Dog restrictions in Breckenridge and surrounding towns | SummitDaily.com

Dog restrictions in Breckenridge and surrounding towns

by Susan Gilmore and Jessica Smith

Everyone knows we love our pooches up here in the High Country, whether we're longtime locals or sightseers just passing through. Here's a quick go-to guide for taking care of your canine companion in the mountains this summer.

Put a leash on it

In most unincorporated areas in Summit, your dog needs to be under immediate control, meaning within 10 feet of a person capable of controlling them.

Also, don't expect everyone to love your dog as much as you do. While I'm sure your dog is the best, cutest, happiest dog in the whole wide world, if you can't keep him from running up to complete strangers, he should probably stay on a leash.

It's also just good etiquette that if you see someone else walking with their dog on a leash, either leash your pup or make sure you really do have vocal control.

An even better indication of a dog that needs a little space is if the pup has a yellow ribbon on its leash. This means "do not approach," especially with another dog. The yellow fur-baby might not be friendly, but it also might have a medical problem, be in training, in rehab or some other reason it shouldn't be too close to your dog.

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Areas in the county where dogs must be leashed include Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, Willow Creek Open Space and the paved portions of the Summit County Recreational Pathway. Check with each town and specific venues to find out exact leash laws. Some places, such as the Dillon Amphitheatre, have specific events where pets are not allowed, so please check with the venues.

Local dog parks

Carter Park in Breckenridge is the county's only official dog park. Located at 300 S. High Street (four blocks east of Main Street), the dog park is free to all and consists of nearly one acre of fenced in space, perfect for Frisbee and ball throwing, as well as meeting new friends. Dog park rules are posted on a nearby fence, so give them a quick read as well.

Pick up the poo

This issue has provoked angst and sometimes anger from both visitors and locals alike. Let's lay this one to rest once and for all: There is no poop fairy. Luckily, the good people at the animal shelter, town officials and even local businesses do supply this wonderful invention known as "mutt mitts," plastic poo bags found at stations on most paved walkways in the county.

Picking up after your pet is important not only because trails covered in doggy doo are unsightly, but it can cause problems for water and leach into the soil, creating an influx of nitrogen. This nitrogen makes it much more difficult for native plants to grow, and can leave our trails looking a little barren.

Remember as well: There is no magical being that combs our trails picking up bags left on the side or middle of the paths. You must physically put the poop in a trash container all by yourself. Many trailheads and almost all paved walkways are equipped with trash bins, which make disposal a cinch. However, there are some trailheads that do not have a trash container. In this case you'll have to pack it out.

Springing Fido from doggy jail

The animal control officers at the Summit County Animal Shelter in Frisco take good care of the pets that mistakenly make their way in. When you head in to pull off the great escape, there are a couple things you will need: proof of a rabies vaccination and money.

The basic impound fee for a dog is $45 and a cat is $42. For every day that Fido does hard time, you have to pay hard cash, to the tune of $20 per day per dog, or $17 per day for a feline. If your pup ran off a few days ago and you're not sure how long ago Johnny Law grabbed him, you are always welcome to call the animal shelter at (970) 668-3230 to see just how high the hotel bill has gotten. The shelter will hold animals for five days before putting them up for adoption. In case of a natural disaster, such as a wildfire, if you cannot reach your pet, call the Evacuation Hotline at (970) 668-4143.