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The leash law is a provision in the code of the City of Wichita that prohibits certain domestic animals from roaming free. The leash law (City Code 6.04.040a) states that "Any owner of any animal, other than cats, found running at large within the corporate limits of the city shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor." Section 6 of the code also defines "running at large" as "any animal that is not confined within a fenced enclosure or shelter or under the control of a person, either by lead, cord, rope, or chain; provided, that an animal may be considered confined if it is on a leash, rope, or chain which is sufficient to keep the animal on the premises where picketed."
The law goes on to include electronic fencing as adequate confinement if "the premises of the owner are clearly and prominently marked to show the existence of the electronic fencing system and the animal is equipped with the necessary and operating components of the system required to confine the animal to the owner's property."
Please note: What that means is that all animals except cats must be confined by either a leash, rope, chain, fenced area (conventional or electronic) or inside a dwelling 24 hours a day and not allowed to roam free without the benefit of one or more of these types of restraint.
Read the Chapter 6.04. - Animal Control and Protection for more information.
The leash law is important in order to protect the community's health and prevent the pain and suffering that is caused to both animals and humans by free-roaming pets.
A rabies quarantine is a period of observation, either at home or at an approved location, where the animal suspected of being involved in a bite scratch, or exposure can be watched to determine if there is any danger or the animal transmitting the rabies virus. The quarantine period for most humans is 10 days from the date the exposure occurred.
Rabies is an infection of the brain caused by a virus. The disease is usually fatal. Rabies appears to come in cycles; peak years reporting more than five times the cases of an average year. This makes it even more important that domestic animals be currently vaccinated against the disease. Wichita requires an annual rabies vaccination on all dogs and cats. Find information on cases of rabies in Kansas from the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine's Rabies Lab.
Rabies is usually transmitted from the bite of an infected animal. Transmission is also possible by contamination with infectious saliva through a break in the skin. Occasionally, farmers and veterinarians are exposed while treating cattle and horses.
In Kansas, rabies is most common in wild animals. Skunks have the disease most frequently, but it also occurs in bats, raccoons, foxes, and coyotes. Dogs, cats, and domestic livestock occasionally contract rabies from exposure to wild animals.
The peak of rabies activity in Kansas occurs in the spring. Thanks to diligent rabies control programs requiring vaccinations, rabies in domestic pets is relatively rare.
Rabies in wildlife is difficult to control. Humans can be protected by having pets immunized; specifically, pets that could contract rabies from exposure to wild animals.
It is required by law that dogs, cats, and ferrets be currently vaccinated against rabies. Dogs must be licensed every year.
The City of Wichita and unincorporated areas of Sedgwick County and almost all cities in Sedgwick County require annual rabies vaccinations and licensing of all dogs by pet owners.
In Wichita and Sedgwick County, all cats must be vaccinated.
In Wichita and some other cities in Sedgwick County, all dogs must be confined by a leash, rope, chain, or within a fenced area or building sufficient to maintain the dog on the owner's property, but not necessarily confined.
All citizens should report stray animals to their local control agency. In Wichita, call Animal Control at 316-350-3360. In other areas of Sedgwick County, call Sedgwick County Animal Care, at 316-383-7070.
All reported animal bites in Wichita are investigated by Wichita Police Department personnel to prevent human death from rabies transmitted by a rabid animal. Any specimen that is sent away for testing will be shipped on Monday through Thursday. All animal bites occurring in Wichita should be reported to Animal Control at 316-350-3360.
In Kansas, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, prairie dogs, opossums, mice, and rats have not been known to be involved in the transmission of rabies. This is also true of caged household pets such as hamsters, guinea pigs, and gerbils. Ferrets are an exception to this general rule.