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Pet safety in Mesa County

Published: Jun. 6, 2021 at 9:32 PM MDT|Updated: Jun. 6, 2021 at 9:33 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - Mesa County Animal Services has begun a leash your pet education and enforcement campaign for the month of June.

Mesa County Animal Services stressed the importance of keeping your dog on a leash when he or she is not in a designated off-leash area. Also, they offered some general tips for keeping your beloved dog safe, especially in this heat.

Through June, as more people recreate outside, Animal Services Officers will be traveling through parks in Mesa County, such as Canyon View and Las Colonias Parks, to ensure the safe and appropriate use of both the off-leash and on-leash areas. They want to make sure that residents understand there is a leash law in Mesa County. Your dog is required to be on a leash 10 foot or less in length. Unless your dog is inside one of the 2 dog parks here, then a leash is not required.

“Keeping dogs on leash when in public not only protects other animals and people, but it keeps them safe as well,” Mesa County Animal Services Manager Doug Frye said. “It is illegal to walk your dog off-leash in a park unless you are in a designated off-leash area.”

Animal Service Officers will be surprising and rewarding those following the leash law with a small token of appreciation.

“Please remember dogs in public areas of the city and county, as well as in parks, are required to be on a leash 10 feet in length or less,” Frye added. “Our goal is to educate the public on the leash law.”

Animal Service Officers are charged with providing a safe, healthy, and caring environment where animals and people can co-exist.

Violators of the leash law will be ticketed $50 for a first offense. $100 for a second offense. And the third offense within 2 years is $250 and a mandatory court appearance.

Dog owners can help keep parks fun and healthy for all visitors by obeying leash laws and complying with park rules. Keeping your dog on a leash is not only safe for them to keep them from getting away, but it keeps others safe too. People who may not have a friendly dog, or a dog that’s scared. So it’s respectful to keep others in mind.

Mesa County Animal Services also stressed the importance of keeping this heat in mind when it comes to your dogs. Never leave your dog alone in your car with the AC turned off. Cars heat up so quickly, especially with how hot it’s getting here in the valley.

According to a study by insider, in a parked car, the temperature can go up 20 degrees Fahrenheit in just 10 minutes. That number jumps 10 degrees every 10 minutes. And rolling the windows down barely makes a difference. Light comes into the car through the windows, but heat cannot get out, and so the car gets much hotter than outside. Excessive heat at about 106 degrees can cause heatstroke which can lead to organ damage or death.

One last tip Mesa County Animal Services gave us is to be cautious about walking your dog in this heat. At 77 degrees Fahrenheit, asphalt is 125 degrees. Which is when skin destruction can occur in as short as 1 minute.

There is a test you can do to see if it is safe for your dog. Stand barefoot on the pavement or press the back of your hand onto the pavement. If you can stand or keep your hand there for 7 seconds or more, it is safe. If not, it is too hot and will injure your dog. If you cannot wait and still need to take your dog out and it’s not possible to only walk in grass, there is a answer. Invest in some canine footwear such as booties that will provide a cushion between the hot ground and your dog’s paw pads to prevent burning.

Mesa County Animal Services just wants to make sure all dogs are going to be safe. Not just in this heat, but all year long. For more information regarding Mesa County Animal Services, visit animalservices.mesacounty.us.

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