Walking your dog off-leash

Person walking along trail with large breed dog walking ahead, off-leash

Dogs MUST be leashed unless in a designated off-leash area. The law states this, and yet people continue to choose to walk their dog off-leash on city streets or in areas where it is not designated. 

It is incredibly inconsiderate, rude, entitled, and dangerous to walk your dog off-leash. No matter how much training your dog has, they’re still a dog and they never be 100% reliable.

Leash. Your. Dog.

In October, 2021, this elderly man collided with a dog who was running, off-leash, alongside his humans, rollerblading on a trail in Toronto.

“The dog, about the size of a Golden Retriever, seemed calm, but suddenly began running away from the owners to chase squirrels in a nearby grassy area. …he ended up with a broken pelvis due to the fall.”

The guardians didn’t stop. They kept going. 

Eldery man, wearing a helmet, lying on a trail beside his collapsed bike

Imagine the recovery this man will have – the costs associated, the emotional trauma, the ongoing rehabilitation, the lifelong pain, the loss of income, the lessened quality of life.

This is just an article in your news feed. It will disappear. This man will be dealing with this outcome for many years to come.

Think about that the next time you think it’s okay to walk your dog off-leash.

The fine of $365 is a joke. The fine should be that the owners should bear full financial responsibility for this man’s recovery until he is fully recovered. 

In 2016 I suffered a slip and fall accident where multiple bones were broken and I ended up in a wheelchair for months. I lived alone and was dependent on family coming by to help with meals and care. It was months and months before I was able to stand, but then I had to relearn how to walk. Five years later, I am still in pain, daily. These types of injuries are long-lasting and the emotional trauma of having to be isolated and physically disabled are also long-lasting. The financial trauma is also huge and no one should have to bear that weight because of someone else’s neglect. 

We don’t think about this when we unclip the leash and ride out the wave of entitlement in public. We are only thinking of ourselves. 

The moral of the story is: 

Leash. Your. Dog.