Joshua Tree National Park officials announced Tuesday that visitors wanting to bring their dogs into the park must have a legitimate service animals permit.
Officials cited the large number of dogs brought to the park as a reason. Dogs must also be leashed or harnessed, under control and attended at all times. Permitted service animals will be allowed on front country trails and back country areas.
Comfort or emotional support dogs are considered pets and not service animals.
Service animals in training and pets remain subject to park regulations and are not allowed on trails or more than 100 feet from and the road, picnic area or campground.
According to a press release issued by Joshua Tree National Park officials, falsely claiming a pet as a service animal is considered fraud and is subject to federal prosecution under 36 CRR.2.32(a)(3)(ii).
Service animals will not be allowed in these highly sensitive areas:
49 Palms Canyon Barker Dam Lost Palms Oasis Munsen Canyon Smith Water Canyon Stubbe Springs Rattlesnake Canyon
Park officials said there is the possibility of exchanging diseases between wild animals and domestic dogs.
Service animal permits are free to the public and can be obtained at park visitor centers, entrance stations and online.
Noticias en español: Telemundo 15