Is it legal to let your dog or cat walk alone?

Maine Libre reader Annie wonders if you can let your cat or dog walk alone. Maine Libre answers it.

Hi Anne. Just like us, pets need to go outside and let off steam every day! But in the city, as in the village, there are rules to respect the freedom of our small animals. Even if they are very well trained and with you, dogs and cats should be kept in certain areas.

+Are we allowed to feed stray cats?

Animals are restless

We are talking about dogs and cats here. More precisely, several categories are defined for dogs: dogs of the first and second category. To describe them, “dogs assimilated to dogs of the Staffordshire terrier breed, American Staffordshire terrier breed and Tosa type or breed dogs due to their morphological characteristics“. In the second category we also findRottweiller breed dogs and Rottweiller type dogs“, was informed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Sovereignty.

Cats are smaller and less impressive. But owners who take them out for walks should watch them and potentially tie them up so they don’t go too far.

Category 1 and 2 dogs must be leashed and muzzled in public. | FREE MAINE

Article L211-23 of the Rural and Marine Fisheries Code states that “ to consider any unknown cat found more than two hundred meters from the place of residence or any cat found more than one thousand meters from the owner’s house and not under the latter’s direct control as a stray, as well as a cat whose owner is unknown and seized on a public road or on the property of others“.

+ “All the shelters are full”: why there are more and more stray dogs

Rules for dogs in rural areas

On the paths in the forest or in the fields, the owners rush to let their dogs out so they can run. However, even walking the dog outdoors is prohibited.April 15 – June 30“, clarifies the decree of March 16, 1955 on the prohibition of the walking of dogs.

More accurate, “you Any abandoned dog left to its own devices is a stray if it is not participating in the hunt and the owner does not hesitate to make every effort to find and recover it, including when it is not exhibited after the hunt is over. hunting action“, in accordance with Article L211-23 of the Rural Code and marine fisheries. “A dog is considered stray if it is more than 100 meters away from the owner or the person responsible for it.“, – the website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs adds. Therefore, it is not mandatory if the owner watches it carefully and does not look after the dogrambling », unless the place you are in circulation indicates that the animal must be kept on a leash (parks, public gardens, etc.).

If you let your pet loose outside, it must be fully trained and come back when asked. | FREE MAINE

The responsibility of the owners to keep the dog in certain places is not only to prevent it from running away or accidents. Environmental reasons are also highlighted.

In order to prevent the destruction of birds and all kinds of game and to encourage their reproduction, it is forbidden to allow dogs to roam on cultivated or uncultivated land, meadows, vineyards, orchards, forests, including swamps and along rivers. , ponds and lakes” defines Article 1 of the decree of March 16, 1955, regarding the prohibition of the walking of dogs.

+My neighbor’s dogs are constantly barking: what should I do?

A hook and a mouth

An impressive dog does not mean a no-nonsense dog. But the law is very strict about their clothing, especially in the city or in places with heavy traffic.

Dog and cat bites are the most common animal bites. It should be treated immediately to avoid the risk of infection. | FREE MAINE

Dogs of the first and second category must be muzzled and kept on a leash by adults on public roads, in common areas of multi-apartment buildings. The same applies to dogs of the second category in public places, in buildings open to the public and public transport.​”, highlights Article L211-16 of the Rural and Marine Fisheries Code.

On the other hand, animals that do not belong to these categories do not have to be muzzled, but must be kept in a cage. Allowing your pet to roam is punishable by a fine for level 2 fines (€150 maximum).

Have more questions?

You can ask Maine Libre editorial staff any questions you may have about local and national issues, as well as practical questions (highway code, regulations, etc.). Journalists will do their best to answer you.

You can also send us your questions by post (letter from readers, Le Maine Libre, 28, place de l’Éperon, 72000 Le Mans), by email: and on social networks (Facebook and Twitter). With the hashtag #LeMaineLibreVousRepond.

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