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Dog park

Local laws require that pet owners keep proper identification on their animals, vaccinate them and keep them restrained, unless they are at a dog park.

Q: I have dogs and cats — what laws do I have to follow in Madison?

A: Owners of pet dogs and cats have some different regulations to follow, but they primarily relate to pet identification, vaccination and restraint, according to officials with Public Health Madison & Dane County.

Both cats and dogs have to wear identification tags with the owner’s name, address and phone number, which Public Health said “can go a long way towards getting someone’s pet back home if it gets lost.”

Cats and dogs are also required to wear tags with a current pet license and rabies vaccination.

Running at large — or without a leash — is prohibited off of an owner’s property for both dogs and cats.

Dogs are allowed off-leash, however, if they are in a dog park.

Dog owners are also required to clean up after their dogs on any property other than their own. Madison ordinances require that dog owners carry materials sufficient to clean up dog feces when they are off their property, and dogs are not permitted to defecate on any property unless the waste is immediately removed.

Cat owners also have their own regulations to follow.

Cat feces must be buried or flushed down the toilet before cat litter can be thrown away, according to Public Health.

— Shelley K. Mesch

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Shelley K. Mesch is a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal. She earned a degree in journalism from DePaul University.