If a Park City dog is decked out in yellow, please don’t approach | ParkRecord.com

If a Park City dog is decked out in yellow, please don’t approach

Jay Hamburger THE PARK RECORD

Annie Elliott displays a bandanna used in the Yellow Dog Project. The program, which was recently introduced in Park City, identifies dogs that do not like to be approached. Jay Hamburger/Park Record

Some dogs around Park City will be sporting yellow.

An activist has started a Yellow Dog Project in Park City, joining a nationwide effort to make people aware that not all dogs like to be approached. The Yellow Dog Project involves dog owners outfitting their pets with yellow scarves as a caution that they might not react well if someone or another dog approaches or they are in training.

Annie Elliott, a Park Meadows resident who brought the idea to Park City, appeared at a recent Park City Council meeting as the elected officials endorsed a resolution in support of the program.

The brief resolution notes that Park City is a recreational destination and that "providing for a safe and enjoyable recreational experience is important to maintaining Park City’s community character." It also mentions efforts for public awareness and education.

"The Mayor and City Council commends and expresses the unequivocal support for the recognition of the Yellow Dog Program," the resolution says.

In an interview after the resolution was endorsed, Elliott said 300 of the yellow scarves had been donated to the program by Carl Prior, a veterinarian at the Park City Animal Clinic. The scarves are available at the clinic, she said. None had been distributed to the general public by Monday afternoon, the clinic said. Elliott said supporters of the Yellow Dog Project will also distribute the scarves on Park City trails.

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She said people could outfit their dogs with a yellow ribbon or a bandanna with the same effect.

"I think this problem is all over. I hope this program will reach throughout Summit County," Elliott said.

The elected officials listened to a short presentation prior to adopting the resolution. Elliott said posters will be put up advertising the Yellow Dog Project. She said she had received positive comments about the program.

Heinrich Deters, the trails coordinator at City Hall, told the mayor and City Council the Yellow Dog Project does not nullify leash laws for dogs with yellow ribbons. In a report to the elected officials, Deters said City Hall will allow signs to be posted at trailheads and public facilities. The report indicated businesses like animal clinics have pledged to cover the costs for the signs and the bandannas.

Mountain Trails Foundation and other advocacy groups have said they would promote the program, the report said, indicating that there is support in Summit County in the Yellow Dog Project as well. There have been a few signs spotted in the community advertising the program.

The Yellow Dog Project is used by people in 47 countries, according to the organization’s website. It is described as a program meant to caution people that dogs wearing the yellow may need more space than is typical. The dogs might be in training, recovering from surgery or in rehabilitation, the website says.

The City Council resolution followed shortly after Elliott made an appearance before the elected officials describing the Yellow Dog Project. During that meeting, Elliott spoke about the goals of the program. In an interview after that meeting, she said dogs wearing yellow bandannas are not necessarily aggressive, but they "don’t really welcome interaction."

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