Why punish an obedient off-leash dog?

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Question:

Leash laws being what they are, how can the county fine me for having a dog "running at large" when he was standing three feet away from me doing nothing? No, he didn't have a leash on -- but is that really running at large?

Answer:

The county can fine you because leash means leash. Either Spot had one attached to his neck or Spot was a scofflaw.

There is an off chance you could persuade a judge that Spot was not, technically speaking, "running at large." Some leash laws require only that dogs be leashed or under voice command. Check your law -- and be prepared to prove that your dog freezes instantly whenever you whistle.

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