Pleasanton police work to make sure residents keep dogs on leash

Department holds special enforcement effort at Ken Mercer Sports Park

Reports of dogs roaming without a leash in public parks are on the rise in Pleasanton, and the police department is working to remind residents of the important safety -- and legal -- reasons to keep their canine companions leashed when out in the city.

A handful of police officers spent several hours at Ken Mercer Sports Park one morning earlier this month as part of a special enforcement event, patrolling to make sure residents adhered to the law that requires all dogs to be on a leash in public, unless at one of the two special off-leash dog parks.

"The leash law is so important, for so many reasons," said Officer Frankie Blavet, the department's animal services officer. "It is the best way to keep your pet safe while enjoying the parks. The leash law keeps everyone safe by preventing dog bites, both for humans and animals alike. Almost all of our dog bite cases are a result of a dog being off-leash."

"The leash law also protects our local wildlife and keeps our pets safe from tragic events, such as being struck by vehicles," she added. "It takes just a second for an off-leash dog to dart after a squirrel and chase it onto a roadway with oncoming vehicles. These tragic events can be easily prevented by having your dog leashed."

The department recorded 48 cases of dog bites last year, with about 90% of those involving off-leash dogs, according to Blavet. Additionally, police have reported a recent increase in complaints about off-leash dogs, mainly at the Sports Park in central Pleasanton, along Parkside Drive just off Hopyard Road.

As a result, the department sent several officers and police volunteers to the park on the morning of Jan. 3 to enforce the leash law.

Most of the residents had their dogs properly leashed, but officers did issue three citations to people with non-leashed dogs, Blavet said. The citation carries a $100 fine for a first offense, and the fine increases for any subsequent violation.

Officers also took the opportunity to remind all dog owners about why the leash law is important, and they even posed for photos with some of Pleasanton's finest pups, according to Blavet.

The department plans to hold more leash enforcement events in the future, according to Blavet. City regulations also require all dogs over 4 months old to be licensed, and keeping dogs up-to-date on vaccinations is important as well, Blavet added.

Pleasanton does have two off-leash dog parks, at Muirwood Dog Park (4701 Muirwood Drive) and Cubby's Dog Park (3200 W. Lagoon Road). Dogs can also hike off-leash at Augustin Bernal Community Park on the Pleasanton Ridge, with trail entrance at 8200 Golden Eagle Way.


7 people like this
Posted by Jeff
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jan 13, 2018 at 10:18 am

The animal control girl is pretty

15 people like this
Posted by Jake Waters
a resident of Birdland
on Jan 14, 2018 at 9:19 am

Jake Waters is a registered user.

Here is an idea for the police department: start addressing the pan handling at intersections, the homelessness that is growing in our community (which if isn’t confronted will get out of control), robberies and car burglaries at the Stoneridge Shopping Mall, The day workers that loiter from Home Depot to the Lazy Boy, and burglaries in our communities that are increasing to name a few. I would rather hear about time spent confronting those problems that are growing then a few dogs running around without a leash, we can live with for a time.

9 people like this
Posted by To jake
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 14, 2018 at 10:25 am

Not all issues are police issues. There is no law against panhandling at an intersection or being homeless. People have rights. Find and post a penal code that the police can enforce to address those issues. *hint (You cannot). Plus, most of these burglaries are because people place valuables in plain site in their vehicles. And police do actually make arrests for most robberies (you can find this information yourself in the police annual report).

9 people like this
Posted by Jake Waters
a resident of Birdland
on Jan 14, 2018 at 10:41 am

@To Jake

Interesting handle. You are right and you are wrong.

Let’s deal with the homelessness: alcohol and drug issues, filth and disease, outlying crimes of theft, burglary and more. Do you really think the homelessness establishes a community of their own with rules and bylaws and morals? No, as it is allowed to grow, it perpetuates crime in our community.

Pan handling at the intersections: impeding traffic, distraction to moving traffic where accidents can and do happen and more. You want pan handlingly to grow. Impeding traffic and stepping onto the highway while not in the crosswalk is a traffic violation.

Day workers: impeding traffic, trash that is left behind, creating more of an atmosphere for other illegals to come here and gather.

You let these issues get out of control and it becomes more and more difficult to correct. Your sweet little Pleasanton goes the way of liberals as the other cities run by Democrats. Drive through Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose and more.

8 people like this
Posted by To jake
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 14, 2018 at 10:56 am

You are right about all the issues your brought up. But, again, police can not address all community issues. They need tools to enforce them. If they are willing to run around chasing dogs of leashes because people complain about it, I'm sure they would aggressively enforce any municipal code making standing at an intersection illegal. However, there is no such law. Other cities have adopted ordinances and some of these cities have been sued and lost by groups like the ACLU.

For impeding traffic, what vehicle code section are you citing? There are none that apply to a pedestrian standing on a center median. Distraction to moving traffic? I agree with you, but there is no vehicle code, penal code or municipal code that applies that describe a person standing on a center median with a sign that the police can enforce. Police cannot enforce general discretions, there must be a corresponding enforcement section they are citing. Also police cannot arrest people or detain them because they are homeless. If they are trespassing, the owner of the property must press charges. If police lawfully contact them and they have drugs, I'm sure they take action but now, because of a recent law passed in 2015, possession of any drug is only a misdemeanor and these people are supposed to be given a ticket and not taken to jail according to the penal code. These issues need to be addressed with the community.

13 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 14, 2018 at 5:04 pm

BobB is a registered user.


Pleasanton police are very responsive to complaints of loitering by homeless on private property, like the Safeway parking lot at Valley and Santa Rita.

35 people like this
Posted by Common Sense
a resident of Del Prado
on Jan 14, 2018 at 7:27 pm

I was hiking along the Ridge hiking trail today and must have passed by 20+ people who walked their dogs without a leash. Every now and then one of those dogs would come sniff my junk and all I hear from those people is "she's friendly". How would these dog owners like me to rub my trekking pole on their junk and tell them that my pole is friendly. Damn irresponsible dog owners don't seem to care about others who use the trail. We need Ms. Animal Control to issue some citations there so most of us can enjoy our hike without being harass by these flea bags.

9 people like this
Posted by EthanKelly1990
a resident of Canyon Creek
on Jan 15, 2018 at 12:39 am

EthanKelly1990 is a registered user.

I'm perfectly fine with this solution. I often see dogs walking by their owners without a leash. Dogs are mainly driven by instincts, so it's just a matter of time until something bad happens because of that.

Best regards, Ethan
Web Link

13 people like this
Posted by Inspector
a resident of another community
on Jan 15, 2018 at 9:11 am

I thought you said your dog does not bite?

Its not my dog .

22 people like this
Posted by Vigy
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Jan 15, 2018 at 9:44 am

Vigy is a registered user.

I fully support enforcement of our leash laws by Pleasanton Police. I've had two moments when I feared for my life (and that of a child) because of an off-leash and out-of-control dog. I don't think my heart can stand a third event of this type.

9 people like this
Posted by Val VIsta Resident
a resident of Val Vista
on Jan 15, 2018 at 12:56 pm

I walk my two dogs every single day to the val vista park. There are often dogs off leash with their owners. They are friendly for the most part, but the main concern I have is that their owners don't pick up after their dogs!! My dogs sniff out every one of their disgusting piles. They are all over the sidewalks and the grass. So please don't forget about patrolling Val Vista Park! Thank you

3 people like this
Posted by Spudly
a resident of Laguna Oaks
on Jan 15, 2018 at 2:32 pm

@Commen Sense,

Part of the issue may be with the East Bay Regional Parks policy which does allow for off leash dogs on the Pleasanton Ridge Trail. "Protect your junk!" I suppose a dog inspecting your junk can be interpreted as not "keep the dog under control at all times" per the regulation but I am not an expert in that area. Maybe a call to the parks district would clarify that as I assume they or their attorney's made up regulation 801.3 below.

The dog owners seem to get some leeway here due to the regulation.

801.3  Leash Optional Areas (Undeveloped Areas). A dog may run at large under the control of its owner or handler within undeveloped areas of the District, provided, however, that the owner or handler shall have a leash for each dog in his/her possession and keep the dog under control at all times. (I)

14 people like this
Posted by A dog lovers perspective
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Jan 15, 2018 at 2:55 pm

I support education and then enforcement if needed about leash laws. I used to let me dog off leash not realizing the risks. After my previous dog was nearly hit by a car chasing a squirrel, I put him on a leash. I now have a generally well mannered dog who happens to be "leash aggressive" to other dogs who approach him and are unleashed. There are many dogs like this than I ever imagined. Having your dog unleashed can put both dogs at risk of an altercation which is not fair to anyone. One of my elderly neighbors was pulled down to the ground when her leashed down recently when an unleashed dog approached them without warning. She is now afraid to even walk in her nearby park.
This is a real issue that many are interested in having enforced so all can enjoy our parks. Please take advantage of our beautiful dog parks if you want your dog to run offleash

33 people like this
Posted by Leash your dog!
a resident of another community
on Jan 15, 2018 at 3:15 pm

I was digging in my garden when an off leash dog aggressively ran at me with the owner trailing behind screaming for the dog to stop. I turned sideways just as the dog leaped at me. I was able to swing the shovel like a baseball bat and connected with the dog, dropping him to the ground. The owner yelled at me for hitting his dog and I told him he would be next. When walking on trails I carry a walking stick and would never hesitate to use it if any dog came toward me to sniff or do anything else. Why is sniffing my private parts considered acceptable just because your dog is “friendly”?

1 person likes this
Posted by David
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Jan 15, 2018 at 3:53 pm

David is a registered user.

Dear Leash Your Dog,
Get therapy as soon as possible. You have major anger management problems. If it were not dogs, it would be some other problem you want to physically fight about.

24 people like this
Posted by Leash your dog!
a resident of another community
on Jan 15, 2018 at 4:07 pm

Maybe you can tell me how I was the aggressor while digging in my yard and being forced to defend myself against a dog that was airborne with bared teeth? My driveway is more than 200’ long and the dog was running full bore at me. Yeah, maybe I should just chill and let the dog bite me. The owner was scared to death that the dog was about to do just that. A Rottweiler BTW. Yeah, anger management my a**.

2 people like this
Posted by Dog Leshes & Parks
a resident of Stoneridge
on Jan 15, 2018 at 5:49 pm

It goes without saying that leashing your dog can keep them safe. Some dogs require more exercise than others. Using the Muirwoid Dog Park is a joke! It’s disgusting! My dogs comes out of there looking like pigpen and that’s during the summer. During winter it’s often a swamp! I don’t have the time to bath my dog after each walk. The other dog park is better, at least it’s not a swamp, but has unfriendly dogs. It would also be nice if you had dog bags at all the parks, not just the “dog” parks.

Like this comment
Posted by another dog lover
a resident of Birdland
on Jan 15, 2018 at 7:20 pm

@A dog lovers perspective - I also have a I now have a dog who happens to be "leash aggressive" to other dogs who approach him and are unleashed. He barks when meeting a strange dog and people think that is aggressive. He'll play at Cubby and then as soon as I put him on leash, he wants to lunge at his playmate. We're working on it - he has improved. I also keep him leashed on the trails and was told by a bicyclist with an off-leashed dog that his dog was friendly. I said mine isn't on leash, so please call your dog. His response - you have no business taking an aggressive dog here. If his dog were also on leash, they both would probably be okay. My dog was under control, on leash and at my side.
In our neighborhood 3 other dogs act as if they are aggressive on leash - off, they want to play with people and other dogs. It's nice that they are understanding. We are working on getting our dogs to be more like labs instead of their terrier instincts and Napolean complex.

2 people like this
Posted by Kumar
a resident of Mohr Park
on Jan 15, 2018 at 7:37 pm

Get friendly with dogs, it is not that difficult or harmful. Get one / rescue one, you will love it.

9 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2018 at 10:17 pm

BobB is a registered user.


This is dicussion about keeping your dog on a leash.

Like this comment
Posted by David
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Jan 15, 2018 at 10:37 pm

David is a registered user.

Leash Your Dod,
The owner would not have yelled at you for hitting their dog with a shovel if what you said actually happened. Add drama lessons to your anger management classes. The only scarey incident was you.

6 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Mission Park
on Jan 16, 2018 at 9:20 am

Time to visit Mission Hills Park. While most folks walk their dogs on a leash, there are many others who turn it into a dog park, with their dogs running freely all over the place.

Haven't been any serious incidents yet, mainly the unleashed dog aggressively going after the poor souls who's dogs ARE on a leash, but it's just a matter of time.

5 people like this
Posted by bitten 2x
a resident of Donlon Elementary School
on Jan 16, 2018 at 9:24 am

its simple - dog bites, you take them to court. I did - it was easy. Insurance settlement.

9 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 16, 2018 at 9:35 am

BobB is a registered user.


Why not just put your dog on a leash?

13 people like this
Posted by jc
a resident of Birdland
on Jan 16, 2018 at 9:46 am

I had 2, intact, male golden retrievers attack my poor dog at the park by Walnut Grove. My dog on a leash, her dogs off leash. My dog got the worst of it and it was terrible. People just don't think it will be their dog! Well, guess what, it can be. Put your dog on a leash when out in public where there are other people and their dogs. No excuse in the world is valid.

4 people like this
Posted by Legal vs. Illegal
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 16, 2018 at 4:22 pm

Common Sense -

There is NO leash law requirements on the ridge - east bay parks allows dogs off lease.

What we are talking about here are the Pleasanton city parks that DO HAVE a leash law, with the exception of the 2 dog parks and Augustine Bernal which do allow off leash dogs.

I am a dog owner and ALWAYS have my dog on leash where the law requires it. I'm a dog lover, owning dogs for 50 years, but I do realize that they are animals and can be unpredictable.

I have a right to walk our city streets and parks without having to worry about dogs coming up to my dog and I and disturbing our walk. Many dogs that owners say are friendly are actually aggressive. We have been attacked numerous times by supposedly friendly dogs.

It is a matter of respect for other people - follow the law and respect your community and your fellow citizens.

Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jan 16, 2018 at 6:54 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Legal vs illegal,
Thank you for the clarity on the ridge. I assumed non compliant owners over allowed to do, fortunately haven’t had issue and appreciate the information

10 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 17, 2018 at 6:11 am

Whether you have "the most lovable, kind, friendly, small, never has bitten anyone" type of dog or not, you still have have it on a leash AT ALL TIMES in public, except in places where are designated for them to be off leash.

5 people like this
Posted by safety girl
a resident of Fairlands Elementary School
on Jan 17, 2018 at 12:33 pm

In regards to dogs; I am a dog owner as well. Yes dogs should be on leashes to prevent any issues. That is why we have dog parks. This allows your dog to be free and run and play with the other dogs. It is not that hard people. If you want to walk you dog at a park that does not have a sectioned off dog park maybe walk your dog in the early morning or late evening when less people are walking. Except in Pleasanton:)you may get a fine. What really disturbs me is this past summer the homeless/ pan handlers are now using more and more dogs to lure you in. When it is 80 degrees and I see a large German Shepard with his paws burning from the pavement; how come the pet patrol does not take action are they licensed do they have their rabies tags. Their paws get burned on the bottom and will bleed. I also saw the same dog become aggressive when a little old lady walking across street.He could have scared her right into traffic. Do the right thing.

Like this comment
Posted by Love Pets
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Jan 19, 2018 at 9:53 am

I love taking my dogs to the dog parks to run free. However, my dog caught Kennel Cough at Cubbys, which cost me a fortune and required him to be quarantined for several weeks, and the Muirwood park is a muddy mess. I can barely walk in the area due to all the mud and don't want to bring a muddy dog home every time. Perhaps the city can take better care of the parks, so those of us that want to use them feel our pets will be safe.

5 people like this
Posted by Buc Lau
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 19, 2018 at 1:42 pm

@Love Pets - perhaps you can just follow the LAW and not transfer the burden of responsibility to the city or the other law-abiding citizens. The city has no burden to sanitize a dog park, thats your responsibility to have it vaccinated. Pretty simple. You have no inherant right to allow your dogs to 'run free'.

Like this comment
Posted by Border Collies
a resident of Stoneridge
on Jan 19, 2018 at 7:19 pm

Hey Buc Lau,

Have you ever taken a walk in the Muirwood Dog Park? It doesn't seems so. Last year was so bad, the whole middle of the dog park was a pool of water. The other park on Bernal has nice wood chips to help prevent this, among other things. Muirwood dog park is a mess and it always has been. Thanks "Love Pets". It's time the city steps up to clean up this mess. We love our pets and don't like subjecting them to this type of environment. Yes, my dogs have shots and yes, the city has money to make this happen. They can easily make this park just as nice as Bernal.

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