MORRIS COUNTY, N.J. – Dogs, along with their owners, are welcome in many of the Morris County Park Commission’s general-purpose parks, as well as in the Off-Leash Dog Parks. While dogs may be human’s best friend, not all dogs are friendly or welcomed by everyone. Unfortunately, dogs could unintentionally cause harm, and result in legal penalties for the owner.
Most dogs are friendly, even to unfamiliar people and pets, however, any dog can jump on someone and knock them down or cause them to fall. Pet owners can be held liable for injuries or damage caused by their animals. Sometimes people are frightened to see a dog running towards them and can be injured in attempting to escape.
Additionally, virtually all dogs will pursue wildlife, either playfully or with serious intent to do harm. Parks are often home to endangered or threatened species. The dog may cause harm to wildlife, such as ground-nesting birds, by causing the animal to lose precious energy or time it needs to care for its young.
To avoid injuries or even frightening the public, the Morris County Park Commission Rules and Regulations mandates that all dogs must be under the control of the owner or person who has custody of the animal, on a leash not exceeding six-feet in length.
The Morris County Park Police are currently patrolling parks and will strongly enforce the law. Any dog found at large and not under the control a leash less than six-feet, may be seized as provided by law or ordinance.
“There have been multiple situations that have resulted in serious injuries when dogs who are off the leash have injured children and adults, and attacked wildlife. Our initiative is increase the public’s awareness of the six-feet leash requirements and ultimately avoid injuries and exposure to costly legal liabilities,” Morris County Park Police Chief Gabe DiPietro.
“We require the public to respect the Morris County Park Commission Rules and Regulations so everyone can be safe and enjoy the parks. If the public observes a dog off the leash, they are encouraged to contact the police immediately and report the violation,” Chief DiPietro said.
The six-foot leash requirement will be strictly enforced, said Chief DiPietro. To report a violation, call 973-326.7654. In the event of an emergency, call 911.
The Morris County Park Commission provides two Off-Leash Dog Parks, located at Central Park of Morris County in Parsippany-Troy-Hills and at Lewis Morris County Park in Morris Township, for the enjoyment of owners and their off-leash dogs.
Owners are encouraged to make certain their dog is park ready by being responsive to voice commands, able to socialize with people and other dogs, and follow all Off-Leash Dog Park Guidelines.
These guidelines can be found at morrisparks.net.