Monday, March 17, 2014

Neighbor Outraged Over Off Leash Dogs At Laurelhurst Park

picture sent in by reader October 2013

The Laurelhurst Blog consistently receives comments, which are posted, from frustrated residents who regularly visit the park and encounter off-leash dogs, which is against the law.

There are no exceptions just "because an owner wants his dog to get exercise," as a reader told us last month.

Magnuson offers an off-leash dog area to be used by those off-leash dog owners, not Laurelhurst or any other public park, not formally designated as off-leash.

The neighbors, who  are often scared for their children, with their often aggressive small and large dogs running freely, are frustrated that fellow neighbors are not following Seattle's City Code (SMC 9.25.084) to keep dogs on leashes, except in designated off-leash areas. A violation can result in a $54 fine.

Here is the most recent email received: 
I would like to communicate to our Laurelhurst neighbors and friends through the Laurelhurst Blog, in the clearest possible terms, the importance of keeping dogs on leashes at Laurelhurst Park.
Both my wife and my 5 year old son have been approached by aggressive or unruly dogs off leash in recent days, leading to the 5 year old now being very scared of animals, and threatening the health of my wife who recently had back surgery and relies on using the park safely for her rehabilitation.  
In the case of the incident with my 5 year old son at the playground, no apology was even offered, even though the off leash dog bit food right out of his hand. 
Let me be very clear to the community (and we do like dogs very much but the way): 
1. There is a leash law that applies at Laurelhurst Park. If a dog is off leash, the law is being broken. 
2. We have called Seattle Animal Control to report incidents, and we will continue to do so when we see incidents. If the dog is repeatedly off-leash, people will be getting a ticket. 
3. When I hear “Oh don’t worry, he/she/said dog wouldn't hurt anyone” after a dog runs at me, I am neither reassured nor do I know that beforehand. This comment, while frequently and apologetically offered, is utterly enraging. 
4. There is an off-leash area at Magnuson Park. Use it please. 
5. The dog owner is responsible for the dog’s behavior. If the dog did it, you did it.


Joel said...

Bravo! I totally agree. Many dogs have frightened my four year old. I am
also fed up with hearing about how friendly the dog is. Please keep your dog on its leash.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Please also keep your dogs on-leash on neighborhood sidewalks. Even if your dog is "good" at running or walking with you off-leash, it isn't legal.

This happens frequently on 41st St. near Talaris and around the Urban Horticulture center. It creates dangerous situations for others who are using sidewalks, especially when their own dogs are on-leash and frustrated by off-leash dogs nearby. We also see many off-leash dogs allowed to roam Yesler Swamp, which isn't allowed and could endanger nesting birds.