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Boreal Community Media

Grand Marais' leash ordinance is in place to protect owners and their pets

Mar 08, 2021 06:37AM ● By Editor
Owners of pets who are found to be off leash in Grand Marais can be fined, and if pets are captured who are running free, deputies will bring them to the City Pound seen here.  Photo: Boreal Community Media

Editor's note: The first in our exclusive series to educate the public on the joys, challenges and responsibilities of pet ownership in the wilderness. From Boreal Community Media - March 8, 2021  

For many that live or visit the North Shore or Cook County, there is often a temptation is to let their pets run free and enjoy the wilderness and the great outdoors.  Unfortunately, that notion is not in anyone's best interest – especially your pets – and in the City of Grand Marais, it is against the law.

A city of Grand Marais ordinance was passed into law in 2012 that says all pets need to be on restraint.  The ordinance reads as follows:

Section 10-8 Restraint within City Limits
No domestic pet (including, but not limited to, dogs and cats) shall be permitted outside the confines of a house or other building or a restrictive fence unless such animal is on a leash and is kept under the control of the owner or person charged with its care. No unattended domestic pet shall be tethered or leashed so as to allow it to reach the public street or sidewalk.

Violators of the ordinance are subject to fines and it is enforced  by the Cook County Sheriff's office.

Local Cedar Grove Veterinary Clinic owner and vet Nadder Samari, DVM agrees with the leash requirement ordinance.  "I am a strong believer in keeping the pets on the leash in public areas. This not only provide a more relaxed and enjoyable exercise time for the owners, but also protects the pets from running into the traffic, or getting injured by other animals", said Samari, "Over the 29 years of my career as a veterinarian, I have treated and sadly lost several patients that either have been hit  by cars or seriously injured in attacks by other dogs because they have not been on a leash."

 Photo: Naddar Samari DVM, Cedar Grove Veterinary Clinic

Samari continues, "Also since practicing in Grand Marais I have 
treated 2 dogs that have been attacked by wolves, fortunately with good outcomes. If a dog has been trained well on leash walking, he/she will find these walks very satisfying and great times to bond with their 

While there are no leash laws outside of Grand Marais in Cook County, Minnesota state laws can fine who owners of pets that cause injury to others.

Minn. Statutes Annotated, Section 347.22: Damages, owner liable.If a dog, without provocation, attacks or injures any person who is acting peaceably in any place where the person may lawfully be, the owner of the dog is liable in damages to the person so attacked or injured to the full amount of the injury sustained.  The term "owner" includes any person harboring or keeping a dog but the owner shall be primarily liable.  The term "dog" includes both male and female of the canine species.

Cities with leash laws often post signage to that affect such as the one above.  A spokesperson for the City of Grand Marais confirmed there is no such signage in the city and that no leash law signage has yet been raised as a concern to the City Council.  

For those who do wish to give their dogs a little extra excercise, there are two fenced in dog parks in Cook County.  This one behind the fire hall in Lutsen and another next to the Recycling Center in Grand Marais.  Photo: Boreal Community Media

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