• Kenneth Powell

How Much Is a Dog at Large Ticket in Missouri?

In the state of Missouri, owners are fully responsible for restraining and supervising their pet dogs. They need to keep them on a leash in all public areas and ensure they cannot run away from private property. If the dog somehow escapes and is found by authorities, the owner is to pay a fine.

But how much is a dog at large ticket in Missouri? From fee information to restraint laws, here is what every canine owner in the state needs to know.

Missouri Dog Restraint Laws

Missouri Dog Restraint Laws

According to Missouri’s Adequate Control Law, all owners have a duty to restrain and supervise their dogs in public areas. In addition, the law states that owners must ensure their dogs cannot escape their yards or any other private property they own.

Restraining a dog in public includes keeping it on a leash sturdy enough to contain the canine. The leash must be fitting for the animal’s size and weight, and it cannot be longer than six feet. Moreover, the regulations mandate that a person of sound mind must control the leash.

As far as private properties are concerned, the situation is similar. People must ensure that their dogs are secure inside any home or building. If they live outside in a yard, dogs have to be surrounded by an adequate fence. Finally, owners have to secure the canine with a chain or cable if their home has no fence and the dog is outside.

These rules are necessary for two reasons. First, they decrease the chances of the dog running away, thus keeping it safe from traffic and roaming animals. Secondly, they protect everyone else from the dog, be it humans or other pets. They also warrant that the dog does not damage anyone else’s property.

Not complying with Adequate Control regulations usually results in fines. If the dog attacks someone while at large, the owner is liable to pay damages to the injured party. Lastly, municipalities and cities also have the right to impound dogs they find roaming the streets at any time.

How Much Is the Dog at Large Fine?

Dogs without any physical restraint on public property are considered to be at large. If the owner is identified immediately, they will receive a citation but retain the right to keep their animal. The citation usually does not exceed $100, although it all depends on the city or municipality the transgression happens in.

However, the situation is vastly different if a dog is at large and the owner is not nearby. In such cases, the authorities have the right to impound the animal and take it to the local shelter.

Owners will have to claim their dogs within seven days of the impounding. If they do not, the dog becomes eligible for adoption. In some cases, the shelter may also euthanize it.

The fines for impounded dogs are different as well. In most cities, owners may have to pay as much as $500 to recover their dog. In addition to this sum, they will also have to cover the dog’s stay in the shelter, which is usually around $15 per day. If the dog is not licensed or vaccinated for rabies, the owner will also have to cover these expenses. This proves why you need a dog license in Missouri.

Matters become even more complicated if people receive multiple fines. Namely, they might have to forfeit the dog for up to two years if the animal escapes more than twice. Additionally, the state might prohibit them from keeping dogs or other animals in the future.

In Case of Injuries, Damage, and Other Issues

In many situations, roaming dogs may attack other animals, bite humans, or cause property damage. If such is the case, the owners are liable for all damages. Injured parties can sue the owner and get compensation for their pain and suffering, along with medical bills. Additionally, doctors are supposed to report dog bites in Missouri. Thus, while the fine for an at-large or impounded dog stays the same, owners often have to pay much more in case of injuries/damage. Hiring an experienced dog bite lawyer in St Louis MO is necessary to get the compensation the victim deserves.

Certain municipalities also impose laws for uncontrolled breeding. If a dog escapes and breeds, resulting in the birth of unwanted animals that the state shelter has to take care of, the dog’s owner can also be at fault. However, that is the case only in select cities and is not a state-wide regulation.