Leash Laws and NYC

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Have you ever wondered what the law actually is for you and your dog in a park in NYC?  It may be confusing so we would like to try to decrease the confusion.  Did you know your dog must be kept on a leash at all times.  Please take this seriously as it really is possible to get a summons, fined and believe it or not possibly arrested.   NYC considers a leash to “be not more than six feet of length in a public place”.   The Department of Public Health states that dogs are to be kept on their leash to prevent dog bites and well as the spread of zoonotic disease i.e. rabies.  The DOPH feels that a dog has a greater chance of interacting with a rabid raccoon while off a leash than on the leash.   But…would you like to be able to go to a designated park and take your dog off the leash?   The Department of Parks and Recreation does have a small window of opportunity to allow your dog to get some exercise and run off leash at certain parks and at certain time hours only. ” that shall not begin earlier than 9:00 p.m. and not extend past 9:00 a.m.  Such rules shall also specify that persons in control of dogs allowed to be off the leash in such areas and facilities maintain and provide, on demand, proof of current dog licensure and current rabies vaccination when dogs are allowed to be off the leash” .

Both the rabies and dog license tags should  be placed  on the  collar.  If they have somehow fallen off you can carry that proof on your person.  i.e. a copy of your rabies certificate as well as a copy of the dog license.

NYC dog license can be obtained by either calling 311

For more detail regarding the “rules”

Here are a few of the parks in the area that allow your dog to be off leash during the hours specified above.

  • Astoria Park
  • La Guardia Landing Light(Grand Central Parkway, 81 Street & 82 Street & Astoria Boulevard, 23 Avenue 84, 24 thru 30 Avenues, 77 Street through 81 Street)
  • Queensbridge Park

To find more parks in NYC

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