Don’t change leash law |

Don’t change leash law

Steve and Myriah Blair

We were upset to see the proposal that limits dogs to leashes on Willow Creek Trail. We believe that a majority of hikers prefer the current rules.

MYTH: Dogs don’t need any off-leash exercise.

FACTS: Vets recommend off-leash for all but the smallest dogs. Dogs that are allowed to run off-leash are happier and healthier since they tend to get better-quality exercise. Properly exercised dogs make better neighbors than under-exercised dogs; animals that engage in vigorous off-leash play are less likely to create a nuisance, bark excessively, destroy property, or learn antisocial behavior.

MYTH: Dogs are dangerous. We need a comprehensive leash law on all town land.

FACTS: According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (Jan. 22, 1997), the vast majority of dog bites occur in a dog’s territory. These triggers are not present when a dog is in the neutral territory of a public park. However, leashed dogs tend to be defensive, believing that the leash defines their territory. Some people have an unfounded fear of dogs. This should not be used as a deciding factor for public policy in our open space.

MYTH: A majority of towns and cities have strict leash laws

FACT: Current regulations allow dogs to be off leash on most city of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Park trails.

MYTH: There is no way to enforce a compromise plan at our parks that allows for off-leash trail use and water access.

FACTS: According to studies, a 24-7 comprehensive leash law would be extremely difficult to enforce. It has been found that punitive leash laws generally result in non-compliance. Self-policing in the dog community is the only solution.

There are far more dogs that are well behaved than not. Dog owners are simply asking for adequate shared or dedicated space on trails and fields for off-leash exercise. We want Willow Creek Trail to remain a place where we can keep our companions happy.

Contact our County Commissioners: Gary Lindstrom can be contacted at (970) 453-3411; Tom Long can be reached at (970) 453-3412. Bill Wallace can be reached at the County Courthouse in Breckenridge at (970) 453-3413.

Steve and Myriah Blair


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