Monday, May 22, 2017

Pit Bull Reportedly Kills Dog At Laurelhurst Park, And Other Incidents Of Dogs Attacked


The Laurelhurst Blog consistently receives comments from neighbors who frequent the Laurelhurst Park enjoying the park or taking a walk, as well as those with their dogs, who regularly encounter off-leash dogs, a violation of Seattle City Code.

Unfortunately about three weeks ago, it was reported that a Yorkie had been killed by a pit bull at the Park.
 
Several months prior, the same pit bull bit another dog at the Park, which required veterinary attention.
 
It was also reported that a standard poodle was bitten very seriously by a German shepherd several weeks ago in the Park, and required veterinary care.  
 
The pit bull is reportedly moving to live with an out of state owner in a few weeks, who is aware of the dog's history.
 
One dog owner who frequents the Park with her dogs, commented that these unfortunate instances should remind dog owners to always be mindful of others- people and other dogs at the park, as well as managing their dogs in all interactions. 
 
She added "Dogs who are aggressive should be leashed at all times and only handled by someone who can manage them. Their owners should immediately caution approaching dog walkers to stay back."

Another dog owner said that fortunately there are some off-leash dogs at the Laurelhurst Park who are mostly friendly, playful, and supervised by their owners. However some dogs are not, even though owners are well aware of the leash policy and the off-leash dog park at Magnuson. 
 
The Seattle City Code (SMC 18.12.080) states regarding off-leashed dogs: 

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


Here are other comments received recently about off-leashed dogs at the Laurelhurst Park:

I would agree with what is posted in your most recent article, but I would also add, just because your dog isn't aggressive and is behaved, doesn't mean you shouldn't keep it on a leash. In both of those instances of the German Shepard and pit bull can you say for certain that the dogs weren't actually on a leash and it was the dogs that got bit that were running free? I know more than one situation where a non aggressive dog was unleashed and ran up on an aggressive leashed dog and got hurt. Everyone should keep their dogs leashed.
I have seen many egregious incidents at the Laurelhurst Park play ground, where I used to take my grandchildren. Many times I saw dogs running loose around the playground installations.  I told the owners that dogs should be leashed and not in the play area. One owner leashed his dog and called to his son, "C'mon son, this lady says we have to go home." That's not what I said, and shame on him for lying to his son.

I walk my dog at Laurelhurst Park but always keep him on a leash. I avoided the park for awhile after he was attacked by another dog and needed professional care. Now I only occasionally since the number of off leash dogs has dramatically increased. The law is the law is the law. The arrogant self entitlement that the owners show who continually let their dogs off leash is appalling and very un-neighborly. There's a big dog park at Magnuson to take off leash dogs to or your own backyard?  Maybe you don't want your dog to poop in your own yard.  Follow the law for the sake of everyone in Laurelhurst. 
I believe our neighborhood should come up with a solution that allows for some compromise on this issue, such as in San Diego where off-leash dogs are allowed only at certain hours. There is no good reason that off-leash or unruly dogs should be anywhere near the playground or even the athletic fields when there are young folks at play. Also, it is critical that dog owners who aren't able to successfully  control their dogs should ever have their dogs off leash.
Many people who walk their dogs at the park know that at certain hours, usually very early in the morning, the only people at the Park are dog owners.  I don't take issue when I see other folks enjoying each other's company there and playing with some dogs off leash at this time.  I do agree it is the responsibility of owners to throw away their dog's waste properly, and also help clean up after those who didn't.
We were having a birthday gathering in the park and on TWO separate occasions, off leash dogs ran into the party and started towards the food. Both times the dog owners laughed about it. 
 

2 comments:

thomas hanrahan said...

I would agree with what your saying in the article, but i would also add, just because your dog isn't aggressive and is behaved, doesn't mean you shouldn't keep it on a leash. In both of those instances of the German Shepard and pit bull can you say for certain that the dogs weren't actually on a leash and it was the dogs that got bit that were running free? I know more than one situation where a non aggressive dog was unleashed and ran up on an aggressive leashed dog and got hurt. Everyone should keep their dogs leashed.

Tricia said...

We take our dog down to Magnuson Park for off leash play. It would be great if a compromise could be had for us that live close to the park to be able to run our dogs off leash in the wee hours of the morning once daylight hits for one hour only. When no children are around.