Park program keeping pups safe at Pinnacle

Paw Patrol Program protects pups hiking on Pinnacle Mountain

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Pinnacle Mountain has some amazing hiking trails, but as the summer months continue to heat up, Park Interpreters are warning dog owners to take precautions before hitting the mountain.

Many people bring their dogs along for a hike. At least, that's the case at Pinnacle Mountain State Park.

"Imagine us coming out here going to attack this mountain and wearing a fur coat the whole time," Park Interpreter Kellie Nichols said.

In the past two years, park officials said five dogs have died and seven more injured due to heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and snake bites. It's par for the course for this time of the year, but park officials said it's a dangerous problem they hope to eliminate with their Paw Patrol Program.

"Where we stand here at the summit which is our most hiked trail here at the park and just let people know how to protect their pets, how to watch for those signs and symptoms they may have with the heat," Nichols said.

Nichols said part of that preparation is knowing your dog’s limits and bringing enough water.

"There are no water sources and it's also a very steep kind of hike. There's very little shade especially once you get to the top of the mountain.  It's also boulders which is all rocky surfaces which is going to be very heated at 100 degrees, which makes for paws being injured," she said.

Nichols warns that hikers often underestimate the trails and rough terrain. Park staff hopes their program encourages dog owners to be responsible.

"Bringing their water, bringing a collapsible bowl, make sure you give them the opportunity to stop and catch their breath," she mentioned.

Park officials do say there are other trails in the park better suited for dogs this time of year such as Kingfisher Trail and the trail near the visitors center.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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