Barcelona to impose ban on walking dogs without a leash

New law will also prohibit pet owners from leaving their cats alone for more than three days

Two young people walk their dogs in Barcelona's Horta neighborhood. / CARMEN SECANELLA

Barcelona city officials will soon begin enforcing leash-laws on dog owners as well as prohibiting them from leaving their pets alone at home for more than a certain amount of time.

Under new proposed regulations introduced by the City Council, people in the Catalan capital will also be fined if they are caught feeding pigeons or leaving out food for stray cats.

The current law states that dog owners can allow their pets loose on the streets as long as they accompany the animal and demonstrate that it is obedient. “The majority of people who have dogs are civilized but there is a minority who are uncivilized,” said senior councilor Jordi Martí.

Martí explained that the changes to the current 2003 ordinance are to “improve coexistence” and “protect animals.”

Residents will no longer be able to keep pet monkeys or horses

The law is proposing the introduction of time frames concerning how long both pets can be left alone at home by their owners: dogs cannot be left unattended for more than 12 hours while owners will be prohibited from leaving cats by themselves for more than three days.

“This is the 21st century, not the 19th century,” Martí said.

Other stipulations in the new law include prohibiting Barcelona residents from raising animals in their homes with the intention of selling them, and feeding wild animals in public spaces. Only people recognized by City Hall will be able to feed certain animals.

Residents will no longer be able to keep pet monkeys or horses within the city limits, according to the new rules.

City officials also want owners who purchase or adopt a pet to sign a document pledging that they have never mistreated an animal. Those who lie can be charged with a felony.

In Barcelona, there are an estimated 120,000 dogs but only 30,000 are registered.

 

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