Retractable string leads are inadequate to control even a small dog, are easily chewed through, are almost impossible to affix to a fence or post, and can easily trip you. In short, there ought to be a law against them.
Now the city of San Jose, California has done exactly that! The San Jose Mercury News reports:
The San Jose City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a new ordinance that requires people on city trails to keep their dogs on leashes no longer than 6 feet -- 14 feet shorter than is allowed now.
The new law also requires dog owners to walk, jog or bicycle to the right of the trail with their pets.
First-time violators would receive a warning, second-time violators could be issued a $100 citation, and a third violation within three years could result in a $200 fine.
The action comes after a series of community meetings held by San Jose City Councilwoman Nancy Pyle following a fatal accident that occurred on Sept. 16, 2009.
Beverly Head was taking a morning walk when her legs became entangled in a dog leash as a mountain biker riding alongside his two Siberian Huskies passed her on the Los Alamitos Creek Trail. The retired 62-year-old San Jose phlebotomist fell, bumped her head and was conscious after the accident. But at the hospital, her brain swelled and she died the next day.
To be clear, the string leads are only illegal on bike and walking paths. But that's a start! How many more people need to be killed, have their legs broken, and their fingers amputated before we say this is a product we managed to live 4,000 years without ... and that we can probably do so again.