Indiana Leash Law: How Does It Work?

indiana leash law

Dog leash laws can vary by state. In Indiana, there is not a statewide leash law. Instead, each local city or municipality can set its own laws concerning restraining dogs. That said, most cities in Indiana do require that a dog be restrained, whether it is on public property or the owner’s private property. Furthermore, if you are attacked and bitten by a dog who was not on a leash, you have the right to file a claim against the negligent dog owner. 

At Poynter & Bucheri, LLC, our Indianapolis dog bite attorneys are dedicated to helping dog bite victims pursue compensation for their injuries. If you were bitten by a dog and need assistance with your claim, we are here to help. 

Indiana Leash Law

Again, Indiana leash law is not a statewide law. Though the state does have specific laws concerning penalties for owners who fail to restrain a dog that attacks someone, the specific leash laws still vary by city and municipality. While a dog biting while on a leash isn’t impossible, being controlled by its owner does help prevent incidents.

Indianapolis Leash Law

According to Code 531-102a, owners are required to ensure their dogs are not “at large” in the city. “At large” means roaming free and loose, not on a leash and under the control of a competent person or not confined within a cage, pen, corral, yard, house, vehicle, or other secure enclosure. 

Hammond Leash Law

According to Hammond Ordinance 91.071 A, all dogs must be safely kept under restraint, with restraint meaning “secured by a leash or lead or under the control of a responsible person and obedient to that person’s commands, or within the real property limits of its owner.”

Additionally, a dog can be “restrained” by being kept:

  • Inside the owner’s home
  • In a locked pen or kennel with adequate lighting and ventilation
  • Within a fenced area that prevents escape

When off of the owner’s property, the dog shall be kept on a leash that is no more than six feet long. The dog may also not be left tied unattended. 

Fort Wayne Leash Law

Fort Wayne’s legislation states that dogs must be secured by a leash or lead under the physical control of the owner. When the dog is not leashed, they must be confined within the owner’s property. 

Muncie Leash Law

According to Muncie Code 90.06, owners shall not allow their dog to run at large upon any street or public place or someone else’s private property unless the owner of that property is in charge or has custody of the dog. “At large” means roaming free without a leash or under the control of the owner. 

Evansville Leash Law

Evansville legislative code 6.05.060 F states that dogs must be leashed when not on the owner’s property. One end of the leash must be attached to a collar or harness, and the other end must be attached to the person accompanying the dog. 

Indiana Dog Bite Law

While the laws governing how a dog must be restrained can vary from city to city, Indiana does have strict dog bite statewide laws when it comes to dog attacks and dog bites.

According to Indiana Code 15-20-1-4, a dog owner will be found to have committed a Class C Misdemeanor if:

  • They recklessly, intentionally, or knowingly fail to take reasonable measures to restrain their dog, and
  • the dog enters property other than the dog owner’s, and
  • as a result of this failure to restrain the dog, the dog attacks or bites another person without having been provoked. 

In other words, if a dog owner fails to restrain their dog according to their local municipality’s leash laws and the dog then attacks and bites someone, the owner can be charged with a Class C Misdemeanor and potentially held liable for the injuries their dog caused.

However, it’s important to note that unless the person bitten was a government worker carrying out their duty (i.e., a mail carrier or police officer), you must provide evidence supporting the “one bite” rule of negligence. 

Indiana has strict liability for when a government worker is attacked and bitten by a dog, but for everyone else, the “one bite” rule applies. This means that to file a claim against the dog owner and hold them liable for your injuries, you will have to prove that the owner knew, or should have known, that their dog was aggressive and likely to attack and bite someone. 

If it is the dog’s first time showing aggression and biting a person and the owner had no prior knowledge of their dog ever biting someone before, they will essentially be given a pass for this first offense or “one bite.”

Consult an Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyer 

If you were attacked and bitten by a dog in Indiana, you should get in touch with a local dog bite lawyer. As leash laws can vary from city to city, it’s important to work with an attorney with local knowledge of the leash laws and experience handling cases like yours. 

At Poynter & Bucheri, our dog bite attorneys have handled a wide range of dog attack cases in and around the Indianapolis area, including if a dog bites while on a leash. If you need assistance filing a claim and recovering compensation for your dog bite injuries, we are here to help. 

Don’t hesitate — an experienced Indiana dog bite lawyer can assist you right away. Call 1-800-265-9881 for a free case review.