The top 3 ways you can be a responsible dog owner in Teton Valley:

  1. Clean up after your pet.
  2. Obey all local ordinances, including leash requirements. 
  3. Spay/neuter all your animals and advocate for others to spay/neuter their pets!
  4. Don’t allow your pet to wander, especially in populated areas.

This 4th point – don’t allow your pet to wander, especially in populated areas – is a hot topic in Teton Valley. Roaming dogs in downtown Driggs have been reported to scare children from playing outside and prevent people from gardening in their yards. This is not the kind of community we want to live in! Nor do we want non-dog owners to despise dog owners. 

Together, we can work together to become a community of better dog owners.

Here’s how:

Everyone should spay/neuter their pets, and if you’re going to let your dog off leash, spay/neuter is mandatory.

  • Consider Mickey, a female dog that wasn’t spayed, roaming and interacting with a male dog that wasn’t neutered. Earlier this year, we got a phone call about a local dog named Mickey, a beautiful golden retriever well-loved by her family. One day, while unattended, an unknown male dog impregnated Mickey. The pregnancy wasn’t wanted, but the owners weren’t comfortable giving Mickey an abortion so 8 puppies were brought into the world, unwanted and homeless. Unfortunately, Mickey’s family couldn’t care for the puppies so they were surrendered to a local shelter which eats up vital resources. To give these puppies the best chance at life, they were brought to Aska’s Animals. In an ideal world, no more puppies or kittens are born without thoughtful and intentional breeding, but if a mom has already given birth, the best we can do is provide her a calm quiet place to raise her kids until everyone is spayed/neutered and ready to be adopted. For many animals, a safe supportive place to grow up prevents them from ending up in the shelter system in the future.

If you’re going to let your dog off leash, you need to practice and master voice and sight control with your dog.

  • Voice and Sight control means you can adequately control your dog by using voice commands and sight commands such as hand gestures. If you’re going to have your dog off leash, you must:
    • Have your dog in sight and be able to see the dog’s actions.
    • Be able to prevent your dog from charging, chasing, or displaying aggression towards any person or animal. Most, importantly, your voice and sight commands need to override difficult circumstances and distractions.
    • Make sure your dog has proper identification – a collar with tags as well as a microchip – in case they get away from you. This takes the burden of locating or housing lost dogs off local shelters’ to do lists by returning the missing dog to their owner as quickly as possible.
    • Remember that just because your dog is friendly does not mean other dogs are friendly or social. Perhaps, the neighbor dog your dog keeps trying to play with is feeling weak from kennel cough or they’re recovering from surgery. No matter what, you can’t assume that all dogs want to have interactions with other dogs. 

What do you do if you see a stray or unattended dog in Teton Valley?

  • Teton Valley does not have an Animal Control Officer (ACO), but we would greatly benefit from having an ACO because more and more dogs are moving into town. It’s important that the city has an understanding of why our community would benefit from an ACO so if you see a stray or unattended dog, please call the Teton County Sheriff’s Office in Driggs. The non-emergency phone number is (208) 776 – 8200. Currently, residents have been forced to resolve these issues on their own and dog owners are not being held responsible for animal mismanagement.

Do you or someone you know need 1:1 dog behavior support? 

Because of generous funding from donors, Aska’s Animals offers free or subsidized dog behavior services. We aim to keep pets in their homes and out of the shelter system through a variety of methods. Behavioral issues are a common reason that animals are surrendered to shelters, but we work to address these issues while the dog is still in their familiar home environment and with their family in the hopes of creating a more harmonious existence in the existing home. Aska’s Animals Canine Behavior Specialists Sam, Ramsey and Krissi only use positive reinforcement methods and science-backed reward based training methods. If you or someone you know needs 1:1 dog behavior support, please contact our team or learn more here.

Other important aspects of being a dog owner:

When you commit to being a dog owner, you need to:

  • Be extremely thoughtful when selecting a pet.
  • Only choose a pet that suits your home and lifestyle and follows the rules of your HOA or community ordinances.
  • Keep only the type and number of pets for which you can provide appropriate food, water, shelter, health care, companionship, etc.
  • Plan to have these pets in your home for the entire length of their life.
  • Provide appropriate exercise and mental stimulation such as enrichment.
  • Properly socialize, train, and manage your pet.
  • Make sure your pet receives proper vaccinations.
  • Spay/neuter your pet.
  • Budget for potential emergencies and enroll in pet insurance.
  • Properly identify your dog with a collar and tags and microchips.
  • Making alternate arrangements if you can no longer provide care for your pet.

Thank you for being a part of the animal rescue journey with Aska’s Animals. The farm is bustling, the team is motivated and growing, and we’re witnessing firsthand how far every donor dollar goes. We’re thankful for your financial support that makes this lifesaving work a possibility. Because of you, we can continue to advance our mission to provide rescue, sanctuary, and canine behavior training to our community. If you’ve been thinking about supporting our mission, Tin Cup Challenge season is a great opportunity to double your donation.