Dog bite reported on the Rail Trail | ParkRecord.com

Dog bite reported on the Rail Trail

Jay Hamburger THE PARK RECORD

Someone reported a dog bit them on the Rail Trail on May 12, according to the Park City Police Department, one in a series of complaints about dogs last week that continues a string of incidents involving dogs this spring.

The bite was reported at 9:15 a.m. on the Rail Trail in the vicinity of Wyatt Earp Way. The bite did not break the skin, according to police logs. The victim apparently told the police they encountered two dogs off leashes. One of them had grayish fur. A white man in his late 30s with a beard was with them, the police were told. Public police logs did not provide details about the victim.

The Rail Trail is a popular place for people to let their dogs run off leashes. A leash law, though, is in effect in public places throughout Park City with the exception of the dog park at Quinn’s Junction.

The bite on the Rail Trail appeared to be the most serious case involving dogs last week, but there were other complaints logged. Some of the reports included:

  • on Sunday, May 17 at 3:01 p.m., a dog was seen off a leash on the 2100 block of Sidewinder Drive. Earlier that day, at 11:52 a.m., a dog was seen off a leash on the 1200 block of Park Avenue.
  • on Wednesday, May 13 at 12:07 p.m., three women, possibly intoxicated, were seen with dogs off leashes outside the Park City Library and Education Center. The field outside the building is another popular place for people to let their dogs off leashes.
  • on May 13 at 9:21 a.m., a dog was seen off a leash on the 1300 block of Sullivan Road, a small street that borders City Park. Just earlier, at 9:13 a.m., a dog was seen off leash somewhere along Park Avenue. At 8:29 a.m. that day, a dog was seen off a leash at City Park.

    Rick Ryan, a police captain, said the situation with off-leash dogs has become problematic this spring.

    "The dogs off leash are just out of hand in the city . . . People are getting hurt. People are frightened or bothered," Ryan said.

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    The Police Department and Summit County Animal Control on Monday teamed for an enforcement operation targeting people with dogs off leashes along the Rail Trail and at City Park. Phil Kirk, a police captain, said four police officers and four officers from Animal Control patrolled the stretch of Rail Trail between the Bonanza Drive intersection and Chatham Crossing from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. Animal Control arranged the enforcement after receiving complaints about loose dogs on the Rail Trail, which is a popular route for hikers and bicyclists.

    Kirk said Animal Control officers on Monday issued three citations for violations of leash laws and warned several other people. The Police Department warned a few others, he said. Kirk said the operation was an "effective way of addressing" the complaints.

    He said the Monday enforcement action involved an officer riding a bicycle on the Rail Trail at Chatham Crossing, officers in police sport utility vehicles at Chatham Crossing and the Bonanza Drive terminus of the Rail Trail and an officer on a motorcycle. The officers also patrolled the surrounding neighborhood.

    Kirk said some people — both Parkites and trail users — complimented the officers on the operation.

    Kirk said the Police Department and Animal Control plan additional enforcement actions similar to the one on Monday. He said an operation could be organized in City Park as early as next week. Other operations could be scheduled at trailheads later.

    Leash laws have long been divisive in Park City, where dogs are regularly seen running free in neighborhoods across the city and on trails. The leash law, though, prohibits the practice, creating tension between dog owners who want to run their pets off leash and people who worry about bites or who are afraid of dogs. The string of cases in Park City started in earnest in March and has involved other dog bites as well as off-leash dogs.

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