-level watering stations for thirsty doggies; and even showers for overheated dogs.

Here are the Pinellas County parks that have dog areas for unleashed dogs:

border collie playingAs you might expect, there are a number of rules that the county insists upon. Here they are:

  • All dogs must be leashed when entering and exiting the park.
  • Park closes at dusk.
  • Patrons use the dog park at their own risk.
  • Handlers are liable for any injury or damage caused by their dog (s).
  • Handlers are limited to three dogs.
  • Dogs shall be licensed and vaccinated with a tag on their collar at all times.
  • Dogs in heat are prohibited.
  • Handlers must be 16 years of age or older.
  • Children under 12 are not permitted without a responsible adult.
  • Handlers must control their dogs and attend to them at all times.
  • Handlers must carry a leash with them at all times while in the park.
  • Handlers are responsible for picking up and disposing of their dog’s waste in designated receptacles.
  • No dogs under four months of age. Check with your veterinarian before introducing a new puppy to the dog park.
  • No aggressive dogs.
  • Handlers must stop their dogs from digging and are responsible for filling any holes their dogs make.
  • No excessive barking.
  • No bathing of dogs within the park.
  • No food or smoking within the fenced area.

The county suggests that you not walk barefoot in the fenced dog areas. I think that is great advice.

 

 

 

 

 

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Animal laws in Pinellas County

 Back in the old days, having a pet was a pretty simple matter. If your doggie wanted to go out, you let him out. You knew he wanted to come back in when he scratched on the door. Every evening you’d open a can of Alpo for him. End of story.

Pet ownership is a lot more complicated now. You can tell by all the people who walk, zombie-like, through your neighborhood at all hours of the day and night, leash in one hand and plastic poop bag in the other.

Pet ownership can be especially problematic if you own a pet and hope to move into a condo. Make sure you check the condo documents before you buy and read all the fine print if you hope to take your doggie along when you move.  Some condo developments restrict pets to a certain weight limit; others simply don’t allow pets at all.

Bo

Bo

If you want to buy a single-family home, restrictions like that don’t generally apply. However, you should make sure to check the homeowner association regulations just to double-check. Some may limit the number or type of pets you are allowed to have; others might impose restriction by weight. Almost all of them contain some language pertaining to animal waste and what you have to do to clean up after your pet.

Just for the fun of it, I thought I’d check on the laws in Pinellas County that apply to pets and other animals. Some of them are a little surprising. For example, I knew it was against the law to let your dog run free, but did you know it is equally unlawful to let your cat do the same thing?

Here are some other things you should know:

  • It’s illegal to leave food or garbage out where it can attract “cats, dogs, raccoons, coyotes or other wildlife and thereby creates a public nuisance”
  • While it is illegal to let dogs run free, the law doesn’t apply to police dogs or to “any dog which is actually engaged in or being trained for the sport of hunting during a legal hunting season…” So if your dog is caught running free, tell the officer you’re training him to hunt squirrels.
  • If you have a dog or cat that is in heat, and you don’t keep her away from male dogs and cats, you’re breaking the law.
  • It is unlawful to “molest, harm, frighten, kill, net, trap, snare, hunt, chase or shoot” any animal, unless they are fish. So apparently you can molest all the fish you want without fear of prosecution. It’s also against the law to “capture or collect for any purpose any animal, nest or egg or any animal, whether dead or alive.” So forget about those yummy road kill buffets.
  • It’s illegal to “place, dump, abandon or leave” any animal on park property.
  • You can’t use gasoline or chemicals to drive off wildlife.
  • You can’t feed pelicans or sand hill cranes.
  • And I like this one a lot: You can’t shoot wildlife with remote-controlled guns “when that person is not physically present at the location of that gun.”

Now, just so you won’t think that I am above all this, I’ve included a picture of Bo, our year-old Puggle (that’s a dog that is half pug and half beagle) – 28 pounds of muscle and attitude.

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