Did You Know: Dogs in City Parks

Pick Up After Your Pet SignThe La Crosse Police Department frequently receives calls regarding dogs in City parks: what is allowed and what is not?  In November of 2013, the La Crosse City Council amended the Municipal Code of Ordinances relating to Animals in City Parks, Athletic Fields, and Trails, as well as Prohibited Areas for Animals.  A summary of these ordinances is as follows:

  • You CAN walk a dog on a City trail as long as the dog is on a leash of eight (8) feet or less.
  • You CAN walk a dog in a City park as long as the dog is on a leash of eight (8) feet or less, AND you remain on the sidewalk, designated walkways, or trails.
  • You CANNOT let a dog roam free, unless you and the dog are within a City-designated “Dog Park”, AND the dog remains under your voice control at all times.
  • You CANNOT walk a dog on any beach, playing field, groomed ski trail, or at any school (unless authorized), golf course (unless it is closed for the season), or cemetery in the City of La Crosse.
  • You MUST ALWAYS remove the dog’s fecal matter from the trail or park and deposit it in a waste container.
  • The dog MUST ALWAYS display current registration and rabies tags.

This information does not apply to visually-impaired, hearing-impaired, or mobility-impaired persons being led by a dog specifically trained or being trained for the respective purpose.  Dogs used by members of City Police, City Fire, County Sheriff, or any State or Federal agencies have full access to all City parks.

Violation of these ordinances can result in a citation and fine.

To view the ordinances in their entirety, visit the Municipal Code of Ordinances online:

For more information on dog parks in the City of La Crosse, visit the Parks & Recreation webpage.

The La Crosse Police Department “Did You Know” series will feature information in response to the questions we receive most frequently from the community.  If there’s anything you’d like to learn more about, let us know.  It could be the next feature!


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