CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. (KDVR) — A video of a dog barking and harassing a moose in Gunnison County raised eyebrows and came as a reminder to pet owners to keep their dogs on a leash.
“The dog was five feet from the moose and barking at it nonstop,” Susan Little, who took the video said.
Little said she and her husband were out cross country skiing when they stumbled upon a dog within feet of a moose, obviously irritating the moose. According to people on the trail, Little said the dog had been fussing with the moose for nearly two hours.
“The moose would charge the dog. The dog would run away but it would come right back,” Little said.
She said they watched uneasy, unsure if the moose would trample the dog. She said they were worried about both animals. But she said the frustrating part is the owner of the dog left.
“She just left the dog and then we were there worried. I wasn’t worried just about the moose, I was worried about the dog too,” Little said.
Little said at one point the moose chased the dog up onto the trail and they weren’t able to pass for nearly half an hour.
“We couldn’t pass because the snow off the trail was too deep so we were stranded for half an hour because we could not pass them,” Little said.
Philip Gurule, the district wildlife manager in Gunnison said Colorado Parks and Wildlife hadn’t heard about the incident until FOX31 and Channel 2 called for a media request. Gurule said about an hour after that the dog’s owner called and turned herself in by explaining the situation.
“It sounds like she couldn’t get control of the dog and was in a panic,” Gurule said.
He said the dog owner went to call her husband, who was about 15 minutes away, for help. Once they returned they were finally able to get the dog under control.
“I think if the dog was on a leash, it wouldn’t have went down the path it went down,” Gurule said.
He said that Gunnison County, Crested Butte and Mount Crested Butte all have leash laws that state you have to have your dog on a leash and under control. After reviewing the video he said they could tell the dog was actively pursuing the moose.
“The moose found out the dog wouldn’t go into the water. The dog was staying on land, so the moose was trying to preserve energy,” Gurule said.
Little said she called the nonemergency number for help but isn’t sure if anyone responded. CPW is planning on putting up signs warning of moose in the area and the Gunnison County CPW office number on there.
The fine someone can face for this type of situation is around $275.00. It is considered a wildlife harassment citation. At this time CPW said the owner of the dog in the video hasn’t received a citation but the situation is still under investigation.