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Pet Owners are Reminded of Responsiblity to Keep Dogs on Leash, Dog/Human Conflict More Frequent

Dog on Leash
Photo by Junko Kimura/Getty Images

The Pattee Canyon Area is one of the more popular recreation areas where conflicts between dogs as well as conflict between people and dogs have become more frequent. Public Affairs Officer Boyd Hartwig with the Lolo National Forest wants to remind all pet owners of their responsibility when taking their dogs up these trailheads:

“On the Lolo National Forest and Pattee Canyon area, we’ve had a series of dog incidents over the last 18 months or so,” Hartwig said. “We’re asking for the public’s cooperation to just do the right thing with their pets. In the trailhead area, be aware that you should have your dog on a leash, or at least under control in those kind of densely used areas.”

Hartwig said a lot of folks like to go up in the national forest and let their dogs run, but owners need to be aware of recent encounters that have created some conflict, particularly in the Pattee Canyon Picnic Area, the Crazy Canyon Trailhead, the Folf Course, and adjacent trails.

“We had an incident where a woman was with her dog, her dog was on a leash, and she encountered a group of dogs off leash on one of the trails,” Hartiwg said. “Dogs are allowed to be off leash on those trails, but I think pet owners need to be aware of the fact that they are going to encounter other folks and other dogs, and if they have dogs that are not well disciplined and potentially aggressive, I think they should do the right thing and have their dog on a leash.”

Hartwig said the woman was bit as well as her dog who was later taken to an emergency veterinarian clinic.

Law enforcement officers may cite individuals who create a threat to public safety due to the actions of their pet.

Missoula County also has an Animal Control Ordinance prohibiting owners from allowing their dogs from being “At Large” and not under physical restraint or within voice command as well as a prohibition against aggressive dogs.

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