Dog Resources, Licensing, Education and Enforcement
The Mammoth Lakes Police Department welcomes and encourages dogs within our beautiful community! Mammoth Lakes is bordered by the pristine Ansel Adams and John Muir Wilderness Areas and the Inyo National Forest, nearly 2 million acres of one of America’s largest national forests. An incredible outdoor playground and dog's paradise!
Mammoth Lakes itself is only about 4-square miles with a Municipal Boundary that encompasses the Lakes Basin, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, the Sherwin Mountains and more (see interactive map below). Impacts from dogs within these smaller, popular areas are being felt. We encourage responsible dog ownership while visiting these high-use areas by adhering to the Municipal Codes below. Thank you for your commitment to keeping Mammoth Lakes safe and beautiful for all to enjoy!
Mammoth Lakes Municipal Code
6.12.190 - Dog Waste: The owner of any dog shall be responsible for cleaning up any feces deposited by the dog or the animal within the Town of Mammoth Lakes Municipal Boundary and disposing of such feces in a waste receptacle. The provisions of this Section shall not apply to guide dogs accompanying a blind or disabled person or to a dog used by police or in rescue actions.
6.12.210 - Dogs at Large: It is unlawful for any dog owner to allow their dog to run at large within the Town of Mammoth Lakes Municipal Boundary. All dogs shall be kept securely fastened by a chain, rope, or leash unless securely confined within private property legally controlled by the owner of the dog. Further, any dog off the premises of its owner shall be presumed at be at large unless it is securely fastened to a rope, chain or leash not exceeding six feet in length and under the immediate physical control of the owner.
Layers include Town and Municipal Boundaries, High-Use Areas, Dog Waste Stations and More (click on double arrows, top left corner, to expand the Legend):
The goal of enforcement is to gain compliance. Enforcement can be as simple as a friendly warning or may escalate to multiple citations. Dog attacks and bites can also result in costly civil lawsuits including expensive hospital or vet bills.
6.12.230 - Violation - Penalty: Any person violating the provisions of Section 6.12.160 through 6.12.210 shall be guilty of an infraction, and upon conviction, shall be punishable as determined by the court of jurisdiction. Alternatively, Town staff may issue an administrative citation for any violation pursuant to Chapter 8.32 of this code.
- Title 6 is not a new Town Code - Recent minor changes included the updating of definitions, the addition of a section regarding dog waste removal and the addition of a section regarding off-leash areas for dogs.
- Public Safety is and should be the highest priority of any Municipality followed by the health and well-being of residents and visitors
- We have the legal responsibility to enforce the laws with the goal of protecting our residents and many visitors
- Escalation in the number of dog attacks (both dog on dog, and dog on human), and the overwhelming amount of dog waste around Town.
- Environmental issue and public health risk
Enforcement of the leash law will hopefully reduce the occurrence of dog’s biting people or other dogs. In 2020, 10 incidents were reported (3 dog on dog), while in 2019, 21 incidents were reported to the Mammoth Lakes Police Department. However, we know there are many more unreported incidents.
Every person owning a dog six (6) months of age or older must license the dog within 30 days of acquisition or within 30 days of moving to Mammoth Lakes. Proof of a California approved rabies vaccination is needed to obtain a license. Licenses are available during normal business hours. Licensing for the next year begins June 1st and current licenses expire June 30th of each year. The Mammoth Lakes Police Department hosts a discounted vaccination clinic once per year in June. Licenses are available for sale at the event.
Reasons to License Your Dog: Licensing is required by State and County Ordinances in order to control rabies, Licensing provides necessary information to support investigations of cruelty, neglect, abandonment, and dog bites, A license indicates ownership of a dog and if a dog is found, a license will aid us in getting the dog back to you quickly.
- $20 per year (spayed or neutered)
- $50 per year (unaltered)
- $5 late fee applies to renewals made after June 30th.
Pawsitively Mammoth Facebook Group - Local dog advocacy group that is working with the Mammoth Lakes Parks and Recreation Department in the development of a dog park. Or reach out directly to Barbara Maynard (email@example.com).