New Mexico and Albuquerque Dog Leash Laws

New Mexico Statute § 3-18-3 gives all control over regulation of the restraining of dogs by leash or other means to local municipalities. The city of Albuquerque’s leash law is exemplary of many leash laws around the state of New Mexico.

Albuquerque Municipal Code § 9-2-2-2 (A) Provides the Following:

Leash Law: All animals, other than wild animals not owned by any human, must be restricted at all times by either a Secure Fence, a Secure Facility, a Secure Enclosure, secured in the back of a pickup truck, inside a vehicle with proper ventilation, or be on a leash no longer than 8 feet long accompanied by a person able to control the animal.

Hobbs City Ordinance 6.04.240 requires:

A dog is permitted on the street and in other public places only if on a secure leash not exceeding six(6) feet in length. Longer retractable leashes may be used, provided the person with the dog is
capable of controlling the dog. All other animals must be secured in a fashion acceptable for the
species of animal. A person physically capable of controlling and restraining the animal must
exercise immediate custody. This section does not apply when an animal is participating in a bona fide animal show authorized by the City or appropriate authorities.

Santa Fe City Code 5-5.4c provides:

Animals shall not be allowed upon a public street, alley, easement, city property or other place open to the public or upon any property other than that of the owner of the animal unless properly restrained. Dogs shall be on a secure leash no longer than eight (8) feet in length and under the immediate effective physical control of the person having custody thereof. The person having custody shall be a person of such age and maturity to be reasonably responsible therefor. A person inside an enclosed structure shall not be considered to be in the physical control of a dog not in the enclosed structure. The provisions of this paragraph do not apply when an animal is participating in a bona fide animal show or training program which has been authorized by the animal services division or is in a city park designated by the governing body as an exercise ground for dogs. The provisions also do not apply to police canine units unleashed while on public property while acting in a law enforcement activity.

Las Cruces Municipal Code 7-4a states:

All animals shall be kept under restraint. While restrained on the premises of its owner or responsible person, no tether less than 12 feet in length shall be used, unless such length of tether will permit the animal to scale a confining fence or leave the confines of the property boundary. While restrained off the premises under the immediate control of the owner or responsible person, no lead greater than eight feet in length shall be used.

Rio Rancho Code 90.18 provides that:

When animals are out of their premises, they must be under leash of not more than eight feet in length and under control of the owner or of his designee. If an owner is actively training an animal for the long recall, the animal may be on a longer leash during the time of the training session, so long as the owner maintains control of the animal. This provision shall not apply to dogs under their owners’ supervision in any city dog park.

While New Mexico generally requires that a dog bite victim demonstrate that the dog owner had or should have had knowledge of a dog’s dangerous propensity, an exception is made when a dog attack is the result of the owner’s negligence in constraining the dog. A dog owner who violates a statute like the one shown above will likely be presumed by a court to have been negligent in controlling his or her dog, and a victim will not have to show that the dog owner had knowledge of his or her dog’s dangerous disposition. This precedent was established in Smith v. Village of Ruidoso. An expert dog bite attorney is crucial to navigating the nuances of this complicated area of law and maximizing your recovery.

If You’ve Been Attacked, We Can Help

Keller & Keller is a national leader in personal injury law, and special recognition is given to our dog bite practice area. We have been practicing this particular area of law since 1936. The clients who hire us to represent them for dog bite and attack claims receive top-rated legal service and guidance. It's our experience, name, and ability in this area of law that our clients in Albuquerque and throughout New Mexico have come to admire.

If you’ve been attacked and/or injured by a dog that wasn’t properly leashed, our injury lawyer at Keller & Keller is here to defend your rights. We can help you throughout the difficult healing process, and are dedicated to ensuring you get the compensation you need to fully recover. From our office in Albuquerque, we proudly serve the entire state of New Mexico. For a free, no-obligation consultation, call us today at 505-938-2300.

Join The Conversation
Emmy Granados 08/25/2017 05:16 PM
The law is vague. And only protects one party. That is not fair. I fell hard on uneven pavement at my apartment complex. My dog was on a leash attached to a harness. When I fell I landed hard on the pavement my elbow and my knee or 1st. When i hit my elbow in the pavement the reflex caused my hand to extend. And my hand slipped out of the leash. A family was going to their apartment. The mother held one of the little girls but the other approached my dog. My dog nipped her in the behind. The adrenalin rush was great. I immediately restrained my dog. Unfourtantly the little girl was nipped by my dog. I'm injured. I need medical attention. But now I have a citation from the city saying my dog was not on a leash. I fell and hurt myself on the uneven pavement at the apartment complex. My dog was properly leashed. I fell. How does this leash law protect me? I could not have predicted I would fall. I am able to restrain my animal. I'm mature, responsible, and strong enough to restrain my animal. Unless I am physically hurt. And at that moment I was physically hurt. So my orginal question is; how does this law protect me?
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John charles 05/13/2018 04:34 AM
If you can’t or would rather not own a dog, try walking dogs at an animal shelter. The experience is even more intense. You’ll love it. You might love more Dog food advisor hq thought and ideas.
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Luus 03/24/2019 12:26 AM
How can I make sure that my neighbor's dangerous Pitbull won't escape the fence and eat my little niece? Too many big dogs are already loose at my neighborhood.
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