Pets 510 results

West Seattle holiday scene: ‘Santa Paws’ and ‘Nomads’ pals

December 12, 2015 12:00 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle holiday scene: ‘Santa Paws’ and ‘Nomads’ pals
 |   Holidays | Pets | West Seattle news

Who in this photo’s been naughty and who’s been nice? Up to “Santa Paws” to find out. Thanks to Bethany from Cascadian Nomads for sharing the photo of her canine friends’ adventure in The Junction, where – as previewed on our daily list – you can get a free professional Santa photo at West Seattle Windermere until 1 pm. (4525 California SW)

WEDNESDAY: City’s dogs-in-parks plan @ Delridge District Council

If you’re interested in the city’s policies regarding off-leash dogs in parks – whether you think current policies are too lenient, too tough, or just right – you’ll be interested in this Wednesday’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting. The agenda includes a discussion of the People, Dogs, and Parks Strategic Plan (previously called the Off-Leash Area Strategic Plan) that’s under development, with a draft plan to go public in early January. Scheduled guests include reps from Seattle Parks and from the Seattle Nature Alliance. The under-development plan was a topic at last week’s Fauntleroy Community Association meeting, as reported here. The DNDC meets at 7 pm Wednesday (November 18th) at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW.

P.S. If you can’t be there, the city is also taking comments via this form.

HAPPENING NOW: Cat adopt-a-thon featuring Katya and friends at High Point Community Center

Some of the cats and kittens at the Seattle Animal Shelter Cat Adopt-A-Thon at High Point Community Center were snapped up fast. But Katya, 10, above, didn’t have a forever home yet as of about 15 minutes ago. Go see her and the others looking for new homes.

HPCC is at 6920 34th SW and this is on until 3 pm. There’s even a tent where you can get acquainted with your potential new furry family member.

(That’s Bowser the kitten.)

SATURDAY: 16 adorable kittens – and lovable mature cats! – at city’s West Seattle adopt-a-thon

That’s Miles, our ex-shelter cat and official WSB assistant, suggesting you might want to add a feline family member this Saturday, when the Seattle Animal Shelter returns to West Seattle for an adopt-a-thon. He’s not available but dozens of cats are – including, we’ve just learned, 16 kittens, among them Bento and Sushi (city-provided photo below):

Here’s the basic info about the event:

The Seattle Animal Shelter will host a cat adopt-a-thon on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015, at the High Point Community Center, located at 6920 34th Ave. SW. The event runs from noon to 3 p.m. and features numerous kittens and cats of different breeds. Cats available at this event have been living with foster parents, who are available at the event to share information about the personality and habits of the cats with potential adopters, helping to make a perfect match.

“With our monthly neighborhood adoptathons, we hope to continue to spread the word about the joys and value of adopting shelter pets and saving lives. If you have room in your home and your heart for an orphaned animal, this is a great opportunity to come and see some of the wonderful pets available from our foster-care parents,” said Don Jordan, Seattle Animal Shelter director.

Adoption prices range from $45 to $135 (plus applicable license fees) and include:

● Initial vaccinations
● Deworming
● Feline Leukemia testing
● Certificate for free health exam at local veterinarians
● Spay or neuter
● Microchip
The Seattle Animal Shelter has a foster-care program to rehabilitate sick and immature dogs and cats. Donations from the city’s “Help the Animals Fund” pay for veterinary care for these animals while they are being fostered.

Or maybe Nellie or Robbie.

West Seattle weekend scene: St. John’s ‘Blessing of the Animals’

(WSB photos by Katie Meyer)
Every year, St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church in Admiral invites pets and their people to an open, public “Blessing of the Animals” event, a tradition for many churches in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, and today was the day. St. John’s new priest-in-charge Rev. Michael Carroccino and Brother Paul Dahlke from the Order of Saint Francis were in the neighboring West Seattle High School parking lot for all who showed up.

Most of the pets brought for blessings were dogs … but we also spotted Olive the cat:

As explained on the event flyer, “Today we thank God for the gifts of companionship and beauty which animals and pets bring to our lives and homes, and ask God’s blessing on them.”

Blessings are usually offered this time each fall as it coincides with the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals:

At least two other West Seattle congregations offered Blessing of the Animals events today; another is still ahead, next Sunday (October 11th) at 10:30 am at Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Gatewood (thanks to Sue for the tip).

SUNDAY: Two ‘Blessing of the Animals’ events open to all

The first Sunday of October usually brings “Blessing of the Animals” events in honor of St. Francis of Assisi‘s feast day. We’ve received word of two:

ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH: Local Franciscans are usually part of this one:

The church shares the photo and reminder (if you haven’t already seen it in our calendar):

All Things Bright and Beautiful

All are invited to bring your pet or pets for St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church’s annual community-wide St. Francis’ Day Blessing of the Animals, this Sunday, October 4, at 1:00 p.m. on the West Seattle High School parking lot.

That’s at 3000 California SW (just north of the church).

PROVIDENCE MOUNT ST. VINCENT: At the same time – 1 pm Sunday – The Mount and its Spiritual Care Department is sponsoring a blessing in honor of St. Francis, at Pigott Chapel, on the building’s third floor. “All pets are welcome. People may bring photos of their pets, too.” The Mount is at 4831 35th SW.

HAPPENING NOW: What you’ll find in The Junction

Big Sunday in The Junction. Seen while wandering through …

If you love chocolate, go see Andrea from Dolcetta Artisan Sweets, making a guest appearance at VAIN (WSB sponsor) until 3 pm as “Seattle Made Week” wraps up. VAIN is at 4513 California SW, on the west side of the street if you’re wandering the West Seattle Farmers’ Market, where you’ll find these gentle visitors today:

The “retired” greyhounds and their friends also are on the west side of the street. The market’s on until 2, as always, on California SW between SW Alaska and SW Oregon.

Room in your home/heart for a new friend? ‘Remember Me’ vigil illuminated pets’ need for homes

Right now, millions of domestic animals are without homes. Many will lose their lives without ever finding one. Last night, local animal advocates and companions gathered for a candlelight event in the Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor) courtyard, in observance of “Remember Me Thursday,” meant to call attention to what you can do to help change that.

Above, that’s Teri Ensley of West Seattle-based Furry Faces Foundation, which organized the gathering; other participants included animal advocates from Animal Aid and Rescue Foundation and Kitty Harbor. Teri read a poem; another inspirational reading was the proclamation by King County Executive Dow Constantine, in which he urged everyone to adopt a cat or dog:

Adopting a pet is not the only way you can help reduce the number of pets who have no home. Spaying/neutering yours is another vital step. So is making sure your pet has ID – a chip, a collar, a license – so that if it ever gets lost, it won’t be in danger of never coming home.

This was the third year for “Remember Me Thursday” – here’s how it got started.

West Seattle scene: 1st ‘Dog Days’ swim at Arbor Heights STC

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)

Didn’t take your dog to the Arbor Heights Swim and Tennis Club tonight for the first of five “Dog Days of Summer“? Your next chance is 5-7 pm tomorrow. It was sunny but a little brisk, yet the dogs just couldn’t wait to get into the pool

This is an annual fundraiser tradition to help support the AHSTC swim teams – the dogs are allowed in after the human swimming season ends, before the pool is drained and cleaned to await next year.

This continues 5-7 pm the next three days, and 11 am to 1 pm this Saturday – details in our preview.

The pool is at 11003 31st SW.

Arbor Heights Swim and Tennis Club again offering end-of-summer ‘Dog Days’

It’s become a tradition at the Arbor Heights Swim and Tennis Club pool – just before it’s drained and cleaned after the season ends, it’s opened to local dogs for a fun(draiser). More than a few people have messaged us in recent weeks to ask if it’s happening again this year, and finally we can say “yes,” after receiving the photo and announcement from Cori Roed:

It’s that time again, The Dog Days of Summer at the Arbor Heights Swim & Tennis Club. Tuesday 9/22 – Saturday 9/26.

Weekdays 5-7 pm
Saturday 11 am-1 pm

Donation to AH Teams via cash or check to AHSTC
Suggested: $10/dog or $25 for a pass for the week.

Your donations allow us to purchase equipment and keep our team fees low. Thank you!

11003 31st Ave SW – Please drive slowly on 31st, no matter HOW excited your passenger is. See you on deck!

No, you don’t have to be a member. And no, you can’t go in too – dogs only.

FOLLOWUP: Generous West Seattleites help kindhearted local students assist animal advocates

For the third year in a row, generous West Seattleites helped those two local students do a good deed for animals via their annual Seattle Humane-benefiting bake sale and donation drive. We photographed Muriel and Gwen on Sunday; David and Carey sent the followup tonight:

The girls raised over $300 and got nearly a full barrel of dog and cat food! West Seattle is awesome :)

TOMORROW: Buy a treat, help Gwen and Muriel help animals!

Goodies for a good cause, tomorrow – the photo and preview are from Carey:

Gwen and Muriel, Madison 6th graders, are putting their love for animals to work again through their third annual Humane Society bake sale! Delicious cupcakes, cookies, brownies, and more! They’ll be back at the corner of 36th and Dakota this Sunday, August 23rd, from 10 am-3 pm. The girls are also sponsoring a barrel from the Humane Society to collect cat or dog food (wet or dry), animal toys, or new scratching posts. Cash and check donations are very welcome; all proceeds go to Seattle Humane Society.

Here’s a map.

Potential cover dog in the house? CityDog Cover Model Search at West Seattle Thriftway this Sunday

August 19, 2015 9:49 pm
|    Comments Off on Potential cover dog in the house? CityDog Cover Model Search at West Seattle Thriftway this Sunday
 |   Fun stuff to do | Pets | West Seattle news

It’s a tail-wagging prospect: Your dog, on the cover of CityDog Magazine (founded and edited by West Seattleite Brandie Ahlgren)! First step is this Sunday, when the annual CityDog Cover Dog Model Search returns to West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor). From CityDog:

ALL dogs are welcome to enter for the chance to be on the cover of CityDog, and because all dogs are super models, each and every canine contestant will get their photo in the magazine! $10 per dog to benefit the Doney Memorial Animal Clinic.

Simply swing by West Seattle Thriftway between noon and 2 p.m. on Sunday, August 23, and CityDog Magazine will snap a photo of your pooch for the chance to be on the cover!

CityDog is 10 years old this year, by the way (human years, anyway).

More official off-leash space for West Seattle dogs? Survey time

This is already under discussion in the WSB Forums, but in case you haven’t heard about it yet: The city is running a survey for dog owners that could lead to more official off-leash space.

West Seattle, for example, has one off-leash area, at Westcrest Park in Highland Park, and there’s a growing clamor citywide for more such areas within walking distance of more neighbors. Take the survey here and have an early say as the city works “to develop a Strategic Plan which will help set a policy for future dog parks as our city grows – and the number of dog owners grows with it,” according to the group Citizens for Off-Leash Areas, which says, “Seattle has opened a mere 2.3 acres of off-leash areas in the last 14 years, while the number of dog parks in America’s largest cities went up 20 percent in the last five years, according to an April report from the Trust for Public Land.” Find out more about the off-leash-area Strategic Plan via the city website.

Saving pets’ lives: Miniature masks donated to Seattle Fire Department

(Firefighter Jeff Blevins with rescued cat; 2012 photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
You might remember that scene from a fire near The Junction in 2012; the Seattle Fire Department has to revive/treat pets more often than you think, and that’s why a donation today is so welcome. Here’s the SFD news release:

Today, Seattle Fire Department Chief Harold Scoggins received 20 donated pet oxygen masks from the Invisible Fence Brand of Seattle. The masks will be used to resuscitate animals overcome by smoke inhalation at fire scenes.

“I am very thankful for Invisible Fence’s generous donation,” said Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins. “These masks are another tool in our tool belt that firefighters can use to save pets overcome by carbon monoxide.”

In 2006, the Seattle Fire Department began carrying pet oxygen masks on Battalion Chief vehicles. The masks are used on animals overcome by smoke at building fires and other types of emergencies. Each mask contains a small, medium and large face piece. The cone-shaped design allows a snout to fit inside while a rubber gasket on the large end allows a seal to be maintained. They can be used on small animals like mice and guinea pigs too.

“When a family suffers the tragedy of fire, lives are turned upside down,” said Ed Hoyt, Director of Invisible Fence Brand.” Pets are valued family members, so we want families to know that their pet can be cared for if tragedy strikes.”

While the priority for firefighters is saving lives and property, the first responders are able to rescue and resuscitate trapped or injured pets.

Since the pet oxygen program began, the masks have been used at more than a half dozen fire scenes to successfully resuscitate pets.

On March 26, 2014, firefighters and paramedics revived two cats trapped in a burning home in the 3200 block of South Hudson Street in the Rainier Valley.

On March 22, 2013, Firefighter Blake Bidleman and other fire crews revived two cats after they were rescued from a burning North Seattle condo building located in the 11500 block of 15th Avenue NE.

On January 9, 2012, Firefighter Jeff Blevins revived a cat found inside a burning West Seattle home in the 3800 block of 46th Avenue Southwest.

There are steps that people can take to protect their pets during a fire or medical emergency. We have a fact sheet on our website.

West Seattle 4th of July 2015: Fireworks plea; pet protection

Two more 4th of July notes:

FIREWORKS PLEA: The photo is from Shelly, who found fireworks debris while running through Lincoln Park the morning after the 4th last year. She warns, “The park is extremely dry now and it wouldn’t take much to set the whole park on fire.” She is hopeful people will heed that and obey the fireworks laws this year – the park is far from the only place that’s full of dry grass, brush, shrubs, and trees. And just as we were writing this – the National Weather Service has just extended the “heat advisory” AGAIN, continuing through Sunday night.

Speaking of fireworks laws, we already published the official reminder from Seattle Police a week and a half ago, but are sharing it here one more time, as conveyed by Community Police Team Officer Jon Flores:

The Seattle Police Department and Seattle Fire Department would like to remind the public that fireworks are illegal in the City of Seattle. The possession, manufacture, storage, sale, handling and use of fireworks are prohibited. Fireworks offenses are gross misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a $5,000 fine.

Fireworks pose a fire hazard to property and present a safety risk to those who use them. Every year the Seattle Fire Department responds to fireworks-related fires and injuries. The holiday-related fires and injuries are preventable.

On the 4th of July, 911 centers become overloaded with non-emergency fireworks calls. DO NOT call 911 unless you have a life-threatening emergency and need immediate help from police, fire or medics. Unnecessary 911 calls block people with real emergencies from reaching 911 and getting help.

Any fireworks-related fires or injuries should be reported directly to 911. Other fireworks violations may be reported by calling the Seattle Police non-emergency number at 206-625-5011.

Listening to the scanner the past few nights, fireworks calls *are* broadcast, so those lighting fireworks shouldn’t assume they’ll never get caught.

PROTECTING PETS: Another side effect of fireworks – they tend to scare pets, which means that invariably, we get many more lost-and-found pet reports to publish on the WSB West Seattle Lost/Found Pets page. We hope you won’t need to use it, but if you do lose or find a pet, please e-mail a description, phone number, and photo if available (if not, just be sure the description is detailed) to editor@westseattleblog.com. The Seattle Animal Shelter, meantime, has published information on how best to protect your pets at this time of year.

July 18th celebration planned at Westcrest Park Off-Leash Area

June 18, 2015 8:25 pm
|    Comments Off on July 18th celebration planned at Westcrest Park Off-Leash Area
 |   Pets | West Seattle news

Share your life with one or more dogs? You might want to put this first-of-its-kind celebration on your calendar. We received the announcement this afternoon:

Join the Westcrest Off-Leash Area community as we celebrate our favorite (and only) West Seattle Dog Park!

Saturday July 18th, 10 am – 2 pm, Westcrest Off-Leash Area, 9000 8th Ave SW

Free gift bags for the first 250 attendees
$10 off pet licensing for 15 dogs – first come, first served

Each visitor will receive a free raffle ticket for a chance to win:
A dog-friendly vacation to the coast
An Invisible Fence
Dog food for a year
A pet adoption from Seattle Animal Shelter plus a pet store gift card
Professional pet photography session
Veterinarian care
Grooming
…and more!

Free family-friendly events include:
A frisbee competition starting at 11 am
Costume contest starting at 12 pm
A talent show at 1 pm
Private photo sessions on site throughout the day!

Morgan Junction Community Festival: Dog parade, contests back!

June 4, 2015 2:43 pm
|    Comments Off on Morgan Junction Community Festival: Dog parade, contests back!
 |   Pets | West Seattle festivals | West Seattle news

(Photo courtesy MoCA, from last year’s Bark of Morgan)
If you weren’t already planning to come to the 10th annual Morgan Junction Community Festival at and around Morgan Junction Park on Saturday, June 20th – here’s some motivation: You have multiple chances to show off your dog(s)! The official announcement:

The Morgan Community Association (MoCA) is pleased to announce the return of the “Bark of Morgan” Dog Show at the June 20, 2015 Morgan Junction Community Festival. This is the 10th year of the popular Community Festival held at the intersection of California Ave SW and Fauntleroy Way SW in West Seattle.

The “Bark of Morgan” starts with the Parade of Pooches through the Festival Grounds. Costumes are encouraged. Canine contests are held after the Parade. There are six categories this year, with judging by audience applause. Here are the details:

1:30 pm – Pooch Parade: Leashed dogs and their human should line up by 1:30 pm north of Morgan Junction Park in SW Eddy Street. The parade will go through the Festival Grounds back to Eddy Street.

1:45 pm – Canine Contests: In SW Eddy Street after the Parade. Categories are:

* Cutest Puppy (under one year)
* Loudest Bark
* Smallest Dog
* Best Trick
* Best Costume
* Best Owner/Dog Look Alike

Contest winners are based on the ‘audience applause meter’ as monitored by the MC.

The “Bark of Morgan” will occur rain or shine!

WSB is a festival co-sponsor. See you there on June 20th, two weeks from Saturday!

Pet owners, take note: Seattle Animal Shelter back to full patrol strength in local parks

Pet owners thinking about flouting the laws in city parks might want to think twice. Seattle Animal Shelter says it’s back up to full staff and so, as director Don Jordan puts it, “folks not only in Lincoln Park but around the city will see a more-concerted effort back in the parks again to (encourage) off-leash compliance and compliance with our licensing law.”

We contacted Jordan because of Jeannie‘s post in the WSB Forums, saying she’d heard from an officer who said Lincoln Park is now being patrolled. Concerns about off-leash dogs have been a frequent topic in the forums; we also published a report in March after hearing from a student researcher who’s been studying how off-leash, off-trail dogs have affected park restoration efforts.

Jordan says what’s happened is, “We’re finally back up to full staff” – 13 officers, after two years in which various staffing challenges dropped levels to barely half that, as low as seven officers. (If you’re cited for a violation, here’s the list of fees.)

Even more than off-leash violators, though, he wanted to talk about the importance of licensing. “It’s the right thing to do,” he said, pointing out, repeatedly, that licensing revenue supports SAS, and that it has other benefits. It’s estimated, Jordan said, that only about 30 percent of dogs and 15 percent of cats are licensed here (he cited a formula by the American Veterinary Medicine Association for that), “so we know there’s a great opportunity out there for pet owners to help us out.”

For one – if your pet is lost (a circumstance that touches our work via the WSB Lost/Found Pets page), a license provides a way for you to be found, once they’re found, without putting all your personal contact info on their tags.

Jordan says licenseholders also can contact SAS when they’re going on vacation, for example, to provide information on who’s watching your pet, in case it gets loose. Find out more about pet licensing here – and keep in mind there’s a $125 fine if you’re caught without it.

Back to the staffing; Jordan says SAS has “been able to recruit some really stellar staff members with a tremendous variety of backgrounds … vet technicians to wildlife experts to folks who have worked in large animal veterinary practices, a wide array of officers. Best crew I’ve had in the past 25 years I’ve been here.”

We asked if they’re working beats – is someone permanently assigned to Lincoln Park, for example? He would only say that they schedule in advance, and might have to “modify” when something comes up at the last minute – someone out sick, testifying in court, etc. They’re trying “to spread our efforts out, (especially) among the larger, heavily-used parks. Folks should know we’re here to help – call us if you have problems in the neighborhood. We’ll be deployed as much as we can with the leash law and licensing law this summer,” among other things. The SAS animal-control hotline is 206-386-7387 (that’s 386-PETS).

Image by Wonderlane, published to Flickr, licensed for use via Creative Commons)

You can help! ‘Catsino’ benefits animal-advocacy groups Sunday

Next Sunday (April 12th) afternoon, 2-6 pm, you can help out local animal-advocacy groups via the annual “Catsino” silent auction (and more) at Beveridge Place Pub:

What do Pig Craps, BlackCat 21, Hotwire Snip ‘em, and Studless Draw all have in common? They are the entertainment portion of our annual Catsino Silent Auction! Come on out to meet four local rescue groups and bid on unusual, unique silent auction items! All proceeds benefit Furry Faces Foundation, A.A.R.F., Community Cat Coalition, and Regional Animal Services of King County.

You’ll also get to visit and play games with our local business friends! Check out our Facebook page each day to see who is playing and what silent action items have been added.

Pre-Sale Ticket Outlets – Save $5 By Purchasing Your Ticket Early!

Beveridge Place Pub: 6413 California Ave SW, 932-9906 (Morgan Junction)
Hotwire Coffeehouse: 4410 California Ave SW, 935-1510 (Alaska Junction)
Pet Elements: 6511 California Ave SW, 206-932-0457 (Morgan Junction)
The Beer Junction: 4511 California Ave SW, (206) 938-2337 (Alaska Junction)

The fine print: Catsino’s entertainment is recreational only; Catsino Bucks have no monetary value, and all prizes are non-monetary; BP Pub is 21+.

If you take your dog to Lincoln Park, the trail’s the place to be. Student volunteer/researcher explains why.

While helping Friends of Lincoln Park restore the forest, a University of Washington environmental-studies senior has also been studying one of the park’s thorniest issues: Off-leash dogs. Sam Timpe has been working with the local volunteers 15 hours a week since January, planting natives and pulling invasives.

Spending all that time in the park, he’s been able to observe dog owners and their pets, and while most follow the rules, he says the ones who don’t are responsible for more damage than you might think. He’s hoping for an “attitude shift” in the park, and hoping that people feel empowered to talk to those not following the rules, to say “please don’t do it,” to have a sense of community.

Restoration work is something you often won’t detect just with a casual glance. It’s a cleared spot, a small plant. “With all the people doing restoration work there,” Sam said, “to have a dog run through it and tear it, is kind of disheartening.”

Any individual dog, of course, wouldn’t do that much damage, he explains, but if he sees one every hour, ten times a day, 50 times a week, the cumulative effects add up.

From Sam’s research:

I did a study within Lincoln Park to get some baseline data on leash and trail compliance. I chose three different locations within the park (south open area near bluff trail, north open area west of soccer field, and the north parking lot) and at each location I conducted three 90-minute samples, one on a weekday morning, weekday evening, and weekend morning. I found that 59 of 239 (25%) of dogs were off leash. 55 of 239 (23%) of dogs were observed going into the woods (off trail, off grass). When excluding the north parking lot, I found that 38% of dogs are off leash and 29% are going into the woods.

The effects go beyond the “trampling of plants,” he explains. When that happens, it’s easier for seeds to disperse and the forest edge to break down. Those seeds are seldom desirable ones – instead, they’re the invasives, the berry-laden plants like ivy, holly, blackberries, cotoneaster.

And the giddily exploring pooch might spread them beyond the park – seeds can catch in their paws, and be carried far away.

One area that Friends of Lincoln Park is particularly concerned about is near the north parking lot. A restored area might look like a clearing – with the invasives removed, and the new native plants fragile and small – and that might seem to some like an invitation to make their own trails. Sam says he also sees people stop, let their dogs out for a quick dash or bio-break, and then move on.

What would he say to try to educate people, convince them not to do this?

Without the restoration work, he says, invasive plants will start to take over and start climbing up trees (think of all the ivy-covered trees you’ve seen). Eventually that weakens the trees, and a windstorm might be all it would take to bring them down. On the ground level, the invasives take over and nothing else can get established, so a “monoculture desert of holly and ivy” results, he explains. Take a look at the difference between a clump of native vegetation before cotoneaster removal, and after:

The value of a healthy urban forest? Priceless. He ticks off benefits: “Reduces stormwater runoff, improves water quality, captures and filters air pollution, provides wildlife habitat, aesthetically improves neighborhoods’ appearance …”

About the wildlife: Even if a dog doesn’t catch it, or eat it, it is a threat: “A lot of these animals, if you watch them for a while, they’re working on eating, building shelter, nests, on what it takes to survive. When you do have dogs chasing them, they have to expend a lot of energy on the chase, getting safe …maybe that next chase does it in, it’s tired. I found one study about shorebirds – having to avoid dogs chasing after them 12 times a day. Many were getting ready for migration. In another study, researchers walked through different areas (of a forest/park) with dogs on leash, with dogs offleash, without dogs … when humans were there with dogs, there was a 41 percent decrease in the amount of birds present. Birds are aware it’s a potential threat.”

So what’s the solution?

More parks specifically set up for off-leash dogs seems like an obvious idea, Sam says, but they’re not so simple to set up – grassy fields get muddy in the rainy season very fast; gravel can lead to runoff problems for nearby waterways.

He hopes that information and education – like this report about his volunteer activities and research – can help people be aware that dogs at least need to stay on the paths, and to share that awareness with others.

He’s working toward a research paper and presentation next quarter. And he’s well aware that dogs are the light of their humans’ lives … he’s just hoping a little enlightenment will help the forest and its inhabitants too.

Stay on the trail, or at least grassy edges and fields – it’s not grass they’re worried about. If it’s a native plant, don’t walk or run on it – salal, Oregon grape, red flowering currant, ocean spray, seedlings of evergreens such as Western red cedar, Douglas fir, Western hemlock, all types of ferns, snowberry … He could go on.

He’s been working on a spot near the bluff trail but hopes to see all the restoration areas thrive.

P.S. He’s interested in your thoughts, if you have a moment to comment.

Will sign stop rulebreaking dog owners? Pigeon Point NC hopes so

The photo is courtesy of Pigeon Point’s Pete Spalding, who explains:

One of the issues the Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council has been looking for ways to address has been the ongoing issue of folks letting their dogs run loose at the fields at Pathfinder School. One of the ideas discussed at our last meeting was putting up a sign. Here is the sign.

West Seattle’s official off-leash area is at Westcrest Park (map and info here).

Use the off-leash area at Westcrest Park? This is for you

If you use the off-leash area at Westcrest Park – West Seattle’s only official public off-leash area – can you spare a few minutes for a survey? It’s part of a project that’s just getting going with a $7,500 grant from King County Wastewater Treatment meant to help manage the off-leash area’s runoff problem, with water coming down the slope from the covered-reservoir area. A much-larger amount is being sought via grants, sponsorships, and private donations to pay for general improvements to the park, in partnership with Seattle Parks, King County, Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle Animal Shelter and COLA (Citizens for Off-Leash Areas). The survey is collecting opinions on what improvements you’d like to see at Westcrest. Answer ASAP; they’re planning to report results next month.

WP-Backgrounds by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann