It’s a human problem
As bad as I feel for the Jelineks and their pet, I must repeat the same warning that locals have been giving to newcomer pet owners for many, many years.
This is a wildlife area. We are encroaching upon their domain. Conduct yourselves accordingly and take proper precautions and use common sense. It is also springtime, when all wild animals are hungry and have young to feed.
Keep pets confined at home and in your sight and in control when hiking. Leash laws are designed to protect wildlife, not your dog. It is up to the owner to ensure the safety of your pet when in the territory of wild animals.
Please don’t demonize our wildlife in lieu of taking responsibility for the safety of your pets.
Perhaps instead of coyote studies, the DOW and Pitkin County Open Space and Trails could conduct trainings for pet owners on the effect of their exploding population, and ways to mitigate the impact of dogs on local wildlife.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
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