The Laurelhurst Blog received this information from a resident:
On Saturday, November 19, we noticed Seattle Park enforcement officers issuing citations to folks with dogs not on leashes at the Park.
I fear people may not be aware of the possible fines, it could be a minimum $50 and you may not get a first-time warning. I couldn't easily find out about this on the Park's website.
Neighborhood dog lovers might appreciate a "heads up."
The City Code (SMC 18.12.080) states:
18.12.080 - Animals running at large prohibited
Except as expressly allowed in subsection B hereof, it is unlawful for any person to allow or permit any dog or other pet to run at large in any park, or to permit any dog or other pet with or without a leash, except Seeing Eye or Hearing Ear dogs or dogs used by public law enforcement agencies and under control of a law enforcement officer, to enter any public beach, swimming or wading area, pond, fountain, stream, organized athletics area or designated children's play area.
Any person with a dog or other pet in his or her possession or under his or her control in any park shall be responsible and liable for the conduct of the animal, shall carry equipment for removing feces, and shall place feces deposited by such animal in an appropriate receptacle.
18.12.085 - Violation—Civil penalties.
Violation of Section 18.12.080 shall be a civil infraction as contemplated by RCW 7.80.120 subject to the following penalties:
- Initial Infraction. Imposition of a monetary penalty of Fifty Dollars ($50);
- Second Infraction. Imposition of a monetary penalty of One Hundred Dollars ($100);
- Third Infraction. Imposition of a monetary penalty of One Hundred Twenty-five Dollars ($125);
- Subsequent Infractions. Imposition of a monetary penalty of One Hundred Fifty Dollars ($150) for each infraction
The Laurelhurst Blog has consistently received comments, from frustrated residents who regularly visit the Laurelhurst park and regularly encounter off-leash dogs.
Here is one comment received:
On Mother’s Day my family, including several kids, went to the park. Not long after, they returned with my 5 year old nephew in tears, bleeding from his lips and gum, a tooth knocked loose; an unleashed dog, playing fetch, had pushed him over and stepped on his mouth. It took us some time to calm and clean up my nephew, and we had to call and consult with both the dentist and pediatrician. It was stressful for all of us.
Although the dog owner was apologetic and concerned, I hope this episode will help neighbors to remember that Laurelhurst Park is not a dog park: Unleashed dogs make the park unsafe for children, and that’s true no matter how friendly you think your dog is.
Please keep your dog on a leash, or take the short drive to Magnuson to have off-leash time there. It may be less convenient, but it’s part of keeping our park a safe and fun place for people to play