Three dogs cause injury to experienced equestrian.
TAHOE NATIONAL FOREST -
On Sunday, July 22, two horseback riders left Loney Meadow campground and traveled the trail from Bull Pen Lake to Penner Lake. One was on a BLM mustang who had extensive back country, trail and horse camping experience and ridden by his owner, also very experienced. The other rider was on a horse who has been trail ridden and horse camped for the past two years.
When on the trail by Rock Lake, the Mustang started alerting his rider that something was in the brushy forest behind them. She couldn't see anything, but heard some rustling. This continued for about 1/4 mile when suddenly three large dogs jumped out from the brush and started chasing the horses. The riders had no idea if they were with an owner, or if they were wild and packed up. But, the Mustang was extremely frightened of the aggressive dogs and leaped off the trail and into a steep incline. His rider fell off, hitting her head on a tree, landing on her back and scraping trees along the fall. The horse continued down the incline without his rider. The dogs continued to chase her horse down the hill until the owner showed up and called them back.
The other rider immediately got off her horse to find the downed friend, but the dogs were still in the area. She picked up a stick to defend herself and her friend, if necessary.
The dog's owner asked if the rider was OK. The injured rider said no, but the dog owner just said OK, defended her dogs being off leash, saying it was legal unless in a campsite, and continued down the trail with the three off leash dogs. The riders never saw the dogs or their owner again.
The dogs descriptions:
1. Pit bull cross, light tan
2. Doberman cross, black and tan
3. Shepherd of some type
Female, tan clothing, shirt with BONC (Bicyclists of Nevada County) patch.
The riders slowly got back to camp so they could get medical help. Back at camp, the injured rider was dizzy, nauseous, and unable to stand. She had a huge hematoma on her back. There, other campers got a car to go up a few miles to get a cell signal to call 911. Within a half hour, CalStar helicopter was there to take her to the trauma center in Roseville. Truckee Fire Department and CDF assisted. At the trauma center, she was tested for five hours for injuries, then released.
Dog owners are responsible for their dog's actions. Public lands have leash laws. Some public lands allow off leash dogs under certain circumstances. To have your dogs off leash in public forest land, you must be able to have them in view and under voice command. This dog owner would not have caused an injury to another trail user had she had the dogs on leash and/or in view and voice control. Horses, other hikers and dogs are frightened and intimidated by a pack of dogs.
Here are the rules:
To promote user safety and reduce wildlife interactions, Rangers reminds visitors that the BLM enforces dog leash regulations, up to and including citation. While dogs under voice control for certain activities may be permissible on Municipal lands, federal regulation requires use of physical restraint, regardless of how well trained your dog may be. It's the law.
Lake Tahoe Basin Municipal Park:
Your well-behaved, leashed dog is welcome almost anywhere (Forest Order 19-86-99 PDF 347 KB) within the LTBMU, with the notable exceptions of designated swimming beaches and areas that are restricted for wildlife protection. You must keep your dog on a leash, and pick up after him.
DOGS ARE ALLOWED ON NATIONAL FOREST TRAILS.
Pets must be on a 6-foot leash and under physical control at all times, or caged. While hiking on National Forest trails, pets must be on leash or under voice command. Check with the local ranger station to verify each trails rules.
For those areas open to dogs here are a few good reasons to leash your dog; Leashes protect dogs from becoming lost and from wilderness hazards such as porcupines, mountain lions, and sick, injured or rabid animals.
Unleashed dogs may intimidate other hikers and their dogs, depriving them of a peaceful wilderness experience.
Unleashed dogs may harass, injure and sometimes kill wildlife.
California State Parks:
In general, dogs are permitted in most state parks but must be on a leash not exceeding six feet in length at all times. It's always a good idea to call ahead to see if dogs are allowed in the state park you wish to visit. However, please pay special attention to the following when taking your pet to a state park:
Please understand that Park Superintendents have the discretion to further restrict areas open to pets (i.e., trails, buildings, etc.).
A rabies certificate or dog license may be required to bring a dog into a State Park.
Please remember that violations of these rules may lead to a costly citation. Remember too that you are financially responsible for injuries or damage caused by your dog. To ensure everyone's visit to California State Parks is pleasant, please do not leave your pet unattended, and remember to clean up after them.