Dog working group starts meeting Tuesday | SteamboatToday.com

Dog working group starts meeting Tuesday

Dogs play in Rita Valentine Park on Monday evening.

— Dog advocates in Steamboat Springs will gather in Citizens Hall on Tuesday night to start sniffing out some possibilities to make the city more dog friendly.

Kathy Connell, who is serving as a leader and spokeswoman for the dog working group, said Monday that 38 citizens had offered to help the city come up with policy changes or infrastructure, such as new dog parks, which would make the city a better place to have a dog.

Connell also said she's already noticed some positive changes.

"They used to be doing some pretty heavy patrolling to try to catch dogs everywhere," Connell said of the city's animal control officers. "They appear to have backed off of that. They don't police some of these neighborhoods like they used to."

Connell said the working group will look into both short-term and long-term solutions.

"We want to get everything on the table and make sure no idea gets missed," she said.

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At the kickoff meeting, a pair of dog advocates will present some survey data they have collected from residents about changes they would like to see made to the city's dog policies.

Most residents who responded to the survey indicated they wanted to see a voice sight control program established so that dog owners could take a course and have more places to take their dogs off leash.

Connell said the voice sight program would likely be a focus of the new working group.

She added the group will seek some changes in the short term, such as getting some slack from the city about allowing dogs off leash in local bodies of water.

She said it isn't safe for dogs or humans for a dog to be on leash on the river or in a pond.

The dog meeting starts at 5 p.m. in Citizens Hall on Tuesday.

"We all want Steamboat to be Dog Town USA, and I am confident that we can achieve this through communication, compromise and respect for all sides," she wrote in an email inviting dog advocates to the meeting.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10