West Seattle wildlife: Seal dies after apparent dog attack

Robin-Lindsey-wounded-pup-blubberblog

The photo and report are just in, from Robin Lindsey of West Seattle-based Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network:

I have very sad and troubling news to report.

Seal Sitters rescued a juvenile seal from the beach last Wednesday, the apparent victim of an attack by an off-leash dog. First Responder Lynn and I noticed the seal had puncture wounds on the throat as she rested at Constellation Park near the seawall. The pup returned to the water shortly afterwards, but was reported later in the day on a private beach just south of Harbor West Condos. We captured the small female and transported her to PAWS in Lynnwood, where sadly she died overnight. The necropsy exam revealed that the punctures were larger and “less professional” than that of a coyote. For more details and photos (go here).

I have attached the photo that was in my blogpost – it’s the best image by far, in that it shows puncture wounds and beautiful face of the young seal. What a tragic loss in West Seattle, where residents treasure the wildlife that shares our neighborhoods and beaches. We hope this will be a wakeup call to those dog owners who blatantly disregard leash laws.

If anyone has any information about a skirmish between a dog and seal sometime between Monday and Wednesday, please contact Seal Sitters (sealsitters@icloud.com).

This already had been a much-slower pup-sighting season than usual on West Seattle beaches. Any time you see a seal (or other marine mammal) on shore – or if you think one is in distress offshore – the Seal Sitters hotline is 206-905-SEAL.

80 Replies to "West Seattle wildlife: Seal dies after apparent dog attack"

  • AMD August 3, 2016 (7:49 pm)

    Poor seal.  : (

    Westcrest Park isn’t that far away, guys.  If you’re not able to provide your pet with the exercise it needs within the confines of the law, you shouldn’t own the pet.  It’s really that simple.

  • datamuse August 3, 2016 (7:59 pm)

    Sigh.

  • Mike August 3, 2016 (8:04 pm)

    So nobodysaw an off leash dog attack it, but they are saying its an off leash dog.  Not a raccoon, not an orca, not a human, definitely 100℅ sure an off leash dog.  That’s impressive, SPD should hire them.

    • miws August 3, 2016 (9:30 pm)

      Mike, did you read the quote from Seal Sitters in the blue background quote window? Did you click on the link provided to more detailed info on the Blubberblog?  Professionals  saw strong evidence consistent with that of a large domestic dog.

      This arrogance of running dogs off-leash, and people walking their dogs on the beaches even if on leash needs to stop. 

      And yeah, like somebody else said; waiting for the off-leash dog people to justify the practice, and to claim that anyone calling them out on running their dogs off-leash,  or taking their dogs on the beach must hate dogs. 

      Mike

      • Andy August 5, 2016 (4:29 am)

        I’ve encountered a few people who own pit bulls, and other similar dogs, bred as fighting dogs, who obviously enjoy the intimidation these types of dogs create in the rest of us. I have a neighbor who owns a pit bull, and who has a friend with some kind of fighting dog, who often visits, and is very lax about keeping it leashed. I have witnessed, on several occasions, people walking with small children past my neighbor’s house when the visitor’s fighting dog has reacted in an extremely aggressive,  intimidating manor. I consider this situation to be very troublesome and problematic. As someone who, years ago, was attacked by an off leash German Shepard, I am  wary of off leash dogs that are bred specifically for fighting. I don’t want to be confrontational with my neighbor, but I am a legally armed citizen and will not hesitate to defend my wife or myself if one of us are ever attacked by one of these dogs. I don’t say this without realizing what huge consequences could result. I very much would like to see the authorities become more proactive with people who have these vicious breeds and allow them to run free.  

    • Soup Ninja August 3, 2016 (9:58 pm)

      Yeah, because nobody could possibly know what dog bites look like.

    • AMD August 3, 2016 (10:01 pm)

      Did you read the link in the story?  It explains why they believe that to be the case.  

      Even if you don’t want to read the link, I feel like it’s pretty obvious that orcas, humans, raccoons, and dogs all leave different bite marks.  Do you see spider bites on your leg when you wake up and wonder if you were bitten by an orca in your sleep?

      • Mike August 4, 2016 (7:37 pm)

        Oh, I read and even inspected the large photo.  I don’t typically sleep in Puget Sound so I don’t assume Oraca’s leave a bite mark on me at night. ;)

  • Smitty August 3, 2016 (8:07 pm)

    This makes me so angry, you have no idea.  

  • flimflam August 3, 2016 (8:09 pm)

    this is terrible. can’t wait for the “dog people” to start posting in defense of their right to have little Fluffy running around on the beach. even though its illegal. so infuriating.

     

    I really don’t understand why the city doesn’t issue more (any?) tickets for the off leash dog/dogs on beach scofflaws. there is so much money to be made of these inconsiderate people that any concerns about the labor costs seem silly. 

    • MsD August 3, 2016 (9:23 pm)

      I can’t imagine anyone who is more of a “dog people” than me, and I assure you that I do not defend anyone who takes their dog off leash.  I’ve been bitten twice by off-leash dogs coming after my on-leash dog.  Both times their owners were absolutely shocked that their “well-trained” dogs did not obey them when called.  Guess what, moron, they’re animals and no matter how well-trained they are, you don’t know what they’ll do in a specific situation.  My dog would absolutely go after a seal or other small animal, which is why I keep him well-leashed and out of areas where dogs aren’t allowed.

  • Irresponsible Dog Owners Strike Again August 3, 2016 (8:27 pm)

    Typical dog owners being reckless, no doubt, with their dog off leash illegally because they have zero respect for laws. From the beach to Camp Long, see it all the time. Clearly the dog owners need to be leashed, or bitten by a fat ticket. So sad for the seal. Wish I could bite every law disregarding dog owner.

  • K'lo August 3, 2016 (8:30 pm)

    Oh so sad! Blasted irreponsible dog owners!

  • Salal August 3, 2016 (8:33 pm)

    Poor buddy. Real sad. I wonder how many boats kiil seals as well?

  • BRUCESTUDE August 3, 2016 (8:34 pm)

    KEEP YOUR DOG ON A LEASH!!! Or in your own yard…….

  • Joe Dirt August 3, 2016 (8:40 pm)

    This makes me so mad. Dogs are illegal on the beach, leashed or not. You’d never know it though. Please read the signs and be a responsible dog owner. Animal Control can’t be everywhere.  The problem has grown exponentially. Owners cant police it themselves. They shouldnt have to but when they do they just get grief from the scofflaw.  Enough is enough.

  • Mike August 3, 2016 (9:09 pm)

    Yes, everyone get the pitchforks and torches out, burn all the dogs and people with dogs!  BURN THEM ALL!  Oh wait, nobody saw what actually attacked the seal.  My first thought when I looked at the detailed photo of the puncture wounds was that maybe somebody shot it with an arrow and it went in one side and out the other.  It hardly looks like a dog bite.

    • Uncle Joe August 4, 2016 (12:34 pm)

      Experts looked and determined it was a dog bite. Are you being intentionally obtuse or just naturally paranoid? Or maybe it was your dog.

  • Alki Resident August 3, 2016 (9:17 pm)

    Im with Mike on this one. No proof what bit the seal for sure.

    • JanS August 3, 2016 (11:22 pm)

      Yeah…maybe it was that werewolf that frequents the Alki area. Stop making excuses. You don’t have the expertise to know what bit it…..again, did you read and absorb the SealSitters information about  the necropsy? 

      • Mike August 4, 2016 (7:41 pm)

        JANS, you have 0 facts and all speculation.  If nobody saw it happen, how on earth do they think it’s 100% sure it’s a dog off leash?  That’s just stupid.

  • Atomicoven August 3, 2016 (9:56 pm)

    Thank you for posting this, I hope it brings outrage and a call for action. Not to pull from this event but with dogs on the beach we can add illegal fires, trash, motorcycle and car noise, urination on the beach and street (in front of someone’s home), fights, parking in cross walks. I live across the street from the beach and I see this daily, nightly, weekday and weekend. As West Seattliates we need to organize and converge on City Hall. I’m not big on government intervention (we should be responsible as citizens) however, I see no other way. I would be for paid and zoned parking and closing the beach down until people get it. Ours parks are not an entitlement. Most of these people would not tolerate this behavior in their neighborhoods

    • Joe Dirt August 3, 2016 (10:33 pm)

      The things you mention bother me too. They’ve been an issue for at least the 2 decades I have been here. Myself and others have reported them but it’s like whack a mole. There are also issues Seattle politically/historically consider low priority so little to no enforcement.  

  • Joe Dirt August 3, 2016 (9:59 pm)
    Off leash is a big problem but what people fail to understand is there are areas dogs are not allowed. Period. Leashed or not. Leash laws are not observed (everywhere) but so is tge fact dogs are not allowed at play areas, athletic fields and beaches per SMC below:
    18.12.080 – Animals running at large
    prohibited.[3]

    A.

    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. The Superintendent may ban dogs and other pets, or a specific dog or other pet, from areas of any park where he or she determines the same may be a nuisance.

    Subsection B goes on to list off leash areas which do not include beach areas like Lincoln Park, Alki, Lowman Beach.

  • Soup Ninja August 3, 2016 (10:01 pm)

    Irresponsible idiots so self-absorbed that *their* dogs couldn’t possibly be as bad as the rest of them. Same as the fools who drive and update Facebook at the same time. (I know who you are; I see you and take notes.) Oh, everyone else is bad, but not *MY* dog, not *MY* children, not *ME*. I’m SPECIAL.

    • Joe Dirt August 3, 2016 (10:23 pm)

      Exactly.

      How many times have we seen stories in the media about a beloved family pet who maimed or killed a toddler in the same home. 

  • Joe Dirt August 3, 2016 (10:18 pm)

    PS – there are signs posted at the beaches. But one should know the law(s). It goes with being a responsible dog owner.  Signs are a courtesy. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse. 

  • George August 3, 2016 (10:31 pm)

     For several months I rode my bike past constellation park every day, I frequently saw dogs in the water on and off off leash dogs on constellation Park in on the beach.  If I were law enforcement I could easily apprehend numerous offenders merely by driving past the park once a day.  I’m certain the same is true for Lincoln Park and Alki.  Same is also true for Schmitz Park.  

  • Mark August 3, 2016 (10:47 pm)

    Very sad.  I see dogs on Alki and nearby beaches all the time many times without leashes.  Most dogs are decent, but like everything else there are bad ones.

     It seams when it comes to enforcement no dogs allowed on beaches law enforcement is blind.

  • DM August 3, 2016 (10:50 pm)

    So sad this happened. Just last week my husband finally confronted the owner of an unleashed dog on the beach, after it ran right into the face of our 4 year old (which happens all the time, by the way, and he is now terrified of dogs), and as you can imagine the owner didn’t take it well. It got rather heated, and finally the owner said that police have come by and simply tell him to leash up the dog. No fines imposed. Obviously he continues to let his dog run on the beach because there are no consequences. Extremely frustrating to say the least. I think the city could make a fair chunk of change if they simply enforced the law.

  • Ilasdad August 4, 2016 (12:12 am)

    Very Sad 

  • AIDM August 4, 2016 (12:17 am)

    Note that harbor seals were restored to  carrying capacity in the Puget sound following the success of the Marine Mammal Act and are not endangered.  Given than our endangered resident Orcas compete with Harbor Seals for food, its not really clear to me why the seal sitters even exist. Further, if they cared for both the seals and the Orcas, it seems more prudent to focus on cleaning and education surrounding the Duwamish superfund sight than on fencing off areas around seal pups. I guess there’s nothing wrong with what they do, but it kind of seems akin to save the crows, or save the seagulls. 

    • WSB August 4, 2016 (12:22 am)

      Seal Sitters is an official Marine Mammal Stranding Network organization that deals with all marine mammals in the area – and also the education you mention. Full background here:

      http://sealsitters.org/about_us/about_sealsitters.html

      Regarding diet, they are not in direct competition. Salmon is a relatively small part of harbor seals’ diet in this area, per:

      http://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/01423/

      Southern Resident Killer Whales prefer to eat chinook salmon. (As opposed to the transient orcas, which will also eat mammals, harbor seals included.) – TR

  • Jeanie August 4, 2016 (1:33 am)

    How about we email Lisa Herbold about this and cc Animal Control? We can’t expect action from the mayor. 

  • Sunuva August 4, 2016 (7:09 am)

    This is very sad news to start the day with, however, thank you for posting to raise awareness.
    Since letting dogs run off-leash and letting them onto the beach is such a prevalent behavior, it would seem easy for SPD/Animal Control to enforce with a small amount of effort. All they’d have to do is drive by the beaches once in a while and write some tickets. I did actually see this happen once in Lincoln Park a couple summers ago! The Animal Control vehicle drove down the waterfront path and handed out a couple tickets as I watched. However, that was the one and only time I’ve ever seen it and I frequent the park multiple times per week.
    I am a dog owner myself and I wouldn’t consider for a second letting my dog break leash or beach laws. What makes people think this is okay??

  • Debbie August 4, 2016 (7:42 am)

    Empirical evidence is that dogs  becoming more aggressive.

    Breeders don’t seem to care about behavior, or actually select for  more dangerous traits.  

    There is no way to know if this attack was intentional or not, but the results are the same: preventable suffering/death. 

    We need new laws to make dog people care enough  to prevent attacks. 

    Call this what it is: animal  neglect and abuse. 

    Whenever known, charge owners AND caregivers of dogs that attack,  maim and kill with animal abuse. 

    Ban them from dog ownership for life.  

    This severe penalty is needed to make dog owners care enough to prevent attacks.  

    As this proposed law is not breed specific, it will receive support of all responsible compassionate dog owners. 

    • Coldheart Craig August 4, 2016 (11:53 am)

      Not to diminish from the horrible mauling of this seal, but a single unverified incident is absolutely not ’empirical evidence’.

      We also have the laws we need, we simply need enforcement of them. 

  • Aero August 4, 2016 (7:45 am)

    This is ridiculous. As the owner of two dogs, I do not understand people’s inability to leash their dogs. I have been approached by several off leash and unfriendly dogs recently when walking my own dogs. Keep your dogs on a leash! As someone else stated, if you can’t exercise your dogs enough by walking them on leash you should take them to a dog park.

  • Gina August 4, 2016 (7:55 am)

    Last Wednesday I may have seen the same pup hauled out on the beach in front of the light house, around 9:15 am. I paddled my kayak away and didn’t get a good look. Didn’t notify Seal Sitters because that beach is not public.

  • Yeaaah! August 4, 2016 (8:47 am)

    Livid!!  Isn’t the fine to be off leash on beaches $600?  Or something around that amount? Maybe it was $300.00. Dunno, but I don’t understand why people cannot obey the laws.  So sad….RIP little buddy.

  • Kevin August 4, 2016 (8:51 am)

     It is so sad to hear about this poor Seal pup.  It is amazing to me the amount of off leash dogs on the beaches I see and the non-attentive pet owners who also let their dogs deposit there waste and since they are not paying attention to their dog do not clean up after them. Some of these same people say…..my dog is like my kid….Glad you are not a parent as kids can dart away in a blink of an eye.  I am a dog owner and keep my dog on a leash…..not one of those extend-a-leash either,  they can be just as bad as no leash at all as well.  I have had…to numerous to count….pet owners not paying attention and getting wrapped around by the time the owner realizes their dog is 20 feet away from them.

  • Rick August 4, 2016 (8:57 am)

    Once again, some peoples sense of entitlement in all things. 

  • Seaweed August 4, 2016 (9:29 am)

     Seattle Parks and Recreation could assign a pair of Park Rangers to address this issue in the West Seattle parks that are situated by shoreline. My understanding is the Rangers  are currently limited to the downtown core parks locations.  Might be  a good use of existing resources, but they would likely need to hire a couple more staff. 

  • Joe Szilagyi August 4, 2016 (9:52 am)
    It should be a criminal violation to off leash if anything happens because of your dog. Like jail time stuff, nothing less. One time I suggested this I got all but accused of classism and racism. 
    Bull: your dog does harm off leash outside of an off-leash area, you go to jail.
    • sigh August 4, 2016 (11:19 am)

      Dog owners are liable for their pets’ bites per WA code, but I don’t know if that would be a civil or criminal thing.

  • Andi August 4, 2016 (10:01 am)

    I’m not necessarily doubting that this was an off-leash dog attack, I’ve certainly seen my fair share of off-leash dogs roaming the beaches- but have coyotes been sited around this area? Would one attack a seal pup? I don’t know enough about coyotes.

    • datamuse August 4, 2016 (10:21 am)

      There are lots of coyotes in West Seattle but the vet who did the necroscopy doesn’t think it was a coyote–that’s mentioned in the article. Anecdotally, coyotes are much neater about their kills than dogs.

      • Andi August 4, 2016 (11:53 am)

        D’oh– I should have read more closely.  Thanks!

  • Cynical girl August 4, 2016 (10:05 am)

    I agree with Rick. It’s all about entitled people. How bout those dog owners that let their dogs loose on the Forest Lawn cemetery property. It’s all about you.

  • Rick Sanchez August 4, 2016 (10:06 am)

    Sad, but that’s the circle of life.  Harbor seals aren’t endangered in the least.

    • KT August 4, 2016 (5:19 pm)

      No, it is not the cycle of life.  Not to my way of thinking.  The cycle of life may be illness, starvation, etc., not being attacked by a loose dog that someone is too arrogant to leash.  Seals have a 50% death rate in the first year.  Seals are not endangered but they are federally protected.  

  • Bill Bob August 4, 2016 (10:33 am)

    I wanted a dog, until I realized that they just piss and crap all over our parks and sidewalks. I could be a responsible owner, but I’m so tired of seeing all these dogs everywhere. Everybody wants a dog, many don’t give them the proper training. No more picnics on the grass, no more beach relaxing without being on dog defense, no more walking without the constant threat of landmines. Killing seals, birds, and other creatures in the parks? I dislike most dog people now. Sorry good owners, but the bad ones ruined it for me. I like dogs, but get the heck away from me. 

  • WSGirl August 4, 2016 (10:39 am)

    I’ll admit, I let my dog off leash in certain parts of WS, but only when there are no people or other dogs anywhere in sight. The second I see a person or a dog anywhere near us, I call my dog and immediately leash him. I’m vigilant about watching him on the beach and make sure he doesn’t do any damage to the surrounding areas. I acknowledge it’s against the law, but with Westcrest being the ONLY dog park in West Seattle, it’s really unfair to expect people to all take their dogs there. The city really needs to have more places available to dog owners. There’s no excuse for anyone who doesn’t keep their dog in their control, or lets them abuse the environment around them (poor seal :( ), and it’s frustrating to me to see so many people being irresponsible (even though I admittedly break the law) with their animals, but there truly are NOT enough places for dog owners to take their dogs off leash.  

    • chemist August 4, 2016 (2:50 pm)

      If you have a yard, you can post signs welcoming all dog owners to use that space as an unofficial dog park.

    • MikeWS August 4, 2016 (4:24 pm)

        Half of all public parks should be open to off leash dogs.

      • Uncle Joe August 5, 2016 (1:46 pm)

        No thanks, I’d rather have a nice park than a litterbox for somebody else’s pet.

  • MMaboveAlki August 4, 2016 (11:05 am)

    So very sad for that little seal pup.

    However, it could be an instance that the “attack” did not occur on a public beach.  If the dog was unleashed on a private beach and came upon the seal pup, than it is reasonable that the incident occurred there & the pup went back into the water, up to the public beach, just as it left the public beach & landed back on a private beach where it’s location was again reported.

    I fully understand the anger of people who witness dog owners not follow the leash (or poop) laws.  I feel the same way about cats being able to roam freely outside (fixed or unfixed), & unlicensed.

    It’s so frustrating to see people JUMP & point the finger at ALL dog owners. Honestly, people – let’s take this on a case by case basis.  It takes a village and I have no problem calling out ANY pet owner for irresponsible behavior.

    And for all you generalizing finger pointers out there — make sure that you live an absolutely perfect & responsible life out there in ALL aspects of your life & behavior in our community….

  • justwondering August 4, 2016 (11:16 am)

    I can remember way back when that the saying  was if want to have a dog “you need to live in the country” I can see why that was so,  but now a days where is the country the concrete and homes have taken over that and there is no country where you can let your dogs run free.

    It’s a shame that “a dog” has killed that little seal pup and why would a domesticated dog be so mean as to want to kill something??? 

    • Coldheart Craig August 4, 2016 (12:14 pm)

      “Domesticated” dog, as you put it, were for the most part trained to work. Some were trained as ratters, which bite at the neck and shake their heads rapidly to snap the neck of their prey.

      There’s no malice intended on the puppers part, dogs were bred for specific characteristics, which generally don’t include playing gently with things that trigger their prey drive. 

    • Ryan August 4, 2016 (6:29 pm)

      Wow, I am 60, and have never heard that saying

  • sigh August 4, 2016 (11:24 am)

    Under WA code dog owners are liable for bites their pets inflict, whether or not they had prior knowledge of the dog’s tendencies.  Only exception is if the dog was provoked.

    Now when a dog rushes me and the owner shouts “don’t worry, he’s friendly!” I reply “you better hope he is, because I’m suing you if he bites!”. Unfriendly, but it makes people reconsider their off leash decision.

  • Rick Sanchez August 4, 2016 (11:53 am)

    Sigh: note that this is only effective if the dog’s owner is poorer than you

  • Neighbor August 4, 2016 (12:09 pm)

    There are a couple of otter nests in this area. Otters are very, very aggressive at defending their territory. Years ago they pulled a whippet off the deck of a house close to this area. Not saying there are not all sorts of pups on the beach but  the level of vitoral from people is reminiscent of what I see watching a Trump rally. 

    • Uncle Joe August 4, 2016 (12:51 pm)

      Vitriol happens when you anger large numbers of people by doing something so astoundingly stupid and uncaring that it results in an unnecessary death. 

  • Bill Bob August 4, 2016 (12:19 pm)

    We have a right to point fingers. There are too many dogs living within cities now. They are hampering what little green spaces we have and the life within those spaces. Even if you are responsible and clean/leash up, our public spaces are overly shared with dogs and littered with remnants of pet waste. I am an animal lover to the fullest and I respect the few responsible dog owners that I see. My complaints will solve none of the problems that I see. Just know, future dog owners, our city public spaces have no more room for feces and urine and native species destruction. Think about it. Thank you. 

    • wsea98116 August 4, 2016 (1:09 pm)

      Bill Bob, you are SO right about this abundance of dog waste- it is disgusting! Not just in parks, but also in common commercial areas, and even on our lawns and planting strips. I don’t understand how people feel ok letting their dog crap  everywhere?! If a homeless person crapped on your lawn, you’d be out there in a hazmat suit, excavating a sq yard of earth- but pet owners grab “most” if it in the little blue bag, and call it good. You can get most of it, but you can’t get all of it- everyone else gets to deal with what is left behind..

    • Ryan August 4, 2016 (6:33 pm)

      Let’s just tell the truth, there are too many people in West Seattle, and more to come as developers drool at tearing down anything and everything to create urban canyons.

      i walk a lot, and honestly do not think there are too many dogs, too many people yes.

    • Mike August 4, 2016 (7:53 pm)

      I’d rather have off leash dogs than off leash kids that are not mine, especially when they come with inattentive parents spacing out on their cell phones.  Let’s get rid of the real issues.  Stupid people.

  • KNEEDLER August 4, 2016 (1:40 pm)

    Never knew we had so many anti-dog folks on the peninsula. Interesting. 

  • Ellen Escarcega August 4, 2016 (2:12 pm)

    Cross Posting from Facebook:  Ellen Jeanne Escarcega I am Ellen, Chair of COLA – Citizens for Off-Leash Areas in Seattle, Washington, and I would like to respond from our non-profit organization. We are devastated to hear this news. Seals are the dogs of the sea, and this is horrific and sad. At the same time, this is exactly why we exist, and why we’ve existed for 20 years — to advocate for legal APPROPRIATE designated places for dogs to be off-leash and to provide education to dog owners about proper urban canine behavior (and responsible human dog ownership). Seattle is woefully short on legal land for dogs to be off-leash (a scientifically needed fact, as tethering an animal built for speed to a much slower mammal is really untenable for their whole lifetime), and thus people have decided that they’ll unleash everywhere. In many progressive cities around the country there are areas of parks that are NO DOGS AT ALL ALLOWED, and areas where they are allowed on leash, and areas where they are allowed off-leash — but Seattle provides all parks as on-leash, and only 0.4% as off-leash. Most neighborhoods have no place to throw a ball for a dog, and chaos has resulted. Wars on blogs, making all dog owners scofflaws. This simply isn’t true, and gives non-dog owners an inability to convince reasonable dog owners (in peer to peer enforcement) of the nearby location for proper off-leash recreation. This isn’t true in NYC, Portland, Vancouver BC, San Diego, and many other cities. We need more LEGAL, designated, vetted land for off-leash recreation — badly. COLA is working with the Audubon Society to vet new locations for ground nesting birds, and would love to work with Seal Sitters and others! Please contact us. In fact, our Executive Director is set up on Alki right now hoping to talk more to people about off-leash dogs and appropriate Seattle locations for them. NOTE to anyone who has read this far, the city is currently in draft form on a master plan for off-leash dogs, and they are accepting public comment. That draft does not go NEARLY far enough to correct the lack of legal off-leash land in Seattle — so we will continue to have more scofflaw behavior until it does. Thanks everyone, and again we are sad today that this happened.


    • WSB August 4, 2016 (2:19 pm)

      Thanks for commenting, Ellen. WSB was in fact the first to report on the new proposed plan, more than a month ago, and I’m still surprised that it hasn’t gotten much attention elsewhere:

      http://westseattleblog.com/2016/06/more-seattle-dog-parks-see-the-citys-new-draft-off-leash-areas-plan-people-dogs-and-parks/

      I note that since we published that story upon its release, the public hearing and comment timeline has been pushed back further, with the Park Commissioners’ public hearing now set for September 22nd:

      http://www.seattle.gov/parks/projects/offleash/

      -Tracy (editor)

      • Ellen Escarcega August 5, 2016 (10:49 am)

        Hi Tracy — We’d love to do an interview discussing the master plan and COLA’s full response to it.   You are right, we aren’t getting enough coverage and I think West Seattle Blog has a huge group of interested readers — the Lincoln Park off-leash dog wars must end…  :D  

        -Ellen

  • seaopgal August 4, 2016 (2:47 pm)

    Our diminishing population of wild animals take precedence for me over pets (as much as I love mine). Wild creatures are already under an enormous amount of stress in our urban environment, and if we value them we should do whatever we can to avoid further harm to them. In addition to seals, many migrating and resident birds use the beach for foraging and rest, and every time a dog or a child runs down to disturb them it at least takes a toll on their energy levels … at worst it ends in outright death, as for this young one.  Please don’t let your dogs run on the beach. Don’t be the lady who lives south of the lighthouse whose response to my request that she not let her two retrievers harass the shorebirds was, “We live here. And that’s what dogs do.” Don’t be the one who says, “Well, there’s no place else to let them run, so I’m going to keep doing it until someone else fixes the problem.” And don’t let your cats roam free, either. Please, just don’t. We can’t control a lot of the things that harm wildlife, but depredation by pets is one thing we have the power and responsibility to stop.

  • jcw76 August 4, 2016 (3:26 pm)

    Since when does “people should obey leash laws” translate to “I hate all dogs”?

  • Greystreet August 4, 2016 (4:25 pm)

    Yet again the cacophony of dog haters abounds in a city that is touted as being one of the MOST dog friendly–a sad misnomer because as the COLA representative pointed out there is 0.4% of space designated for off leash activities–I don’t know how any of you naysayers find that to be enough.  WSgirl, I would not have came clean on here about letting your dog off leash in unlawful areas, I hope no one sends you hate mail–this blog becomes a ruthless, undercutting, petty, rude environment when off leash dogs become the conversation topic. I echo what someone else said earlier, these animals aren’t endangered, so if you came upon a seal pup on another beach, in another neighborhood or even better, in the wild, would the same animosity ensue? The point is we as people have encroached upon habitats of other beings and according to Darwin, we are the fittest who are surviving.  It’s sad that our by-products and gross need to trophy animals  have destroyed entire species and it’s sad that our ambitions have ruined pristine environmental landscapes.  Nonetheless, could we put some of this effort into stuff that affects OUR species like housing, traffic nightmares, climate change and oh yea Returning 35th to 4 lanes hahahahahahaha bring on the onslaught of hateful speech my way–by the way when is that meetup where we all wear name tags with our forum handles on it?! ;-)

  • Ryan August 4, 2016 (6:38 pm)

    Why can’t a few of the dog lovers/haters in the area be trained to be neighborhood beach Rangers, and have the authority to issue tickets to off leash, or on beach pets?

    It would seem that some patrolling citizens could help end the problem  here.

    Beach patrol Rangers could be a summer training vonleteer effort for teens.

  • Annoyed August 4, 2016 (11:13 pm)

    I am always shocked to see how many off-leash dogs I see everywhere. Seriously. People! Come on!

  • Sunfun2000 August 8, 2016 (8:20 pm)

    Those puncture wounds look much farther apart than a dogs two canines.  This was done by something with a much wider and larger mouth.

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