Town tries to crack down on 'dogs at large'

— A rash of barking and roaming canines persists in the town of Yampa, and the Yampa Town Board is seeking the cooperation of residents to keep the problem on a leash.

Several town ordinances already address the number of pets and the issue of barking dogs.

"But it's a difficult thing to enforce," town clerk Janet Ray said.

Residents with complaints must provide a written description of the dog as well as a signed written complaint at Town Hall.

If their case goes to court, they must be willing to provide testimony to what they witnessed.

County animal control officers, whose patrol days in Yampa have increased, investigate the reports.

Tickets will be given if sufficient information merits a fine, Ray said.

Ray said she hopes the fines now in effect for residents with stray dogs will deter pet owners from letting their animals

run free.

First, second and third offenders pay $35, $50 and $75, respectively.

Subsequent or serious offenses mandate a court appearance.

Owners cited for their stray animals were previously required to appear in the town court every time.

Stray animals not only present a health problem by leaving waste around town, Ray said, but they also compromise the safety of residents.

"One concern is that we have a lot of people that walk around town, and we wouldn't want anyone attacked," she said.

The town needs its pet owners to be responsible for their animals, she added.

The issue of stray and barking dogs represents a common problem among smaller towns, Town Trustee Jody Vetter said.

"We're working on it," he said.
Dog watch
To report a stray or barking dog,
call 879-1080

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