Enforcement of Seattle’s Dog Laws to Begin Next Week

February 26, 2016 6:29am

Dog-owners, this is a heads up for you: leash-up and scoop-up.

Beginning next week, an increased enforcement will occur in Seattle’s 400+ city parks, monitoring for off-leash and pet waste violations. The enforcement is part of a new initiative called “Keep Our Parks Safer,” in response to regular complaints made to the Seattle Parks Department. Data supplied by the Parks Department show a majority of complaints come from three parks: Woodlawn, Discovery and Magnuson. Lucky for us, not Green Lake.

There have been 4,818 off-leash complaints filed with Animal Shelters since 2009. There have been 411 letters written to the Parks Department since 2010 and 41% related to leash violation (164 emails).

The most common complaints?

  • Owners who walk their dog on-leash frustrated by off-leash dogs because it is their only option for exercising their dog legally
  • Adults and parents of children feeling threatened by dogs
  • Feces create public health concern (e.g., feces in athletic fields, in sand on beaches, playgrounds, etc.)
  • Health of natural areas and wildlife (e.g., plant damage, endangered seals on beaches)
  • Asset damage (e.g., turf damage on sport fields, run patterns on grass, holes from digging)

As reported by KOMO News, two city employees now have dedicated jobs of policing dogs and their owners at Seattle’s parks. For more information or to brush-up on city rules, visit the Parks Department’s “People, Dogs and Parks Strategic Plan.”