Alert! Animal Leash Laws Are For Everyone

The POA office has received several complaints recently regarding dangerous encounters with pets on leash as well as off leash, some involving pet attacks in several different neighborhoods on the island. We take these matters very seriously and wanted to remind everyone of the rules and ordinances set forth by the City of Charleston Police and Animal Control Departments and how the POA partners together to educate and enforce the rules to all owners whether you are the pet owner or the victim of the attack or incident.

To all pet owners, we remind you again, that pets off leash are illegal and not allowed on Daniel Island per our governing documents as well as City of Charleston Ordinances. Violators could face a stiff fine or be held personally liable if someone or their pet were to get hurt by an incident or attack.

In addition, the Association Board does have the right to require animals to be removed from the owner should it be determined that the pet constitutes a danger or a nuisance. The POA works in conjunction with City Animal Control to evaluate the concern or incident based on complaints that the POA and the City of Charleston Police receive directly from the person who is being harmed or injured. The Police and Animal Control can evaluate the incident and speak with both the victim/complainant as well as the pet owner to provide guidance from a legal perspective.

Please remember, if you are attacked by a pet that is either on leash or off, pleased report the incident immediately, at the time of the incident, to the City of Charleston Police Department and copy the POA office on the complaint via info@dicommunity.org.

Per Courtney Bayles, City of Charleston Animal Services Officer, should a citizen require an animal control response, they need to immediately call the City of Charleston consolidated dispatch at 843-743-7200 in order to keep proper records of complaints or incidents. If you have an animal control issue that you want animal control to respond to, please call the non-emergency dispatch number at 843-743-7200. Should Animal Services respond for an off leash complaint, they remind owners that the complainant would need to be willing to go to court so that the proper process is followed and the proper outcome is achieved.

To review what the Daniel Island CC&Rs and the City of Charleston Ordinances state regarding animal behavior/control see below:

Daniel Island CC&Rs State:

Exhibit C
(f) Raising, breeding or keeping of animals, livestock, and poultry (of any kind). A reasonable number of dogs, cats, or other usual and common household pets may be permitted in a Unit; however, those animals which in the sole discretion of the Board, make objectionable noise, endanger the health or safety of, or constitute a nuisance or inconvenience to the occupants of other Units shall be removed by the Owner upon request of the Board. Dogs shall be kept on a leash or otherwise confined in a manner acceptable to the Board whenever outside the dwelling. All animals shall be registered, licensed and inoculated as required by law. All animals kept with the Properties shall be maintained in a manner consistent with the City of Charleston and other applicable governmental ordinances.

The City of Charleston Ordinances State:

Sec. 5-4. – Animals at large prohibited
(a) No person owning or having possession, charge, custody or control of any animal shall cause, permit or allow the animal to stray or in any manner to run at large in or upon any public street, sidewalk, athletic field, athletic facility, or park or upon the property of another, if such animal is not under a physical restraint or a leash so as to allow the animal to be controlled. The length of a leash shall not be more than (16) sixteen feet long.

(b) Animals may be permitted to occupy a city park or an area of a city park under sufficient strict voice control without physical restraint or a leash when the director of the department of parks determines that during certain hours or under certain conditions animals may be permitted to occupy a city park or an area of a city park under strict voice control and posts the city park accordingly.

(c) No animal of any kind shall be permitted on any tennis court, fenced recreation field, or athletic field at any time, even if such animal is physically restrained, leashed or otherwise controlled.

(d) When any animal destroys or damages any property, attacks, threatens to attack, or interferes with any person in any manner, becomes a nuisance, or strays onto the private property of another, there shall be a presumption of law that the animal was not-under a physical restraint or a leash.

(Code 1975, § 5-7; Ord. No. 1976-29, § 1, 9-14-76; Ord. No. 2002-76, § 1, 5-28-02; Ord. No. 2009-01, § 1, 2-13-09)

Sec. 5-5. – Restraint of animals
Every person owning or having possession, charge, care, custody, or control of any animal shall keep such animal exclusively upon his own premises; provided, however, that, any such animal may be off such premises if the animal is restrained by a chain or leash or other means of adequate physical control, provided, however, that, when any animal destroys or damages any property, attacks, threatens to attack, or interferes with any person in any manner, becomes a nuisance, or strays onto the private property of another, there shall be a presumption of law that the animal was not restrained by a chain or leash or other means of adequate physical control. Any animal not in an enclosed or fenced area, except as otherwise provided in section 5-4, must be leashed at all times.

(Code 1975, § 5-8; Ord. No. 1976-29, § 1, 9-14-76; Ord. No. 2009-01, § 2, 2-13-09)

To report off leash violations, please contact the City of Charleston Animal Control Division at 843-720-3915 or 843-743-7200 (nonemergency) and 911 (emergencies). For specific questions for the City of Charleston Animal Services Division, please contact Courtney Bayles, Animal Service Officer at

(843) 720-3915 or baylesc@charleston-sc.gov