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Dog owners: Leashes may soon be a requirement at Rochester's parks

Dog owners: Leashes may soon be a requirement at Rochester's parks

(THE MED CITY BEAT) - The Rochester Park Board on Tuesday approved new leash restrictions on pet owners.

Under the board's proposal, dogs owners would be required to keep their canine friends on 10-foot leashes when within 25 feet of:

  • Organized events (like concerts and sporting events)
  • Playgrounds
  • Public picnic tables and benches

Dogs would also need to be kept on a leash when within a 25-foot trail corridor centered on any maintained trail, plus any portion of Quarry Hill Park. 

The proposal includes language that would still allow dogs to be off a leash in sports parks, except when events are taking place.

The board's vote only affects the city's parks, or about 3,500 acres. The city council is also considering making changes to the pet leash ordinance, which would affect all public property in Rochester.

Unlike most cities in Minnesota, Rochester does not require dogs to be on a leash when off private property. The animal just needs to be under the control of the owner, which means by command or leash, chain, or cable. 

Under the city's current ordinance, the dog must always return to the owner within two verbal commands. Any dogs declared dangerous by the state must always be on a leash.

The changes proposed by the board would not affect Rochester's two dog parks.

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(Cover photo: File / Quinn Dombrowski / Creative Commons)

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