Is it illegal to leash a dog on public property?

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    Since so many posts seem to involve whether a certain ‘act’ is legal or not, I decided to ask the subject question and generate friendly conversation about leaving ones dog unattended.

    Yes, it is illegal.

    In addition, it is unsafe to leave your dog unattended in this manner:

    1)Many dogs are stolen. The thieves often do horrible things to the stolen dogs, such as using small dogs for ‘bait’ in order to teach other dogs to fight.

    2) Your dog may get frighten and bite someone that tries to pet them. Regardless of whether it is the person’s ‘fault’ or not, your dog may now be at risk for being deemed dangerous and killed.

    3) Your dog could get loose, run off, get lost or hit by a car.

    4) There are people that will do cruel things to dogs that are unattended. Really cruel.

    So folks, don’t leave your dogs unattended. It is illegal, and more importantly, it is not safe for your furry family member.



    Totally agree. I would add that dogs tied outside of businesses also frequently block the sidewalk, making it difficult or dangerous for pedestrians to navigate around the dog and/or leash. This could result in injury to either the pedestrian or the dog, if someone were to fall on them. The dog also becomes a sitting duck for other dogs that are passing, some of which may be off leash.

    It is also illegal to drive around with an “unsecured” dog in the back of a truck.



    I just like to complain about dogs.



    Wish it were illegal to leave dogs and cats outside in freezing temps or sweltering temps. One of our neighbors does this every winter and summer.



    Luckymom, that is my “pet” peeve.



    Every summer and winter we have to listen to the crying and howling of our neighbors dogs, a german shephard and a beagle mix. It is heartbreaking, I wish something could be done.



    luckymom, you’re right! It’s not good when people leave pets out where they can’t get shelter from the elements.

    Depending on the specific conditions under which an animal is left outside, it may even constitute abuse. I have known Animal Control officers to ticket owners for leaving their dogs outside without shelter.

    From the Seattle Animal Shelter Web page:

    The ideal shelter is always the shelter provided by a house or building. The Seattle Animal Shelter does not recommend housing an animal outside. If an animal is outside, the animal should have a weatherproof shelter that is small enough such that the animal can warm it with his body heat. During the winter months, an entry flap will also keep out the cold air and wind. Bedding materials such as hay, straw or wood shavings are recommended as they stay warm and dry whereas blankets often get wet.

    If you know of a dog that needs shelter, the Seattle Animal Shelter often has dog houses available for pickup. The shelter also accepts donated dog houses and will distribute them to those dogs in need.

    Source page:



    Unfortunately Animal Control will not come out to check on the dogs, there is a shortage of control officers and unless we are bitten by the dogs they won’t be coming out anytime soon.



    I reported what I believed to be a horrible situation involving lack of shelter, and animal control was not even sympathetic – much less responsive. There are some hoarders who live on 35th who used to keep a dog in a small wire crate out in the middle of their front yard in all kinds of weather. The poor thing stood there wet and shivering, ankle deep in it’s own feces, no food or water, ALL WINTER LONG. The dog managed to break out of the crate a few times, and then disappeared. I hope he’s in a better place. In the words of John Prine “some humans ain’t human”.



    I hear this over and over again. People say: “I complained and the City did nothing.”

    I don’t have this problem. It’s not because the City likes me better than other people; it’s because I complain scientifically, in a way that is more likely to get results.

    I’ll start a separate thread on this topic within the next week or so.



    Not in West Seattle, but I had read this thread and thought of it yesterday on Beacon Hill as someone’s “nice” dog, tied up outside a coffee shop, lunged at me as I walked by. It also got the dog tied up next to it all riled up. And all I did was walk by on a public sidewalk and not even acknowledge them. That’s never happened to me before. I love dogs and am not afraid of them, but it freaked me out. Did anyone run out of the coffee shop to say sorry…of course not.

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