News Flash

City of Steamboat Springs NEWS

Posted on: May 26, 2023

Dog Days of Summer Raise Responsibility for Pets Owners

Hot Dog NewsFlash

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO-May 26, 2023-The dog days of summer bring heightened awareness for owners as their pets deal with the hot, sultry, and often unbearable days of summer. The city has several animal control ordinances that all pet owners should remember when heading out that will ensure your favorite four-legged friend enjoys the sensational summer.

“During summer, I ask pet owners to think twice about taking their animal on outings where they will have to be left in a vehicle or outside unattended,” said Community Service Supervisor Krista Amatuzio. “Both are violations of city code and something Animal Control Officers take seriously; but, more importantly, it puts your pet in dangerous situations.” 

Each summer, dogs and cats sustain harm and even death being left in a vehicle on a hot day. According to the ASPCA, even if the temperature outside is only 70 degrees, the inside of a car may be as much as 20 degrees hotter. At 85°, it only takes minutes for the inside of the car to reach 102°.  Within 30 minutes, the interior can climb from 85° to a scorching 120°. These high temperatures can be dangerous to animals causing heatstroke, brain damage or severe or fatal injuries.

Owners should not leave an animal in a motor vehicle when the temperature is 70 degrees or above. Even if you think you are only going into the store for 10 minutes, that’s all it takes to turn your car into a hot box. Parking in the shade or rolling down the windows is not enough. A truck bed is just as dangerous and does not provide adequate surface where pets can escape the heat. Dogs left in truck beds is also not allowed by ordinance.  

Many think, “I’m going to only run into the store for a minute or two and you’ll be fine tied up here”, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Animal Control reminds owners that is illegal to leave a dog unattended on public property, whether or not a dog is secured by a leash, cord, or chain. A person convicted of a violation may pay a fine up to $100. More importantly, your dog is at a higher risk to be stolen. 

Steamboat Springs hosts numerous special events. With venue constraints, large amounts of participants and often loud noises, dogs are not permitted at many events. It’s best to leave your pet at home and to find out beforehand if pets are permitted before heading there.

All three instances (Animal Tied Up Unattended; Animal in Motor Vehicle and Uncovered Pick-Up Bed when Temperature Above 70°) are violations of the Steamboat Springs Municipal Codes (Ordinance 1913, Section 4-5, and 1913 Section 4-10.2). Individuals can report animal complaints within the city to Animal Control through the non-emergency number, 970.879.1144. For additional animal tips and information visit


Krista Amatuzio, Community Service Supervisor, 970.879.1144 or email
Rich Brown, Police Commander, 970.879.4344 or email
Michael Lane, Communications Manager, 970.871.8220 or email

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