A hound it was, an enormous coal-black hound, but not such a hound as mortal eyes have ever seen.
-Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles
Here are the 10 most common dog laws in San Diego:
1) Must Dogs Be On A Leash In San Diego?
San Diego Leash Law
A dog owner or custodian must prevent the dog from being “at large” according to San Diego County Code 62.669. “At large” means being without a leash on public property. “Leash” means rope or similar material six feet or less in length. See sections (c) and (aa) of San Diego County Code 62.602. If you’re on public property, then your dog needs to have a leash.
San Diego has several leash free locations. You can find a map here: Approved Leash Free Locations.
2) How Many Dogs Can You Own In San Diego?
But this is not as straightforward as you’d think.
San Diego County Zoning Ordinance 6150O(n) simply provides that the “keeping of dogs and cats” is allowed.
San Diego County County Code 62.602 defines “kennel” as a facility that keeps 7 or more dogs.
Taking those ordinances together suggests that you can own 6 dogs in San Diego. A writer from the San Diego Union-Tribune reached the same conclusion here: REGION: Limits on dog and cat ownership vary widely.
3) How To File A Dog Bite Report In San Diego?
We answered this question on an earlier blog post, which you can find here: How To File A Dog Bite Report In San Diego.
4) What Are The San Diego Dog Poop Laws?
San Diego County Code 62.670 states that dogs cannot poop or pee on private property. If the dog does, however, any refuse must be cleaned up immediately.
5) What Are The San Diego Dog Bite Laws?
We covered California Dog Bite Law on this blog post: How To File A Dog Bite Report In San Diego.
Here are San Diego Dog Bite Laws:
- You must notify the Department of Animal Services if you 1) were bitten by a dog; 2) are a physician who treated any person bitten by a dog; or 3) your dog bit someone. See San Diego County Code 62.615;
- A rapid dog may be confined by the Department of Animal Services. See San Diego County Code 62.616;
- Biting dogs may also be isolated by the Department of Animal Services. See San Diego County Code 62.617;
- You may be arrested by the Department of Animal Services for violating these laws. See San Diego County Code 62.660 and following;
- Violations could include lacking a dog license (San Diego County Code 62.620) (San Diego County Code 62.663), keeping an unsanitary condition (San Diego County Code 62.668), not restraining your dog (San Diego County Code 62.669), and allowing a dog attack (San Diego County Code 62.669.1) (San Diego County Code 62.669.5).
6) What To Do When Your Dog Bites Another Dog?
You must notify the Department of Animal Services if your dog bit someone. See San Diego County Code 62.615
The Department of Animal Services should then quarantine your dog.
The Department of Animal Services could also declare your dog to be a “Public Nuisance Animal” or “Dangerous Dog.” See San Diego County Code 62.
7) What Are The Dog Breed Restrictions In San Diego?
California Law states that cities and counties can enact dog-specific ordinances related to breeding. See California Health and Safety Code 122331.
It doesn’t appear, however, that San Diego has done that. In other words, there appears to be no dog breed restrictions in San Diego.
8) What To Do If You Hit A Dog With Your Car?
You should stop and see if you can identify the dog’s owner. If so, you should inform the owner. Otherwise, you could be charged for a hit and run accident. See California Vehicle Code 2002.
Note that dogs are considered “property” according to California law.
9) What To Do About A Barking Dog?
Frequent dog barking is prohibited under San Diego Municipal Code section 59.50502(c). You should call San Diego Code Enforcement at (619) 236-5500 to complain.
10) How Can Your Dog Be Declared A “Public Nuisance?”
First, the dog must have bitten someone. Second, that bite should have been reported to the County of San Diego. Third, if there’s a sufficient basis for it, the Department of Animal Services will notify you that it intends to deem the dog a “public nuisance.” If so, you should have the right to challenge that action in a hearing. See San Diego County Code 62.674.