We want to highlight PAWS of Jackson Hole’s education and outreach program called Good Dog/Healthy Community for the month of May. This program is a great way to get educated on the usage of shared space and what you can do to help create a positive environment that we all share with our furry friends. PAWS is also recruiting AMBASSADORS right now so if you are interested get ahold of them at their office in Jackson at (307) 734-2441.
If you live in the Jackson, WY area, this will be particularly insightful but we think the concept is fantastic and would love to see this type of program in all towns and cities. When we talked to PAWS Of JH about this program here is what Jess Farr had to say about this program:
“We’re constantly trying to get the message of the importance of harmonious shared usage areas. The most popular areas such as Cache Creek, the greater Snow King trails, and the Pathway system could be compared to a two lane highway during rush hour. Tractor trailers, sports cars, and mini vans all bobbing and weaving to get to where they need to go. They have to yield to one another and follow speed limits in order to minimize accidents and casualties.
The same goes for us dog walkers, skiers, bikers, hikers, horseback riders, and even unicyclers (I’ve seen one coming down Snow King before with a pair of cute terriers trotting behind). We all must respect one another, yield to other traffic, and make sure that we all abide by the rules in place so that everyone can recreate safely.
A few years ago Cache Creek closed to dogs for a period of time because of left behind dog droppings, dogs chasing wildlife, and human/dog collisions. This could happen again in Cache Creek or anywhere that is dog friendly. Its up to us dog owners to keep these areas dog friendly. Always pick up after your dog and have a leash on you in case of wildlife or your dogs’ selective hearing to your call. Set you hound up to thrive. If they are not ready to be in busy areas with lots of moving parts and distractions keep them on a leash or leave them behind until they are ready.
Other aspects of the Good Dog Healthy Community Program include local advertising and PSA’s promoting good dog/ human behavior in shared outdoor spaces as well the importance of spay/neuter, topics such as leaving a dog in a hot car, and that adoption of a pet is for life. We’ve spent a lot of time in our pop up PAWS booth out on the trails and pathways with our human partner in outreach, Mike Piker of Friends of Pathways. Together we are advocates for hikers, bikers, walkers, skiers, and dogs, and want there to be safe and clean places for all to recreate in, as well as giving the local wildlife their fair share of space to be who they are…wild.
PAWS work closely with Bridger Teton National Forest in keeping our shared trails clean and open to dogs and have begun working with Teton County Search and Rescue is promoting safe summer and winter recreating with dogs. PAWS has partnered with R-Park to make it as easy as possible for those who want to enjoy the park with dogs to follow their simple rules.
You’ll see our Mutt Mitt stations out on the dog walk perimeter walking area with leashes encouraging people to follow the leash rule. R park is an unique park. It is one of the few that allows dogs, so let us dog walking humans use this as an example of how harmonious multi-use can in fact exist beautifully. Were you in town for the Eclipse? PAWS set up an information booth on town square during the 4 day Eclipse Town Extravaganza and provided the town with 10 extra Mutt Mitt stations in preparation for the influx of visitors during that time.
We’ve also done some Sip, Snip, and Tip nights at Mevlin’s Tap Room and Wildlife Brewing and Pizza in Victor, promoting our TNR and Spay and Neuter Voucher programs and will continue to get out in front of the Star Valley and Teton Valley communities through the summer.”
**Want to be part of the PAWS AMBASSADOR PACK? They are currently recruiting new ambassadors. They ask the ambassadors to don their PAWS-wear and dole out rewards to people they see exhibiting responsible pet owner behavior while out hiking/ biking/ walking in their favorite local spots. There is no set schedule and they provide you with human and dog rewards as well as a t-shirt to wear when spreading that paws-itivity we all love! If you’d like to become an ambassador, please email [email protected]; they will have a short training meeting at the beginning of the summer.