Rushing waters a concern for dogs, owners

SALT LAKE CITY – Spring is finally here, but with the change in season comes more rain and melting snow.

The runoff is causing creeks to swell and the water to churn. Salt Lake County Animal Services is warning dog owners to take precautions near rushing water.

In Tanner Park, you can hear the rushing water flowing through Parley’s Creek.

“The streams at Parley’s, Emigration, Red Butte and Millcreek are rushing right now,” said Callista Pearson, the Public Information Officer with Salt Lake County Animal Services.

Cameron Duchin was walking his dog in the park Wednesday with a friend. He says he noticed the rushing water and his dog put her feet into the creek.

“They didn’t fully jump in and swim, but [even though] they knew that the water was probably a little bit too dangerous to swim they definitely took a dip and got in,” Duchin said. “I’d say I was nervous for my pup if she went in for a full swim, I wouldn’t have maybe been able to get in and get her."

Callista Pearson says it could be easy for your dog to get caught up in the waters and be swept away.

“If your dog does get caught up in a creek, do not jump in after them, I know it’s your first reaction to jump in after them but if something happens to you and no one else is around you could possibly drown,” said Pearson.

The best thing to do is call 911.

“I know it would be really frustrating to sit there and wait, but it’s not worth losing your life to jump in that water to rescue your dog,” said Pearson.

“I think people should be aware of the water and how high it is right now, you know if there is a storm coming through and you do take your dog out, you probably shouldn’t let it go swimming if it isn’t a water dog and the river is this high,” said Duchin.

Pearson says not only is the water rushing, but it’s also freezing, and the creeks are filled with debris making it more difficult to get out if you try to go in to save your dog. The best advice she has is to keep your dogs away from rushing water and to keep them leashed.

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