Today’s problem: Pet owners who have their dogs unleashed in area parks and on public multi-use trails.

Reader “Unhappy Trail User” wrote Fix It: ”Has there been an increase in dog owners walking on the Kenosha bike trails without using leashes for their dogs? I have also noticed this on the trails in Pleasant Prairie near Lake Andrea. As an avid runner who uses the trails several days per week, I am frustrated by the number of dog owners who carry leashes in their hands while their dogs roam freely.

“Usually the dogs are tame but I have encountered several dogs who attempt to charge after me or bark menacingly. ... Can more signs be placed along the trails to remind dog owners to keep their dogs leashed at all times? It is the law in the area, right?”

Observations: There are signs at the multiuse trail at Lake Andrea in Pleasant Prairie that remind dog owners to keep their animal on a leash and to clean up after it. There are also signs on trails in the county and city.

According to the village of Pleasant Prairie ordinances, regulation of dogs, section 119-2, Article I, dog licensing and regulation, sections b1 and b2: ”No dog may run at large, as defined above, within the Village of Pleasant Prairie. Any owner or keeper of any dog found to be running at large shall be strictly responsible for said dog running at large and shall be subject to the penalty hereinafter provided without regard to whether the owner or keeper intended that the dog run at large. Any owner or keeper of a dog found to be running at large within the Village of Pleasant Prairie shall be subject to a forfeiture of between $1 and $500.”

“Perhaps law enforcement can also patrol the trails more regularly and issue citations to those who disregard the safety of others,” UTU wrote.

Pleasant Prairie’s website states: “During 2012, the Pleasant Prairie Police Department handled 400 animal control complaints. During 2013, the department handled 463 animal-related complaints. A majority of these are related to dogs.”

The village’s website says that the Pleasant Prairie Police want pet owners to, “Please keep your dog properly leashed and under your control when away from your property.”

Pleasant Prairie has a dog park, which opened in October 2013, where owners can let their animals off of the leash at Ingram Park, located on the north side of 93rd Street east of 60th Avenue. This isn’t that far from Lake Andrea. There are fees involved, but it is open to both village residents and non-residents.

Kenosha County’s animal control policy states: “Do not allow your dog to trespass on public or private property or run at large, unleashed or unattended. Keep your dog leashed when off your property.”

Dogs are allowed in all county parks, as long as they’re on a leash of 10 feet or shorter in length, according to the county. Owners also must pick up after their dogs, and dogs are not allowed in the swimming areas of Silver Lake or Old Settlers Park.

Signs at the entrances to the Kenosha County Bike Trail state that prohibited actions on the trail include “Unleashed Dogs.”

Fix It asked the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department what the fine or penalty would be for a violation for an unleashed dog or not cleaning up after a dog.

County responds: Sgt. Chris Hannah, public information officer for the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department, wrote, “The Kenosha County ordinances that applies are 10.07(9) dogs not on leash and/or 10.07(25) violate any park rule (not cleaning up after dog). The fine for each citation is $200.50.”

Sgt. Hannah added that: “This information was forwarded to our Patrol Division to be included with the patrol deputies’ daily briefing. The public is always encouraged to contact our non-emergency number, 262-656-6600 or 262-653-1234, if they would like to make a complaint. As a reminder, the public does not need to provide their name for the complaint to be made.”

Kenosha County has three different dog parks available to the public for people to unleash their dogs. Fees are involved at these locations:

Carlisle Family Dog Park at Petrifying Springs Park at 4700 Highway JR in Somers.

Harris Family Dog Park at Old Settlers Park at 24100 75th St. in Salem.

Warren Close Bark Park at KD Park at 35610 89th St. in Twin Lakes.

For animal bites in Kenosha County, outside the city of Kenosha and the village of Pleasant Prairie, call 262-605-5100.

For city of Kenosha animal bites, call 262-605-6700.

For village of Pleasant Prairie animal bites, call 262-694-7353.

Send your ideas our way: If you have an idea for a future Fix It, please send a note to Brian Passino at bpassino@kenoshanews.com or call him at 262-656-6280.

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