Off-Leash Sweep Monday Night Has Dog Owners Wanting Dog Park, Off-Leash Hours

Published 03/12 2014 06:11PM

Updated 03/12 2014 06:28PM

By Monica Yantosh

LUBBOCK, TX -- An off-leash sweep that happened Monday night at Tech Terrace Park has some dog owners saying they want either a designated dog park, or at least off leash hours.

Monday night, dog owners who were out enjoying the weather at Tech Terrace Park called KLBK after animal service officers came by the park to check if dogs were off-leash.

According to Animal Services, they did have numerous complaints come in of people allowing their dogs off-leash, then followed up and wrote seven citations to owners.

Some dog owners also told KLBK one dog was even taken away by Animal Services Monday. Animal Services confirmed this, saying it was because the owner did not want to identify themselves to the officers, though people on scene said that was not the case. Animal Services said the dog was picked up by the family the next day.

"This is a community, and now, this is what you get," Jon Spears said.

"Animal Control came out and they did, what's called in their words, a sweep, where they brought unmarked cars, and they surrounded everyone in the park, and moved in all at once to write tickets, and make sure everybody had their dog on a leash," Caleb Crow said.

For now, any dog owner looking for off-leash activity for their dogs don't have a legal option. City Ordinances state that there is no off-leash time for dogs. The only exception listed is for people who have permits, and Animal Services said that's typically people who have petting zoos or circuses.

"What is the rule, and then would it be possible to have dogs off-leash? I mean that's our main concern, and really all we want to do is socialize our dogs," Crow said.

The ordinance also said that dogs have to be contained when they're at home, by something like a fence, and then be on a leash when they leave the yard.  Animal Services recommends longer leashes to allow dogs a little more freedom, while still being on-leash.

"If we just had off-leash hours, that would be a good compromise, I mean we want to go by the rules, but we have to know what the rules are," Spears said.

Some of the owners told KLBK their fines were around $200 for having their dogs off-leash.

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