Here’s What Happens When Leash Laws Aren’t Observed
This was the scene following an encounter on Grand Junction's Riverfront Trail. My dog was attacked by an unleashed dog during our Saturday morning hike. What, may I ask, have become of the area's leash laws?
When it was all said and done, my dog had an injury to his face, just below his eye. While trying to break up the fight, the unleashed dog went after me as well. The dog's teeth didn't get through my thick jacket. I lucked out. The blood you see on my hand is my dog's, not mine.
Incidents such as this are becoming more and more common. Every week, I encounter people on the trail walking their dogs off leash. I would love to let my little dog off his leash, but there is this matter of the law. He is kept on his leash, at all times.
Following the encounter, we had to end our walk in order to get back to the car and head to the emergency vet clinic. Now, five days later, the bite has become infected, and it's back to the vet we go.
Are dogs required to be on a leash in Mesa County? According to Mesa County's official web page, the answer is:
Yes. Dogs are required to be under leash control when not confined to their property. Exceptions can be granted by a property owner. Two examples are: 1) The City of Grand Junction has granted permission for dogs to be off leash at the Canyon View dog park. 2)The Bureau of Land Management has granted permission for dogs to be off leash, but under voice control by an owner, in some areas. Please check with the Bureau of Land Management for dog rules specific to the area you are visiting.
I'm understandably upset over the injuries to my dog. The compounded vet bills don't exactly make me want to do cartwheels, either. What really bothers me is the lack of any responsibility on behalf of the other dog's owner. When the incident occurred, he took off in the other direction.
Unfortunately, my calls to animal control have gone unanswered.
I'm not sure what to do. I can't allow my dog, who is on a leash, to be attacked by dogs off leash. How is he supposed to defend himself? What's the next step? Mace?
Leash laws don't work unless everyone observes them. One dog on a leash, one not, is a recipe for disaster. Per the Mesa County website, it clearly reads that leash laws are not optional.