Keeping Pets Contained, On Leash Is Crucial

By on April 13, 2015

“The dogs are not vicious. Their dog got out. My dog got out and they met in the middle and my dog is bigger. That’s what happened.”

This quote from a WOWT story, “Dog Attacks Causes Bad Blood Between Neighbors,” is in response to a poorly-monitored situation.  The situation being dogs that were not leashed escaped and met, which led to one of the dog’s death.

“Typically, around 600 dog bites are reported to the Nebraska Humane Society each year in the Omaha area,” says Mark Langan, Vice President of Field Operations at The Nebraska Humane Society.

Serious dog bites, like the one in this case that led to a death, often happen when dogs are running loose, not on a leash.

Nebraska has some of the strictest leash laws in the country. These laws aren’t made to simply restrict, but to ensure safety.

According to the NHS’s website, dogs in Omaha are required to be on a leash or confined in a yard at all times, however there is currently no leash law for cats. Dogs and cats who are not microchipped are required to wear collars and tags. If dogs or cats have chips, they are not required to wear license tags.

NHS also outlines specific breed regulations: “If you own a pitbull or mix of the following dogs, Pitbull, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier,  American Bulldog, Presa Canario, Dogo Argentina, or Cane Corso, you will be required to properly leash and muzzle your dog whenever he is outside, unless he is in a securely fenced yard. If you don’t have a fenced yard your dog will be required to be leashed, muzzled, and in control of a person 19 years of age or older any time he is outside. * Exceptions are dogs that qualify for the Breed Ambassador Program.

Keep in mind that it is illegal to tie your dog up, unattended, for more than 15 minutes at a time. If there is a human present, you are allowed to keep them tethered longer than 15 minutes. For more specific containment rules visit the NHS site.


“Omaha has some of the strongest ordinances in the country relating to animal ownership,” Langan says. “These ordinances impact both ends of the leash.”


Not only are there the Potentially Dangerous Dog Ordinances, but there is also a Reckless Dog Owner Ordinance which deals with irresponsible dog owners who continually put the public at risk by ignoring city ordinances.

“Dog owners who accrue three strikes in a 24-month period lose their right to own animals in Omaha for four years,” Langan says. “The Nebraska Humane Society places emphasis on educating the public about responsible pet ownership rather than simply issuing citations and not solving the problem.”

It is all about educating the public. When that happens, wiser decisions are made and we can all take better care of our animals.

“People need to be responsible for their dogs by making sure their pets are either securely contained or on a leash when being walked,” Langan says.

The story referenced above is heartbreaking. No one wants to find his or her dog mutilated because it was left outside too long, escaped, wasn’t on a leash (whatever the reason may be) then gone. We have to take action to prevent this so something like this does not happen again.

“They are going to be supervised better,” says the owner of the dog who attacked the other dog. Another person from the story says his son won’t go out alone after that incident. And their family pet? Only on a leash.

Feel free to call NHS at 402-444-7800, extension 1, with any questions regarding ordinances, dog bites or to report an animal control issue.

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