What are Missouri’s Leash Laws?

By Chris Dixon


Unlike some states in the U.S., Missouri doesn’t have a statewide leash law. However, there is an “adequate control” law that requires dogs and other animals to be restrained and supervised on public property to prevent harm to the animal, other animals, and people. If you have been bitten by an unleashed dog on public property and need help with your case, you need to consult a St. Louis Dog Bite Lawyer who knows Missouri’s leash laws, and can make sure that you get the compensation that you could be entitled to.

Missouri’s Adequate Control Law

While Missouri doesn’t have a statewide leash law like some states in the U.S., there is an adequate control law under Missouri’s injury statute (§578.005). Missouri’s adequate control law defines adequate control as “to reasonably restrain or govern an animal so that the animal does not injure itself, any person, any other animal, or property.” While an animal is not required to be restrained on private property, under this law, if a dog isn’t restrained in public, and bites a person or another animal, the victim or injured animal’s owner have the right to sue the dog’s owner for damages with adequate proof. Recoverable damages from the accident can include medical expenses, property damage, pain and suffering, and lost wages.

Missouri Leash Laws for Parks

Missori does not have a leash law, but there is a regulation in place for Missouri state parks that requires pets to be restrained by a leash no longer than 10 feet and supervised at all times. Furthermore, Missouri State Park Regulations state that, “pets, other than service dogs used by persons with disabilities, are not allowed inside any state park or historic building, in public swimming areas and beaches, in waters reserved for fishing or in certain limited areas.” Violation of state park regulations can result in a citation. For example, if a non-service animal is on the beach in a state park, this can result in a fine of $28.50, or if someone else’s dog bites a person in a state park, a citation of $153.50. Not to mention, the victim of the dog bite accident has the right to file a claim against the dog’s owner to recover full compensation for their harm and losses caused in the accident.

According to the Center for Disease Control, nearly 1 in 5 people bitten by a dog requires medical attention. While not all dog bite cases are eligible to recover compensation, if a dog bites a person unprovoked, on public property, whether the owner was supervising the animal or not, the victim in the accident has the right to file a claim against the dog’s owner to recover compensation for their injuries and financial damages. For example, if a dog is unleashed on a public road, and the unrestrained dog bites a person walking on the road, the victim can sue the dog’s owner.

The primary victims of dog bite accidents are typically children under the age of 9. In December of last year, a 2-year-old girl in Normandy, MO, was bitten by an unrestrained dog while visiting her grandma’s house and left with severe injuries to her cheeks and lips. When a dog bite accident happens, it’s crucial to immediately do the following:

  • Gather evidence of your injuries
  • Collect evidence from the scene of the accident
  • Record information about the dog, such as its size, color, and breed
  • Call the police
  • Report the attack to St. Louis Animal Control
  • Hire an experienced St. Louis Dog Bite Lawyer to represent your dog bite case/li>

Talk to a St. Louis Dog Bite Lawyer Today

If you or someone you love has been bitten by an unleashed dog in Missouri, you could be entitled to compensation from the dog’s negligent owner. A St. Louis Dog Bite Lawyer can assess your case, determine who is liable in the accident, gather evidence, and bring a powerful dog bite injury claim against dog’s owner to recover compensation for your harm and losses.

Christopher Dixon and the St. Louis Dog Bite Lawyers at the Dixon Injury Firm know what it takes to recover the most compensation for your dog bite injuries caused by an unleashed animal. No one should have to suffer dog bite injuries, but when it does happen, our Dog Bite Lawyers in St. Louis will do everything they can to get justice for your case.

Chris Dixon has recovered upwards of $35,000,000 in settlements and recoveries for personal injury victims in Missouri and has repeatedly earned the status of “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers. If you are ready to see how Chris and the St. Louis Dog Bite Lawyers can help with your case, call (314) 409-7060, 855-40-7274 (toll-free), or contact the Dixon Injury Firm today to schedule a free consultation and explore the options available to your dog bite case.

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