This page is no longer being updated. 1/1/2011
CBJ Dog Ordinance 2009
Information and Action Page
Adopted Ordinance amending the fines for violations of the Animal control code (Ord. 2009-21) (5 pages) The new fine schedule took effect December 3, 2009.
Adopted Dog Control Ordinance with Exhibits (Ord. 2009-12(d)) (53 pages; 1.3 Mb) Adopted at the October 12, 2009 meeting of the Assembly. The dog control ordinance took effect November 12, 2009.
Summary of the changes contained in version 12(d) of the proposed Dog Control Ordinance (2 pages; prepared by CBJ Law Department)
RFP for Animal Control & Protection Services RFP #10-006 (39 pages; 340 kb)
Proposed Dog Control Ordinance with Exhibits (Ord. 2009-12(c)) (52 pages; 1.3 Mb)
Summary of the changes contained in version 12(c) of the proposed Dog Control Ordinance (3 pages; prepared by CBJ Law Department)
Summary of proposed dog control ordinance (version 12(b)) (6 pages)
k Fine Schedule for Violations. Assembly to receive public comment on the fine schedule for violations of the Animal Control Code at its meeting on Monday , November 2. View the ordinance here: (Ordinance 2009-21) The new fine schedule took effect December 3, 2009.
k Assembly Passes Dog Ordinance - At its meeting on Monday, October 12th, the Assembly passed the proposed update of the CBJ Animal Control Ordinance (Ordinance 2009-12 version (d)). The Assembly retained the current definition of "competent voice control". Responsible dog owners in the Juneau community were successful in convincing the Assembly that the current definition of "competent voice control" is the appropriate definition for the term and that the current definition should be retained. The dog control ordinance took effect November 12, 2009.
Gastineau Humane Society is the apparent successful "bidder" to
provide animal control services to the City and Borough of Juneau.
CBJ announced this morning (October 6) that the GHS was the
apparent successful "bidder" for the animal control service contract.
CBJ will now negotiate a final contract with GHS. If GHS and CBJ cannot
agree on a final contract then CBJ would negotiate with the other bidder
for the contract, The Pet Nanny's Place.
View Notice from CBJ
k "Competent Voice Control" Subcommittee Meeting. The rescheduled meeting of the Assembly "Competent Voice Control" Subcommittee was held on Friday, October 2, at 1 pm. The three members of the subcommittee (Bob Doll, Jonathan Anderson, and Merrill Sanford) unanimously agreed to recommend that the Assembly keep the current definition of "competent voice control" that is in the CBJ Animal Control Code. If the Assembly adopts the report of the subcommittee then the definition of "competent voice control" will remain the same as it is now.
A new version of the proposed ordinance will be released before the next Assembly meeting.
Be sure to write the Assembly members expressing your support for the current definition of "competent voice control". The Assembly is schedule to take up the proposed dog ordinance on Monday, October 12. Plan to attend the meeting to show your support.
CBJ Assembly delayed action on the dog ordinance.
The Assembly met Monday, September 21, to consider the proposed dog
ordinance. Progress was made at the meeting but no final action was
The Mayor referred the issue of choosing a definition of "competent voice control" to a committee consisting of Assemblymen Doll and Anderson. The committee will meet in a public meeting during the next few weeks. The meeting will probably be held at noon so that more people would be able to attend. The time and place of the meeting will be announced several days in advance of the meeting. Stay tuned to your local news media and check the CBJ news section in the Empire. I will send out an email announcing the meeting as soon as I hear anything.
k New version (version Ord. 2009-12(c)) of the proposed dog ordinance is available. Click Here. The new version of the proposed ordinance is now available from the CBJ Assembly Agenda web page. A summary of the changes made to the previous version of the ordinance (version 12(b)) is available. Click here. This summary of changes was prepared by the CBJ Law Department.
k The new version of the proposed dog ordinance did NOT accept the recommendations made by Grateful Dogs. If you made comments on the prior version of the ordinance, your voice was not heard. You will have to send new comments to the Assembly members and CBJ staff. Be sure to let them know that the changes contained in the latest version of the proposed ordinance (version 12(c)) was not responsive to your previous comments and then restate your comments regarding the proposed dog ordinance.
k A review of the new version (version 12(c)) of the proposed dog ordinance will be available on this site as soon as it can be prepared.
k Why are the CBJ dog control ordinances being amended again? (Discussion)
k CBJ is soliciting proposals to provide Animal Control Services for the borough for next year (2010). Click here to view a copy of the RFP for Animal Control & Protection Services RFP #10-006. The deadline for submitting proposals is Tuesday, September 29, 2009
y Grateful Dogs of Juneau, Inc has submitted its comments on the proposed dog ordinance (version 12(b)) to the CBJ Assembly (click here)
y A 6 page summary of the changes made by the proposed dog ordinance is now available. The summary is intended to provide a brief and unbiased explanation of what the proposed 49 page ordinance is meant to do. (click here)
y Periodic email news and updates are available. Sign up for email updates by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
y Animal Control has begun enforcement of the on-leash requirement on the Airport Dike Trail and on Basin Road. Tickets have been issued.
The proposed dog control ordinance that is currently before the CBJ Assembly was introduced with little notice and fanfare on August 10, 2009. The Assembly has postponed action on the proposed ordinance until September 21, 2009. Unless the Assembly receives strong unfavorable comment from the dog owning community in Juneau, the Assembly is expected to pass the proposed ordinance at that meeting.
Who to Contact:
CBJ City Manager
CBJ Parks and Recreation
Gastineau Humane Society/
Animal Control Agency
Important Issues For Dog Owners
These issues are still relevant under the latest version (12(c)) of the proposed ordinance
ONE: Ambiguous expansion of authority of animal control officers to enforce CBJ Parks & Recreation dog regulations (Discussion)
TWO: Ambiguous description of where dogs must be on-leash on the Airport Dike Trail (Discussion)
THREE: The latest version of the proposed ordinance (version (12(c)) makes changes to the definition of "competent voice control". These changes do not respond to the recommendations presented by Grateful Dogs, But do make the proposed definition of "competent voice control" much less onerous. You must make up your own mind as to whether this new version of the language is better than the definition currently used in the Animal Control Code. (Comparison)
Definition of "competent voice control" under the old version 12(b) (Discussion)
* * *
Two new provisions in the proposed ordinance would bring enforcement of CBJ Parks and Recreation dog regulations within the scope of authority of animal control officers. Those provisions can be found in Sections 08.40.020 (leash law areas) and 08.40.030 (dog prohibition areas) of the proposed ordinance.
In both CBJ 08.40.020 and 08.40.030, the proposed ordinance adds the
following language: “Those locations set forth in regulations issued by
CBJ Parks and Recreation Department pursuant to CBJ 01.60.” [new
language added to the ordinance is shown in italics; language
being deleted from current ordinances is shown in
(b) – (f) [Omitted for clarity]
The Parks and Recreation regulations described by the new langauge list almost all of the areas under the jurisdiction of the department. Some of those areas are on-leash areas, some are competent voice control areas, and still others are dog prohibited areas. The concern generated by this new language is that under the proposed amendment to 08.40.020 (leash law areas) all of the areas listed in the regulations are to be treated as leash law areas and, similarly, under the proposed amendment to 08.40.030 (dog prohibition areas) all of these same areas are to be treated as dog prohibition areas. These amendments to 08.40.020 and 08.40.030 are manifestly unclear as to which park and recreation areas will be treated as leash law areas and which will be treated as dog prohibited areas. Presumably, CBJ intends that on-leash park areas be enforced just like other on-leash areas enforced by animal control., that competent voice control park areas be enforced just like other competent voice control areas enforced by animal control, and that dog-prohibited park areas be enforced just like other dog-prohibited areas enforced by animal control. However, the language contained in the proposed ordinance does not necessarily support that interpretation. Animal control officers will enforce the dog control ordinances based on the language of the ordinances not on the presumed intent underlying the language
Grateful Dogs believes that dog ordinances should be clearly written and easily understood on their face without ambiguities and obscure standards that are potentially incomprehensible to dog owners.
Grateful Dogs understands that the amendments made to CBJ 08.40.020 and 08.40.030 by the proposed ordinance is meant to clearly authorize animal control officers to enforce Parks and Recreation Department dog regulations. We think that this goal can be achieved in a simpler and more straightforward manner by amending CBJ 08.10.020 (animal control officers; scope of duties) to expressly authorize animal control officers to enforce the relevant CBJ parks and recreation ordinance and regulations. The amendment would read:
Grateful Dogs recommends that the ambiguous language added to 08.40.020(a) and 08.40.030(a) by the proposed ordinance be deleted from the ordinance and that CBJ 08.10.020(c) be amended to clearly authorize animal control officers to enforce park and recreation dog ordinances, as suggested above.
* * *
At the present time, there is a dispute between dog handlers and animal control officers as to whether an animal control officer can issue warnings and citations for off-leash dogs on the Airport Dike Trail. The relevant provision of the animal control ordinance states:
The section 05.05.090 referenced in (e) does not exist. Because
section CBJ 05.05.090 does not provide for off-leash areas on the
airport or provide a description of an area of the airport where an
on-leash requirement may apply, THE ONLY CONCLUSION IS THAT THERE ARE NO
PREMISES OF THE AIRPORT THAT IS A LEASH LAW AREA under the animal
control code (CBJ 08).
To issue citations for off-leash dogs on the airport dike trail on the basis of an imputed reference to CBJ 05.05.100, is manifestly unfair to the public (dog owners and non-dog owners, alike).
To resolve this issue, the proposed ordinance amends CBJ 08.40.020(e) to replace the reference to the non-existent CBJ 05.05.090 with a reference to CBJ 05.05.100.
08.40.020 Leash law areas. Except as provided in section 08.30.050, in the following areas, the keeper of a dog must keep the dog restrained on a leash no longer than ten feet, held by a person capable of controlling the animal, unless the animal is participating in an officially organized activity which requires it to be unleashed:
(a) - (d) [Omitted for clarity]
premises of the Juneau International Airport as provided in section
(f) [Omitted for clarity]
Unfortunately, CBJ 05.05.100 does not identify any premises of the Juneau International Airport where an on-leash requirement is in effect. Please consult CBJ 05.05.100. CBJ 05.05.100 is a 2-3 page ordinance setting out a wide range of activities that are permitted or limited on the airport. Subsection (o) of CBJ 05.05.100 does relate to dogs at the airport but does not describe any premises of the airport where an on-leash requirement exists.
CBJ 05.05.100(o) states:
The language of subsection (o) does not say that dogs must be on leash at all times and places. Arguably, a dog under competent voice control would be a dog “completely under control” and thus would be allowed on the Airport Dike Trail.
Merely substituting the reference to CBJ 05.05.100 in lieu of CBJ 05.05.090 will not provide a clear answer to where on airport premises dogs must be on-leash and will promote continued enforcement problems on the Airport Dike Trail.
The most straight forward solution to the problem is to specifically designate the Airport Dike Trail as a competent voice control trail. The remainder of the airport property would not be an issue because it is behind a security fence and subject to restricted access. In spite of the signs posted on the dike trail by the airport management, the Airport Dike Trail has for all intents and purposes been a competent voice control/off-leash trail for as long as I have been in Juneau (since 1975). If you were to poll Juneau residents, I would expect that most of them think that the Airport Dike Trail is already an off-leash trail.
Grateful Dogs requests that, at a minimum, CBJ 08.40.020(e) be amended to clearly state where on premises of the Juneau International Airport dogs must be on-leash.
Furthermore, Grateful Dogs supports an unambiguous designation that the Airport Dike Trail is an “on-leash or under competent voice control” trail.
* * *
Latest version from Ord. 2009-12(c):(Language in red is new in this version of the definition)
(1) The person exhibiting voice control has the dog under verbal control; and within sight at all times with only brief lapses, regardless of distractions to the dog (such as wildlife, traffic, other animals, food, other people or noise);
(2) The dog under voice control does not jump up on a person without invitation, or aggressively bark at or advance on a person or domestic animal; and
(3) The dog under voice control will consistently come to its handler immediately upon command.
Previous version from Ord. 2009-12(b):
Language currently in the CBJ Animal Control Code
The language of the definition in version 12(c) is clearly better that the earlier version 12(b), but neither definition is superior to the current definition?
* * *
The primary reason for drafting the
proposed dog ordinance has to do with the animal control services
contract. Currently GHS has an exclusive contract to provide animal
control services to the city. Other organizations have expressed
interest in getting the contract. However, before the city can give the
contract to someone new, the ordinance must be changed to eliminate the
exclusive arrangement with GHS. The city has already issued a request
for proposals (see above) to provide animal control services even though
the ordinance has not been changed. The deadline for submitting a
proposal to provide animal control services is September 29. So
the city is under pressure to change the animal control ordinance before
* * *
New definition of "competent voice control" will require your dog to be on leash if he/she
Here is the text of the proposed new definition for "competent voice control" from the proposed ordinance:
The first two items on the list have nothing to do with the handler's ability to control his/her dog.
Paragraph (1) focuses on whether the handler can see his/her dog despite distractions. If you avert your eyes from your dog to look at a bird the dog has to be on a leash regardless of whether your dog is following your verbal commands. Similarly, if you take your eyes off your dog to watch traffic so that you do not get hit by a truck then your dog must be on leash.
Paragraph (2) focuses on the conduct of your dog, not on your ability to control your dog. Barking and approaching a person or other animal, and even jumping on a person, are not inherently bad acts, so the mere performance of these behaviors does not warrant an on-leash requirement. None of these behaviors inherently suggest that a dog is not under competent voice control. Undesirable barking, jumping, aggression, and advancing on people are prohibited under CBJ Ordinance 08.45.010. These undesirable behaviors are prohibited regardless of whether your dog is on leash or not.
For an accurate and reasonable definition of competent voice control, the current definition found in the dog control ordinance (CBJ Ordinance 08.05.010) is probably the most reasonable definition for something that can be so hard to define.
This definition has the virtue of actually addressing the factors that constitute competent control of a dog.
Grateful Dogs of Juneau recommends that the CBJ retain the current definition of "competent voice control" as found in 08.05.010 and not adopt the definition contained in the proposed ordinance.
Animal Control has begun enforcement of the on-leash requirement on the Airport Dike Trail and on Basin Road
We know that tickets have been issued for off-leash dogs in the last 10 days on the dike trail and on Basin Road.
If you know of an instance where a person has received a ticket or a warning for having a dog off-leash please contact us and share the information that you have. See Contact Information below.
Background - Grateful Dogs of Juneau
The objectives of Grateful Dogs of Juneau are to:
The Grateful Dogs of Juneau was formed in response to the anti-dog bias initially reflected by the Dog Task Force that was created by the CBJ Parks and Recreation Department in 2004. The members of Grateful Dogs and other responsible dog owners in Juneau were able to convince the Dog Task Force that dog owners could be responsible citizens and that our dogs deserved to exercise off-leash as much as possible. A remarkable change in the behavior of dog owners following the completion of the dog task force, significantly impressed CBJ staff and contributed to a net gain in access for dogs to CBJ parks, recreation areas, and trails.
However, it is a constant struggle to maintain a high level of access for dogs to public lands and facilities. Some people do not like dogs and do not want to have to associate with dogs. Some dog owners have no respect for non-dog owners or for other dog owners and we all suffer for their careless behavior. Thus there is a constant tension in the community between greater freedom for dogs and more restrictions on dogs.
The Grateful Dogs of Juneau is an non-profit Alaska corporation dedicated to advocacy, education, and service for the canine community. We encourage and advocate for responsible dog owners and well-mannered pooches in Juneau's public spaces. The Grateful Dogs of Juneau is a 501(c)(4) organization registered with the Internal Revenue Service.
The Grateful Dogs of Juneau is a membership organization. Membership in the Grateful Dogs of Juneau is a great way to join in making a better Juneau for recreation for and with our dogs and our fellow citizens. Click here for a membership application.
Please share information on this page and about this page with other interested persons.
Your comments and suggestions regarding the proposed dog ordinance are welcomed.
Contact: Grateful Dogs of Juneau
Email : email@example.com