HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Beginning in April, all dogs in Hanover must be on leashes outside their owner’s property, regardless of where they live.

Hanover County’s “leash law” requiring all dogs to be on a leash applies all year in urban and suburban areas, as well as the entire Town of Ashland. Dogs in all parts of the county also must have a current County license tag on their collar throughout the year.

However, between April 1 and June 30, a “running at-large” law will be in place, requiring all dogs in both suburban and rural areas to remain on a leash outside of their owner’s property.

During spring and early summer, wildlife activity tends to increase, as well as livestock and wildlife births. Because of these factors, the law is in place to protect vulnerable baby animals as well as to protect dogs from wild animals and possible exposure to rabies — which also tends to spike in the spring and summer season.

Any dog caught running off-leash during this time will be impounded at the owner’s expense. Multiple violations can also result in a summons or written warning.

If you see a dog running loose after April 1, call Hanover County Emergency Communications at 804-365-6140. If the animal appears dangerous, all 911.

For more information about Hanover County’s running at-large laws, call Animal Control at 804-365-6485 or watch this video on the County’s YouTube page.