Search and rescue teams urge hikers to keep dogs safe on trails

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) – The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team urges everyone to make animal safety a priority when taking their dogs on the trails.

As the weather improves, search and rescue teams say more and more people are taking their dogs out and people often get into trouble with their dogs.

“We have situations with search and rescue, especially when we have dogs falling off cliffs because they are unaware of the cliff,” said Jeanine Camp, who is part of the ground crew. search and rescue. “They could chase a squirrel. At the observatory, we often have the situation where every year we either have to save a dog or pick up a dog that has fallen off the cliff. And it’s not fun at all.

Camp said the trails seem like a safe enough place for pets, but there are lots of different things that can be dangerous for dogs, like rattlesnakes, cacti, even trails that get too hot. so dogs can walk on it.

“Even at BLM landing in Rabbit Valley where it’s a great place to hike and walk around, we have all these crevices. And occasionally, a dog will fall into these crevices or run in, or the owner will try to go and save them. And we have to save everyone. So not only do we want to make sure the dogs are safe, but we want to make sure the people who are out there with their dogs are safe.

Camp says dog owners should do what they can to make sure their dog is obedient and obeys commands. Also take the dog on trails that allow dogs. She says some trails are not dog friendly so people shouldn’t bring their dogs.

People are also encouraged to think about what equipment their dog would need, whether it’s a leash, rocky terrain shoes and other harnesses. Owners should also bring water for their dogs. And if your dog gets into a sticky situation, be prepared to bring him back. But if your dog gets into trouble, don’t do anything that could endanger you.

“This country is much more dangerous than you think for your dogs. It’s so easy for them to get in trouble without you realizing it. We look at this beautiful country and we like to walk the trails and we don’t really see the dangers there. But there’s a lot of snakes there, a lot of cacti, you don’t even know when you’re going to get in trouble. There are animals there that could be injured animals. It looks so fantastic for us as humans, but for dogs it’s a really different environment.

Search and rescue teams say they want people out on the trails with their dogs, but they want everyone to do it safely and keep their dog’s safety in mind.

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Brandon D. James