Ask the Chief May 7, 2020
I continue to receive complaints regarding the sump pump hoses lying across sidewalks. Please don’t do this or I will be required to visit you and possibly issue a citation. Think of it this way. If someone trips on your sump pump hose you are liable for it and you or your homeowner’s insurance will pay a lot of money.
Another complaint I receive is dogs that are tied up in their yard but have enough lead to be on the sidewalk. A daycare was walking by and a dog knocked down some kids. I know your dog wouldn’t intentionally hurt anyone, but if they knock someone down and they are hurt, you or your homeowner’s insurance will pay a lot of money.
Finally, there have been questions regarding a leash law in Minneota. Minneota City Ordinance 501.01 Subd. 2 Restraint says, “A dog is under restraint if it is at heel beside a person having custody of it or obedient to that person’s command, or is within a private motor vehicle of a person owning, harboring or keeping the dog; or is controlled by a leash not exceeding six feet in length.” When reading a law it is very important to take note of the punctuation and words like “or” because they separate different clauses so that they stand alone and are not grouped. In short, this ordinance allows for several forms of control when it comes to dogs; the leash is just one of those forms. However, this ordinance does not permit a dog to run onto your property without your consent, even if the owner is with the dog. I would argue that a dog running around the owner into other people’s property and/or the street is not under control, or at a very minimum the owner of the dog is failing to respect you as a property owner as it pertains to controlling the dog. If this happens I encourage you to speak with the owner of the dog. If that fails then you may call me to intervene. I encourage you to talk to the city council if you feel that the ordinance should be changed to require all dogs to be leashed when in public.