ORIGINAL REPORT, 12:04 PM: Yes, the no-pets-on-the-beach law is enforced at Alki and other waterfront parks sometimes – and at least one citation recipient is unhappy about it. We took that photo this morning after someone called to tell us about the sign. A first-time violation will cost you $54, according to this list of city fines, which has the reminder that it’s “unlawful to permit any dog to run at large in any park, except in designated off-leash areas, OR unlawful to permit any dog to enter any public beach, swimming area or wading area, pond, fountain, stream, or organized athletic area.” We’re checking to see if Seattle Animal Shelter (aka “animal control”) has any stats on how many tickets it’s issued so far this year.
3:16 PM: Perhaps a coincidence, but while our information request to SAS has not yet been acknowledged, we received this news release from the city minutes ago:
Spring is blossoming and hatching in Seattle, and now is a particularly important time to ensure that immature wildlife have their best opportunity to flourish in the Northwest. Because of this, the Seattle Animal Shelter will be conducting emphasis patrols on all saltwater beaches in the city.
Dogs are not allowed on any of Seattle’s public saltwater beaches, whether leashed or unleashed. This law helps to protect the fragile ecosystem along our shorelines. Marine mammals, such as seal pups who are typically born in April, use the city’s beaches to rest and warm themselves. Shore birds also frequent our beaches. Wildlife that interact with dogs are less likely to reach adulthood.
Uniformed animal services officers will be patrolling city parks with a focus on saltwater beaches and may issue citations to violators.
If you would like to report Seattle beaches where dogs are frequently seen, please submit a service request here. You can also contact the shelter directly by calling 206-386-PETS (7387) or by visiting seattleanimalshelter.org.
3:44 PM: Our request for stats has been answered by Kara Main-Hester at Seattle Animal Shelter:
The Park District team started in 2016. Since the start of the program, they have written 905 violations and conducted 1002 patrols. (Data: 1/1/2016 – 3/31/2017). During that time, they wrote 29 citations at Alki parks (Alki Beach Park + Alki Playground) and 34 at Lincoln Park.