City beefing up leash law enforcement |

City beefing up leash law enforcement

— The city of Steamboat Springs is starting to crack down on local dog owners who let their pets run free in areas they are not supposed to.

Animal control officers have recently started making foot patrols on local trails to enforce the city’s leash law.

Dog owners who violate the law face a minimum fine of $50.

The increased enforcement of the law is the city’s response to some recent complaints about dogs that are off leash getting into confrontations with leashed dogs on popular trails on Emerald Mountain.

Members of the city’s management team said Thursday they have heard from some residents who see so many dogs off leash in places like Blackmer Drive, they avoid the area.

Until now, officers have not regularly patrolled trails to enforce the leash law.

“It’s a new effort,” Public Safety Director Joel Rae said Thursday. “We typically haven’t been sending animal control officers on foot patrols up to places like the quarry (on Emerald). It’s not a leash-free zone, and dogs are required to be on a leash so we’re enforcing it.”

Rita Valentine Park and the Spring Creek Park are the only places in the city where dogs are allowed to be off leash.

In those areas, dogs still must be under voice and sight control.

In a press release announcing the beefed up enforcement of the leash law, city officials noted that “a shocking 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs every year.”

Leash laws also aim to protect local wildlife and domesticated animals.

In Steamboat, dogs are required to be on a six-foot, handheld leash in all public places.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10

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