Marshal's Message: A moment to hound you about your pet

John L. Cox Enlargephoto

John L. Cox

This edition of my Marshal's Message has really gone to the dogs.

My topic is the care, custody, and control of our canine friends within the town of Mancos. Let me point out that I am a dog lover, and I'm also one of "those people" who believe that dogs are people, too. Many of you have met my dogs Chip and Lucy as we've made our rounds around town, and they wanted me to say thanks for all the extra attention you've given them.

Dogs that live within the town limits are required to be licensed, vaccinated for rabies, and are required to wear their issued tags. I know that we have many more dogs in town than licenses issued, so I'll ask if you are a dog owner who hasn't obtained the required license, please stop by the town hall (bring proof of current rabies vaccination) and get them. The license fee is only $10.

Dogs are required to be leashed when off of private property. The marshal's office picks up loose dogs frequently and with no tags that we must transport to the animal shelter in Cortez. A couple of times recently I've been on my way to the shelter and the dog in my back seat has jumped up and looked sadly out the back window as the town disappears from sight. That makes ME sad. What may make the owner sad is the trip to Cortez to pick up their pet and the fee they must pay to get them out of doggie jail. We always try to locate the dog's parents before we make that sad trip, but more often than not they go to the shelter. If you are a dog owner/lover that should motivate you to get the required license and tag so we can reunite you with your pet. From an operational standpoint, I'd much rather have our officer in town and available as opposed to making a 34-mile roundtrip to Cortez - when it could be avoided if the dog just had a tag.

Barking dogs are sometimes an issue, and if that's a problem I'd ask that you try to speak to the dog's owner first before calling us. I realize that may not always be practical, so if you have an issue of a habitually barking dog, give us a call and we'll certainly handle it.

Oh, and please pick up after your pet should they decide to leave some physical evidence of their travels around town, if you know what I mean.

The marshal's office has a duty to enforce our ordinances and we do so, but our approach will be always be one that applies a good dose of common sense to that enforcement. Small town cops wear more hats than our counterparts in larger agencies and animal control is a great example of that. With your help maybe we can keep that particular hat on its hanger and we can all enjoy that unconditional love and doggie kisses that our four legged family members provide.

As always, thank you for your support and I'll talk to you again soon.

Marshal John L. Cox can be reached at