By Danielle Chavira

(CBS4) – Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers want to remind dog owners about potential fines if their pets harass wildlife. The warning comes after two separate incidents of dogs killing two doe deer in Jefferson County.

File photo (credit: Getty Images)

CPW says a dog owner was cited for both illegal take of the deer and negligently allowing their dog to harass wildlife near Evergreen on Oct. 20. Officers have not been able to identify the dog owner or dog in the second incident. They did not provide further details about it.

“By winter, deer and elk are just trying to survive the snow and lack of forage,” said Officer Joe Nicholson. “If dogs chase them, they quickly expend their already limited fat stores, leading to poor health and eventual death from starvation. That is what we are trying to prevent.”

Pet owners can be fined between $274 and $1,370 (for killing elk).

CPW recognizes some areas are considered “off leash,” but recommend pets be leashed whenever these type of interactions are highly likely.

Reports of dogs chasing wildlife can be made to a local Colorado Parks and Wildlife office or Colorado State Patrol. CPW’s Denver office is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and can be reached at 303-291-7227.

Danielle Chavira