As of December 18, 2023, the Barcelona City Council will implement fines for owners who run their dogs loose in unauthorized areas.
This measure is part of the Ordinance for the Protection, Keeping and Sale of Animals, which was approved in 2014 and will now be fully implemented.
The measure will be applied in 225 designated areas throughout the city, which include 109 shared use areas, 70 dog areas of less than 400 square meters and 46 dog play areas of more than 400 square meters.
Penalties for loose dogs and authorized areas
The established fines will range from 100 to 300 euros, depending on the seriousness of the infraction. If the dog is considered to be off-leash in a situation that does not involve danger, the fine will be 100 euros, classified as a minor offense.
In cases where it is considered that there is a risk, the amount will increase to 300 euros, being classified as serious misconduct. The penalty will reach 600 euros if the unleashed dog accesses a children’s play area, which is considered a very serious offense.
Additional measures for dangerous dogs
For owners of dogs considered potentially dangerous, a different sanctioning regime will apply. These dogs may never run loose in the city and must always wear a muzzle. Fines for this category range from 300 to 2,400 euros, as established in the ordinance.
Implementation date and municipal justification
December 18 will mark the first day on which these penalties will be applied, coinciding with the implementation of the 109 shared-use zones.
The City Council has emphasized that the measure was not implemented earlier because it did not want to prohibit dogs to run loose in the city without having the areas enabled.
Laia Bonet, the deputy of Urbanism, has affirmed that Barcelona has enough spaces for walking dogs and that there are no excuses for breaking the rules. With the creation of these new reserved areas, the city will have 900,000 square meters for dogs, in addition to the space on the beaches.
In this way, Barcelona seeks to ensure harmonious coexistence between pet owners and the rest of the citizens through the application of these measures.
The safety and welfare of animals, as well as the peace of mind of citizens, are the main objectives behind these regulations. It is hoped that public awareness of the proper use of these areas will help avoid penalties and promote a friendlier urban environment for all.
The goal is to reduce the cases of attacks on children and other people by highly dangerous pets that run loose throughout the city and have caused problems of coexistence and personal injury among neighbors in some sectors of the Catalan capital.