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Is There a Leash Law in Seminole County?

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In Seminole County there is a leash law, and in the Seminole County ordinances it is officially called: Sec. 20.17-Animals at-large prohibited; custody and confinement authorized.

That seems to be the big question lately. 

In Seminole County there is a leash law, and in the Seminole County ordinances it is officially called: Sec. 20.17-Animals at-large prohibited; custody and confinement authorized. Since this is a mouthful, let’s go over in layman’s terms what Sec. 20.17 actually says and means.

Most importantly, the “animals at-large” ordinance applies to both dogs and cats. Many people do not realize that cats are included so making everyone aware of this is extremely necessary.

The gist of the “animals-at-large” ordinance is that it is a violation for any dog or cat to run loose on any public or private property, unless the owner(s) of the property authorizes your animal to do so. For example, it would be authorized for your dog to run loose in a dog park, but not a public park.

All dogs must be on a leash when being walked off the owner’s property. In compliance with the ordinance, dogs on flexi leads that extend beyond eight feet must be reeled in to eight feet when other pets or people are around. (Service dogs are exempt from this.)

When any domestic animal is found running loose within Seminole County, it may be taken into custody by animal control or a law enforcement agency and taken to the Seminole County Animal Services (SCAS) shelter. A private citizen may also turn a stray animal into SCAS when found. There will be fees to redeem your pet once impounded


The best way to keep your dog or cat safe and in compliance is to have your pet on a leash whenever you are outside your home or fenced yard. Make sure your pet is also properly vaccinated and has a Seminole County pet license. Remember, it is up to you to be a responsible pet owner in order to keep your beloved pets safe.

SCAS is located at 232 Eslinger Way, Sanford. Adoptions, licensing, education, low-cost rabies vaccines, microchips, and volunteer opportunities are available. Animal Services will gladly accept donations, all of which go toward our homeless animals. To read more about the ordinances that apply to animals in Seminole County, visit SeminoleCountyPets.com and click on “Ordinances Pertaining To Animals” in the left-hand menu bar.

Diane Gagliano is the program coordinator at Seminole County Animal Services. She has been an animal advocate for over 20 years and proudly owns several rescue dogs and cats.
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