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Stories Of Runner Attacking Dogs Reported To Summit County Deputies


The Summit County Sheriff’s Office has heard numerous complaints that a trail user in the Snyderville Basin is attacking dogs that are out with their owners, even when they’re leashed.   

Sheriff’s Lt. Andrew Wright says they’re looking into both sides—or the many sides—of the story.   

Lt. Wright said he’s seen complaints on social media from residents who say that when they’re recreating with their dogs, a trail runner is trying to kick or throw rocks at the dogs.

Lt. Wright said most of the attacks have taken place around Willow Creek Park.      There are no reports that dogs have been seriously injured.

He said deputies have contacted the suspect, a 39-year-old woman from the Bitner Road area.       

”This trail runner alleges that some of these dog owners are not obeying the leash law, and they’re allowing their dogs to run free.  This woman tells deputies that she’s been bit by dogs before and so she’s terrified of them.  And so it sounds like, her side of the story is that it’s self-defense.   She’s terrified of these dogs.  But then we’ve had residents say that she will go over to dogs, or in the vicinity of dogs and basically pick up rocks and throw them at them, even if the dogs aren’t being aggressive.”

Wright posted a message on the Next Door site seeking input from residents.      

“If you feel that there is a crime that has taken place you can report that.   We will look into it.  Otherwise, we encourage our residents to be considerate of each other, keep their dogs on leash where it’s required and to go about their own business.”

He said the difficulty is that the reported incidents occurred in the past, as much as six months ago.    Lt. Wright said for any future complaints, deputies will take down the information, see if a crime has occurred, and refer cases to the county attorney’s office.

He said that Animal Control has also gotten involved with some of  the reported cases of unleashed dogs.

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covered Summit County meetings and issues for 35 years on KPCW. He now heads the Friday Film Review team.
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