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Spring is here and that means more people are getting out enjoying the weather and walking their dogs. The city would like to remind everyone that following some simple rules with their pets can make everyone’s experience better.
Please remember when out with your dog in public, to keep your dog on a hand held leash. Even friendly dogs that are off leash can be startling to a hiker or biker on a trail, and may inadvertently cause accidents, or induce fear in fellow pedestrians. Remember other trail users don’t know your dog or how it will react. Also keep in mind it is not ok to leave your dog tied up along the sidewalk while you go shopping or to a restaurant. Dogs left unattended are considered “at large” even if secured by a cord, leash, chain or other means. During busy times downtown with tables, sidewalk sale wares, trees, and bikes taking up space on the sidewalks, often pedestrians have a narrow path to walk through and may not feel comfortable walking close to an unknown animal.
Although most places require that dogs be on leashes, there are two off-leash parks in Steamboat Springs. The first is at Rita Valentine Park, and the second is at the lower pond along Spring Creek (where the gazebo is). Dogs are still required to wear a leash on the trail to and from this lower pond, at the upper pond, and on all other parts of the trail located on City property. As the trail moves into County owned property, dogs can be off leash providing there are no signs posted to the contrary, and that their pet is within sight and under voice control. Owners should have a leash on hand and be prepared to put it on their pet should an officer request it – as in the case of dangerous wildlife in the area.
Also, for the continued enjoyment of everyone on the trails, please pick up your dog’s waste and dispose of it properly in a sanitary container. Remember to bring your bag, and if you forget - most public trails and parks have bags provided.
And to make sure it is easy for your lost pet to be returned to you, remember to keep your pet’s shots up to date and license your pet each year at the Routt County Humane Society Animal Shelter or at your own Steamboat Springs veterinary clinic – dogs must wear their license on their collar.
Practice responsible pet ownership. As a companion animal owner, you have a responsibility towards other members of the community as well as towards your pet. Let’s all do our part to make the trails and public spaces safe, clean and enjoyable for all who use them. To see the city’s official rules on pets and animals see the city’s website and Chapter 4 of the Steamboat Springs Municipal Code.