Officials warn pet owners not to take dogs on Manitou Incline


MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. — The Manitou Incline is a popular spot not only for tourists, but also for locals who use it as exercise.

“It’s great cardio, because you can’t stop halfway through it,” Christopher Toepel, an incline regular, said.

Even though signs are posted at the base of the incline stating “no dogs allowed on the incline” some people still bring theirs anyway.

“When a person starts the incline, they know what they are getting into, but the dog does not,” Toepel said.

The Manitou Incline Facebook page has stated three dogs have died after hiking the incline in 2019.

FOX21 was unable to confirm all three deaths, but one veterinarian’s office did confirm they had a dog come in with heat exhaustion after hiking the incline, and the dog later died.

A veterinarian at the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region stressed the importance of dog owners being aware of how hot it is prior to taking dogs hiking.

“Do a little look ahead for the future, ’cause if you have a 75-pound lab and he’s hot and he’s done once at the top, you’re going to have to carry that 75 pounds back down,” Dr. Patti Canchola with HSPPR said.

Canchola said owners need to be aware of how hot the ground is as well. She said dogs can easily burn their paws.

“It’s fun if you get to take your pets with you,” Canchola said. “But this may not be the best time of the year when it’s 95-100 degrees outside. The best place for them is to be at home on the couch.”

Also, don’t leave your dogs in the car while you’re running errands. Even if the windows are cracked, the temperatures increase quickly inside and can kill your dog.

“If you can imagine it’s 95 degrees outside, in a matter of 30 minutes the inside of that car is 129 degrees and there is no surviving that. Period,” Canchola said.

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