Educational Information

Education Makes A Difference!

Dog Reading Book

Mesa County Animal Services is aware that being a responsible pet owner can be a challenge. Pets have their own unique personalities and both new and experienced pet owners can benefit from educational information on how to safely manage their pet. Providing helpful hints on options to confine, transport, care for and train an animal might mean that the pets stays in a loving home instead of ending up at a local shelter.

In addition to local public service announcements and brochures, we have permission from the Dumb Friends League to link to their site which has additional information. Please check out the materials available and if you have questions that we have not answered or need additional clarification, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss your unique situation.

Please click on the titles to view additional information

Help on pet behavior is available from
Dumb Friends Animal League - Dog or Cat Behavior Helpline

    • (303) 751-5772, Ext. 1420 Dog Behavior
    • (303) 751-5772, Ext. 1421 Cat Behavior
    • 1-877-738-0217 Non-Denver metro residents, toll-free
    • Or visit their website at Dumb Friends Animal League


Mesa County Animal Services understands that living situations can change and unfortunately loving pet owners may find themselves in circumstances where they can no longer care for their beloved pets. This can be a very difficult and emotional time for the family and the pet. We recommend that you try outside sources such as rescues, humane societies, or friends and family to find a good temporary or permanent placement for your pet. However, if you are unable to find a new home for your pet, Mesa County Animal Services is there to assist you.

Please do not abandon your pet in the community, the country or a nice neighborhood thinking it can survive or "someone" will give it a home. Unfortunately, our officers pick up too many pets each year that have been abandoned. Many of them have been hit by cars, injured by other animals or are starving and ill. Companion animals do not have the skills necessary to survive on their own. When they become scared or fearful, they can injure someone in their efforts to survive. We know it can be emotionally difficult to bring them to a shelter, but it is in your pet's and the community's best interest to do so.

Mesa County and the City of Grand Junction do not charge a fee to relinquish a pet to our shelter. We feel that public safety and public health can be compromised if animals are abandoned in the community. Not only is it cruel and abusive to abandon a pet animal, it is a violation of local and state statute.

Because we need information from you about your pet, please plan on spending 15-30 minutes at the shelter. This information helps us with the assessment process so we can find the best placement for your pet. Every year, we rehome, transfer or reunite almost 3,000 displaced pets. We can find a successful placement when we have accurate and thorough information about your pet's health and behavior. Many behaviors and health issues can be addressed if we have advance knowledge of the problem. You will be asked to take time to fill out a form about your pet. If you have any documentation about training, veterinary visits, vaccinations or favorite toys, please bring them with you so we can make your pet comfortable during the transition and we cat adequately assess your pet. We offer information about our displaced pet program.

Chaining a dog - "An outside dog has an address, not a home"

We do not recommend chaining a dog. A chained animal may become frustrated which can lead to destructive and/or aggressive behavior. We offer an informational brochure for an explanation of why dogs should not be chained.

There are some excellent alternatives to chaining your dog:

  • Provide a securely fenced yard along with a dog house for protection from the elements.

  • Bring your dog indoors if you are not home to supervise it.

  • Provide a dog run with a dog house inside the run.

  • Take your dog for a walk to provide exercise.

We also offer an informational brochure on additional ideas for safely confining your dog.

Loud Noise Fear

Fearful responses to thunderstorms, Fourth of July fireworks and other loud noises often involve escape attempts which result in destructive behavior. In these cases doors, door frames, window trip, screens and walls are often damaged. These problems can be especially dangerous, because excessively fearful dogs may injure themselves attempting to break through windows or doors to escape a feared situation.

You can try to create a safe place for your dog to go to when it hears the noises which frighten it, whether you are there or not. Remember, this must be a safe location from your dog’s perspective, not necessarily yours. If the fearful behavior continues, consult your veterinarian for assistance.

Is the bed of a pick-up truck the safest place for your dog to ride?

There is no law against transporting your dog in the bed of your pick-up truck in Mesa County. However, you are required to safely transport your animals. In rural areas or on farm property, it can make sense. However, on busy roads, it can put the public and your dog in danger........

“When the pickup hit that bump it was all I could do to keep from swerving and hitting other cars when the dog went flying out of the truck in front of me.”

It has been estimated that at least 100,000 dogs die each year when tossed from pickup trucks. For your dog's safety, don't let it ride in the back of an open pick-up truck unless safely tethered or confined.

There are several ways to make a pick-up bed safe for your canine friend:

  • Buy a topper for the truck bed. Your dog can ride in an enclosed truck bed and be protected from road and wind hazards.

  • Install a easy to build cross-tethering system. This is cheap and easy to accomplish by fastening a rope on each side of the truck with a short leash attached in the middle for the dog. Make sure the leash is short enough to keep the dog from reaching the sides or rear of the truck bed. If the leash is too long the dog could fall from the truck bed and be choked or dragged.

  • For more information view our educational brochure called "The Ride".