Even though many communities or counties in Missouri do not have “leash laws”, there is an “adequate control” law in Missouri. 578.012 RSMo (2000). Section 578.005 defines “adequate control” as requiring an owner to reasonably restrain or govern an animal so that it does not injure itself, another animal, a person or a property.
This means that if an animal is running loose and gets shot, hit by a car, attacks another animal, or chases children or livestock, for instance, then the owner may be criminally liable. It also does not mean the animal has to be off its own property for this to take effect. If an animal is chained out and jumps a fence or falls down a hill and hangs itself, the owner also may be in violation of adequate control laws.
If you see an animal that is loose and in danger, or is a danger to the public, please immediately contact the nearest local law enforcement office.