City of Odessa Enforcing Leash Laws at City Parks

By Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Unleashed dogs in City Parks are becoming a problem.

"That's not allowed.  That's against the law in the City of Odessa and you can be ticketed should we see that," Cheryl Strom, with Odessa Animal Control, said.

Odessa Animal Control has been getting a lot of calls from concerned Odessans.   More and people are letting their larger dogs roam the parks without a leash, and that's raising safety issues.

According to Strom, "Some people like to walk the park.  There's some people that might even be running or kids playing and that concerns us because, you know dogs.  That's kind of what they do, chase things and when they chase, they tend to bite.  These nips can turn into bad bites and we don't want that happening here."

But if you're not careful, one simple dog at large ticket can turn into multiple violations.

"We can check your pet records for license and rabies vaccinations.  It could be 3 fines right there," Strom said.

At 500 dollars a pop, you're looking at a pretty hefty out of pocket expense.

But one dog owner NewsWest 9 spoke to says, something more could be done to drive the message home.

"It's the law, for one thing, but just common sense; you should have concern for other people's safety.  If you're not the only one, if it's not private property, I definitely agree with the fines," Dog Owner, Kimberly New, said.

Should you get caught and you try to use the excuse you didn't know, try again.

"Zero tolerance there.  There's signs there, informing the public," Strom said.

All breeds of dogs are allowed in most city parks provided they are on a leash at all times, but Animal Control says you should read the signs no matter where you are, since some parks don't allow pets at all.