Park City authorities crack down on dog leash laws

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PARK CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – Authorities are cracking down on dog leash laws they say pet owners have recently started disregarding.

“You cost me a hundred dollars today…” jogger/dog walker Tricia Pearson told her dog.

No doubt, the situation made for a pricey stroll through City Park, Tuesday morning.

“I was not happy because I feel like my dog is under control…” Pearson commented.

For years, Pearson and her group of girl friends have jogged through Park City — her trusty pooch following closely beside them along the way.

“There’s a little stream down here that he likes to run in, and obviously I don’t like to run in the stream…” she gestured.

But running freely is no longer an option for Peason’s furry friend. Park City Police and Summit County Animal Control are teaming up in an effort to enforce leash laws they say they used to barely notice.

“We’re seeing more dog bites and more victims of dog bites…” explained Capt. Phil Kirk with Park City Police. “We have pamphlets that explain what the law is, we have free leashes we give out to violators,” he added.

Officers say city law changed in January and now allows people to use mechanical leashes for their pets, but they say people seem to be misinterpreting the new ordinance.

“I think people have got the idea that they can take their dogs off-leash and just let them run, but that’s not the case,” explained Officer Delores Ovard with Summit County Animal Control.

Officials plan on issuing hefty $100 citations for first time offenders, and fines continue going up for every violation after that. Long-time dog walkers in the area say they can understand why.

“I think it’s some new irresponsible dog owners, and if somebody has a dog that’s going after people or other dogs, they need to get them under control,” said Kitty Imdahn, a Park City dog walker and resident.

If tethering up ‘man’s best friend’ is not exactly your thing, there are several off-leash dog parks available for use in Summit County as well. Those include the following places:

-Run-A-Muk Trail (Utah Olympic Parkway, Park City)
-Trailside Dog Park (5715 Trailside Drive, Park City)
-Willow Creek Dog Park (4460 Split Rail Lane, Park City)
-Woods at Parley’s Lane Dog Park (4275 Sunrise Drive, Park City)
-Quinn’s Dog Park (204 F.J. Gilmore Way, Park City)

Officials say they plan on patrolling every week from now on and that with time, they expect to see more dog owners complying with the law.

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