All this week, Missoula City Animal Control officers are focusing their attention on the Pineview Park area in the Rattlesnake, following a rash of citizen complaints, including at least one dog bite report.

Animal Control Director Ed Franceschina says the most common complaints from those who use Missoula's city parks and trails are dogs that are off-leash and people who fail to pick up dog waste.

Officers have canvassed the neighborhood and left many notices that the leash and waste pick-up laws would be strictly enforced all this week. A citation would mean an appearance in Municipal Court, just as a traffic ticket.

Francschina says there are between 25, 000 and 35,000 dogs in the Missoula area, approximately one dog for every two people. Many visitors to city parks do not appreciate off-leash dogs and stepping in dog waste. City ordinances mandate all dogs be licensed and leashed within the city limits, although there are some areas where dogs are allowed to run unleashed, such as Fort Missoula and Jacob's Island Bark Park.

Animal Control Director Ed Franceschina