A matter of life and death | AspenTimes.com

A matter of life and death

Dear Editor:

Here in the Roaring Fork Valley we love our multi-use trails and try to keep them safe for all users. Do you dog owners realize how dangerous it is to have your dogs off leash? Not only for the other hikers, bikers and wildlife – but especially for horses and riders.

Last week five equestrians were returning along the designated wilderness Snowmass Lake Trail after a beautiful, calm ride and picnic when two dogs off leash dashed out of the woods directly at the horses. All of the horses spooked. Three riders were thrown on the rocky trail and one was eventually taken to the emergency room after a very painful and slow ride back to the trailhead.

The dogs’ owner arrived on the scene, leashed her dogs, said she was so sorry and continued along the trail. The riders lying on the trail or collecting the spooked horses were too stunned to ask her name or to see her driver’s license. I would hope she would come forth to identify herself and follow up on the condition of the thrown riders (one of whom was 85 years old).

Some one could have been killed. So please consider how dangerous it is for other trail users when you have your dogs off leash.

Shelley Burke, Sandy Israel, Peggy Mason, Kellene West and Al Nemoff

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