Parma Heights man wants city leash law changed for service dogs

Ticketed for walking a service dog without a leash
Posted at 11:35 PM, Jan 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-25 11:59:46-05

Parma Heights resident Ralph Tescar believes his cities leash law needs to be revised after he was ticketed twice for walking his service dog without a leash.

Tescar said he was ticketed last June and then again on January 17 while walking his service dog "Sally" at Kurtz Park by the same officer, in the same spot.

Each time he fought the tickets, taking them to the Parma Heights Prosecutor, who quickly dropped the charges.

Tescar told News 5 he believes the city leash law contradicts federal regulations for service dogs under the Americans with Disabilities Act and is need of revision.

"If a service dog, for the needs of its handler, needs to be off leash, it is allowed, If that dog is always under control, either verbally or by hand signals," said Tescar.

"I don't think a city has the right to ignore a federal law."

News 5 looked up the leash regulations under the ADA for service dogs, and it states a leash can be excluded if it interferes with the dogs ability to do its job if the dog can be controlled by verbal or hand commands

Tescar said he's had "Sally" as a registered service dog since he suffered a serious injury that left his back broken and fused more than five years ago.

Tescar said he will continue to walk his dog without a leash, hoping he won't be ticketed again.

News 5 attempted to reach the Parma Heights Mayor's office late in the day about this story, and we'll give you an update when we get a response.