West Seattle, Washington
(WSB file photo, Westcrest Off-Leash Area)
ORIGINAL MONDAY REPORT: Almost seven years ago, Seattle Parks and Recreation announced a plan that could lead to gradual addition of new off-leash areas. Now it’s announced a new plan – to study 30 sites around the city “that may have the potential to become future OLAs”:
Seattle Parks and Recreation is set to launch an Off-Leash Area study, which will be led by department subject matter experts. The study will look at 30 sites across the city that may have the potential to become future OLAs. Staff will examine each site from an environmental, engineering, geographic, equity, and dog behavioral perspectives. At the conclusion of this study, SPR will be able to present to the community a list of sites that we believe are feasible and most suited for future OLAs. The Seattle Park District provides funding for 2 new OLAs; from there the department will need to request additional funding to construct and maintain any additional OLAs.
West Seattle, as people with dogs know, has one city-run off-leash area, at Westcrest Park. A community coalition had been working on other potential sites, as reported here last year. The new city announcement did not include the list of potential sites to be studied, so we’re requesting that on followup.
ADDED TUESDAY: Parks says five West Seattle sites are on the list to be studied. They are at:
Hamilton Viewpoint Park
West Seattle Stadium
If you’re shopping for pet food this weekend, consider buying extra for this upcoming donation drive: National Honor Society students at West Seattle High School are hosting a pet food donation drive for Seattle Humane. They will have two dropoff dates – 3 to 5 pm (updated – one date only) January 25th, at the north entrance of WSHS (3000 California SW). Organizers say they’re especially interested in dry or canned cat food, “but we’ll accept it for any pets!”
We’ve had the only all-West Seattle lost/found pets webpage here for 15 years, but sometimes a lost pet gets found before either owners or finders ever have to post about it, thanks to helpful people. Whitney sent us one such story this afternoon, wanting to publicly offer words of gratitude:
THANK YOU to the Admiral community near Aegis? We are dog-watching my sister’s dog and he got out our front gate (and we live on Admiral Way- eek!). Good news – we FOUND HIM but if it hadn’t been for the help of so many kind neighbors I don’t know that we would have found him as quickly as we did!
People were yelling from their cars telling us (as we were running around the neighborhood) which direction he went. I eventually ended up getting into a car with strangers who took me to him (and coincidentally my husband had just found him seconds before, hiding in a carport of someone’s house). We are just super grateful for this community of dog lovers helping each other out!
We’re continuing to assemble the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide and just got the first “pet photos with Santa” announcement of the season:
It’s happening one week from today, 2-6 pm Sunday, November 20, at Dough Joy Donuts in The Junction (4310 SW Oregon). Forgotten Dogs Rescue, which is led by a West Seattle resident, says “We will have Erika Smith Photography with us! For a $25 donation, everyone will receive at least one digital photo file (able to be printed), a 5″x7″ print, and their dog’s photo on our Facebook page.”
P.S. Thanks to everyone who’s sent holiday events already, and if you have one planned – from Santa photos to bazaars to concerts to donation drives and beyond – please email us the info at email@example.com as soon as you can.
If you’re anywhere near Beveridge Place Pub (6413 California SW), you have until 6 pm to go paint and sing with Furry Faces Foundation and your furry friend(s) – we got late word that today was the rescheduled date for the fun(draiser):
Get to Beveridge Place Pub to sing your heart out and paint with your pups suring Furry Faces Foundation’s Paws ‘n Paint Karaoke event from until 6 pm.
While here, take the time to meet Drew Bensen, owner of Close To Home Pet Services.
That’s Obi Wan the Bernese Mountain Dog, whose people have noticed more like him around the peninsula, so they’re organizing a meetup. Here’s the announcement:
Calling all West Seattle Bernese Mountain Dogs – Meetup!
PLEASE JOIN US!
DATE: Saturday, July 30, 2022
TIME: 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
LOCATION: Westcrest Dog Park
BRING: Yourself and your doggo
We are West Seattle residents, and the proud new owners of a Bernese Mountain Dog (Obi Wan – now 1 year old). We are noticing a lot of Berners when we go for walks! We would like to form a West Seattle BMD group for playdates and perhaps other events.
Hope to see you there!
Obi (and family)
This is not your average lost/found pet story. In the photo is a cat called Cheech, known and loved in the Lowman Beach area. One of his fans, Barbara, sent us the photo last week with a note explaining that Cheech – and his house, accessories, and food/water bowls, set out at the Murray Wet Weather Facility across from the beach – had suddenly vanished. Over the ensuing days, Cheech’s person, Amber, who lives neqrby and has cared for him for 13 years, explained on social media that Cheech always came home to snuggle at night, even though otherwise he had kind of become the neighborhood cat in recent months. She theorized that maybe someone had catnapped him thinking he was abandoned, which he most certainly was not. Cheech’s fans started leaving (chalked) messages of support:
And now, a happy ending: Today, Barbara tells us, there’s word that Cheech turned up at the Seattle Animal Shelter; Amber was headed there to pick him up and bring him back to the beach. So you just might see him on your next visit to Lowman.
In addition to businesses and artists, booths at West Seattle Summer Fest include local nonprofits there to meet you and explain what they do.
Among them this year, a new local nonprofit, Beloveds Animal Rescue Relief Foundation. In an email exchange, founder Rachael Morris told us what Beloveds is about:
Beloveds Animal Rescue Relief Foundation is a West Seattle-based nonprofit that collects donated pet supplies and distributes them to local nonprofit pet organizations based on need and specialty of service. Our motto is “There is always something we can do to help.” We officially became a business in February of this year but I’ve been doing something similar, periodically through COVID as a donation drive and then gave it to some rescues I knew. I realized the need was greater than anticipated and decided to make it a nonprofit, starting at the beginning of the year.
We have distributed at least $150,000 worth of items this year already, all donated from the community, businesses, and distributors. We take literally anything cat- or dog-related, including open bags of food and some broken items (cat trees, wheelchairs) as we have an upcycle component to what we do as well. Rescues get creative when finding cheap solutions to problems so while I don’t take rusty wire cages, I can take cat trees because components can be used in catios. Wheelchairs can be broken down and built new to order through a really amazing resource, stuff like that.
The goal is to have separate chapters in other states within 5 years, either as an extension of what we do or we (I) teach them how to build a version in their state. So, kind of like a nonprofit franchise with the sole intention being to support local nonprofit pet organizations so that they can focus on the care/adoption of animals and spend their money on medical care, transportation, and other needs, not food, beds, medicine, etc.
Right now, we are pending our 501c3 application and hope to have that done by late fall but this process takes anywhere from 4 months to a year so we are working to garner sponsorships and donations to pay for our start up costs through the public. We have a raffle set up to help collect donated funds, which is effective throughout July.
We have several items available including light-up shadow boxes, gift baskets with donated items from Dog Baby Collection (BIPOC women -owned WS based online retailer) and other local service providers. We are at West Seattle Summer Fest, sharing a booth with Dog Baby. And we JUST landed an arrangement with Junction 47, to have a donation box set up in the apartment building for Beloveds! This is part of our pilot program to collect donations in apartment buildings, as most buildings are pet friendly but folks in these buildings might not have storage for their unused pet supplies, cars to drive them to a donation location, etc so we are working to come to these pet parents and collect donations!
Our claim to fame will be our online inventory available to the nonprofits. This inventory will be the live inventory representing all of our storage locations, and will allow the nonprofit pet organizations to review, reserve and schedule pick up or delivery of donations. They can also submit special requests for things that we will either buy ourselves through Beloveds or try to source through the community. This inventory system will allow us to have predictive reporting, ensure our donations are being spread fairly amongst organizations and ensure that we can do our best to provide needed supplies to those groups that are in the greatest need.
Morris is applying her skills as a business analyst specializing in IT to work on that aspect. You can find out more about Beloveds and enter their raffle – plus meet the crew from Dog Baby – on the east side of the south block of Summer Fest, between Alaska and Edmunds. If you don’t meet them at the festival, here’s how to contact Beloveds.
Just a reminder before nightfall that if you lose or find a pet amid tonight’s likely fireworks noise (or any other time), WSB has had a West Seattle Lost/Found Pets page for almost 15 years. Just send the info – with a photo if you have one – including a contact #, and the area in which you lost/found the pet, to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you don’t have access to email, you can also text the info to our 24/7 hotline, 206-293-6302. (At right is a wholehearted supporter of this message, our newest WSB “shop cat,” Sullivan, a 4-year-old rescue tuxedo cat.)
It’s parade season, and you’re invited to be part of one tomorrow – if you have a dog to bring along. The Kenney invites dogs and their people to bring joy to residents by parading around the senior-living complex’s grounds. Just be at the main entrance (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW) by 3 pm Sunday; the parade is expected to last until about 3:45 pm.
After seven month of work, West Seattle’s only off-leash area is reopening today. Seattle Parks announced early this afternoon that the Westcrest Park OLA would reopen by the end of the day – if it’s not open already (we won’t get to go look for a few hours). The drainage work that has had the area closed since November is detailed here. Today’s announcement says some work remains, however:
There are a few work items that will be completed after reopening due to shipment delays and construction sequence:
-Installation of (1) new accessible picnic table. The contractor will close off individual areas to install the benches once they arrive.
-Restoration of the temporary off-leash area near p-patch. Fencing around this area will stay up for the contractor to restore this area with soil amendment, hydroseed and allow for lawn establishment.
We have also kept temporary fencing around two newly seeded lawn areas in the main off-leash area for lawn establishment. Fencing will be taken down once the lawn has established vigorous growth.
As noted here earlier this week, another Westcrest project – play-structure replacement – isn’t expected until fall.
If this was a flesh-and-blood bunny, we’d put it on the WSB West Seattle Lost/Found Pets page. If it was found in a park or at a playground (etc.), we’d point the finder to the WSB Lost/Found Non-Pets section of our Community Forums. But this one somehow showed up at the West Seattle UPS Store in Jefferson Square, amid documents left late last month for shredding. The store staff doesn’t think the bunny was intended for the shredder, so they’re trying to figure out who lost it. Laurie at the shop says, “We will hold onto it in our lost and found drawer just in case its owner comes along.”
The photo is from Karen, one of multiple readers who emailed this past week to wonder why that patch of public land on Alki Point was suddenly locked and inaccessible, as it’s been used, they say, as an unofficial “dog park.” It’s part of the grounds of the Alki stormwater treatment plant, a facility managed by the King County Wastewater Treatment Division. So we asked KCWTD spokesperson Marie Fiore about it. She says the site was never intended to be a “dog park,” or any other kind of park, but people continue to “cut the lock off” – so the lock was replaced. She says public access is prohibited “for safety and liability.”
We publish obituaries for free, and sometimes that means tributes to departed pets. The Dennis family loved their short-lived kitten Bear, and one of their younger members wrote this tribute for publication:
It is with great sadness that my sister and I announce the loss of our much-beloved kitten, Bear.
At just two years old, we were not surprised at his passing due to a tumor condition he had had since birth – but that hasn’t made this day any easier. He lived much longer than the vet thought he would after all. For this we are so grateful.
Of our three cats, Bear was the one who exuded character and then some! He was very wild by nature, yet so full of affection. We will forever remember his loving head butts, rubbing our noses and our legs, his paws touching our cheeks and his kitten-like kneading of our soft spots. He loved napping on his Special Person’s bed – and his Special Person’s Seahawks blanket in particular. He loved watching Strong Man videos. We cherished his company while we gardened in our backyard – one of his favorites of our activities.
He was always so painfully thin, but no less pleasant to stroke – his tail always ramrod straight up in the air in greeting. If he was wet and cold after coming in from outside, his loud plaintive meows announcing his return accompanied that characteristic tail. Our weakness for his cries also meant he always got what he wanted when he wanted it – wet treats, dry treats, bites of our meals, etc. We were helpless not to spoil him as we knew we wouldn’t have him long.
He loved and is survived by his two kitty-brothers. When we first got him and he was sickly and weak, he was so utterly amazed by the strength and grace of his middle brother CoCo. He aspired to jump just like CoCo to the bathroom sink for a drink. CoCo was so very affectionate with him and taught him everything he could when he wasn’t sweetly bathing or kissing him. They wrestled and rough housed quite often. From his oldest kitty-brother, Little Kitty – somewhat of an elderly grouch – Bear learned the importance of sticking up for himself!
Bear, we will miss your sweet habit of laying out in our driveway awaiting our return from errands. We will miss the way you – unlike any other cat in the universe – would willingly jump into the car to welcome us back home. You will always be our “little baguette.” We will forever hold you in our hearts.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries and memorial announcements by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to email@example.com)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The two dogs who share Rachael Morris‘s life, Duggie and Tilly, aren’t into dog parks.
However, Morris is working to get West Seattle a second one for the thousands of peninsula dogs who are.
Right now, the only official off-leash area in West Seattle is at Westcrest Park [map]. Dog owners have long complained that another one is needed, not just for space but for geography, since Westcrest is toward the southeast edge of West Seattle. Now, an organized effort is under way toward making it happen.
Morris leads what’s become the West Seattle Dog Park Coalition (WSDPC). She tells WSB the effort began last spring but really picked up steam when the citywide Citizens for Off-Leash Areas helped connect her with other West Seattleites pursuing the idea. So now they’re working with both COLA and Seattle Parks and Recreation. WSDPC has even come up with a list of five potential sites that it’s submitting to the city for review.
Without much official dog-park space, she says, people are using various spaces as unofficial dog parks, and that creates a “public-safety issue” for both dogs and people. So WSDPC is seeking to be part of the solution rather than perpetuating the problem. The lack of an off-leash area in north West Seattle was even officially recognized almost six years ago, in a city report on the state and future of dog parks citywide (here’s our 2016 report).
There’ll be a lot of hurdles to clear, Morris says – just to get sites reviewed could take a year, and Morris says they are well aware they’ll face opposition from people no matter which site (if any) is identified as feasible, so that’s why they’re going public now, to marshal support from dog owners who like the idea. WSDPC members extensively reviewed possible sites all around the peninsula and are submitting five for potential consideration: Areas at the West Seattle Golf Course (a corner currently primarily used for “seed deliveries,” Morris says), Hamilton Viewpoint, Lincoln Park, Duwamish Head (the inland open space), and Jack Block Park (which is owned by the Port of Seattle rather than the city). The latter site could even include some of the shoreline, which Morris says is appealing because the city only has two offleash beaches.
There’s a long list of criteria that ruled out the many other sites they reviewed. And Morris says the process from here is extensive – if the city does give them a green light to pursue a certain site, much public outreach and comment would follow. (The full city process is explained here.) She stresses that her group “wants to go through all the channels” to try to reach the goal, and they’re going public now at a very early stage. If you’re interested in getting involved, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. The group doesn’t have a website yet but is on major social-media channels.
We’ve had several recent questions about work at the former Muttley Crew space on 42nd SW just north of SW Admiral Way. Finally an answer arrived via this photo – thanks to Melissa for sending it with word that West Seattle artist Desmond Hansen is painting it! We went over to try to get info in person but were unsuccessful; today we got email confirmation that it’ll be the new home of DogCity. The business is currently in The Triangle but has to move because its site is part of the upcoming 2-building Sweeney Blocks project (which just finished going through Design Review in November). The photo shows the east side of the building; DogCity says Hansen will be painting the north side too.
No, the dogs aren’t unleashed, just the policy. A few canine companions of Metro employees joined King County Executive Dow Constantine at a brief Seacrest event this morning to spotlight the new policy allowing dogs (leashed) and cats (in carriers) aboard the King County Water Taxi. We mentioned the policy change on Tuesday. What about other pets? readers wondered, so we asked. Maybe down the road, Metro says. We also asked whether this really entailed more than just saying hey, guess what, you can bring your dog or cat aboard. Answer: Yes – it required U.S. Coast Guard approval, because of capacity limits. You can read the full KCWT pet policy (just one page long) here.
Side note – independent of the new policy, one dog had a backstory:
Jim is holding KC Metro, adopted after being found, abandoned, on board a Metro Route 36 bus.
While dogs and cats are allowed on Metro buses, they haven’t been allowed on the King County Water Taxi – until now. Metro has just announced the policy change to allow pets on board both the West Seattle and Vashon Island routes. The announcement says, “The new policy allowing cats (in carriers) and dogs (on a leash or in a carrier) is the result of the Water Taxi staff listening and responding to the needs of riders. A growing number of riders use the Water Taxi as an alternative to driving, but for some it only works if they can bring their pet for the trip.” King County Executive Dow Constantine plans to formally announce the change during a media event at Seacrest tomorrow.
Four months after we first reported that Addy’s Pet Shop was on the way to 11th/Henderson, it’s about to open. We stopped by as proprietor David Leischner worked to get everything set up this weekend.
When we spoke with him in August, he had hoped to open the shop in October, but as often happens with new businesses, things took longer than planned, including dealing with the city (if only there was a checklist for new businesses, he laments). But now everything is just about ready to go, and the shop will open Tuesday (December 14th), not too late to get in some holiday shopping (that’s an Advent calendar for dogs he’s holding in our photo above). And Addy’s is stocked with a wide variety of food – chilled/frozen, too.
Mostly for dogs and cats, although Leischner added some chicken feed at a friend’s request. Lots of non-edible merchandise, too, from dog jackets to cat towers:
Getting the store set up has involved a lot more than stocking it – heating, lighting, flooring – and then there are the routines to get used to – like answering the phone with the business name rather than “hello”!
Addy’s (named for the family pup) is just blocks from Westcrest Park, home to West Seattle’s only off-leash park, so he’s had lots of visitors peering in – “nonstop dogs,” in particular – and has been heartened to see “the neighborhood cheering me on.” Addy’s Pet Shop will be open Tuesdays through Sundays, 10 am-7 pm, starting this week. (Online shopping will be available soon too – the shop’s website isn’t live yet.)
While we mentioned Giving Tuesday in our daily preview list, we otherwise haven’t emphasized it since we try to provide opportunities for EVERY day to be Giving Day. But we do have a request for help from one community-based campaign – Poogooder, described by founder Lori Kothe as an “audacious idea to launch a community dog poo bin program to help end wayward dog poo for a happier, healthier community and planet”:
In our first year, Poogooder has grown to nearly 100 active dog poo bins in West Seattle stewarded like Little Free Libraries, with a growing steward waitlist (currently almost 50!). Poogooder has become an amazing phenomenon as we collectively work to reframe dog poo from problem to opportunity for good, but it takes a village. To-date, Poogooder has been funded personally by me plus many small donations, mostly through GoFundMe and Venmo.
People can “say thanks” via the Venmo QR code on the bin lids (Venmo @Poogooder), but we need a funding boost now to fulfill the waitlist and keep Poogooder going. Consider giving to Poogooder this #GivingTuesday to help meet our campaign goal by the end of the year, regularly donating via Venmo, and giving in other ways listed at Poogooder.com. Poogooder is not currently a registered non-profit so donations are not tax deductible, but all donations go directly to support the program, as it is currently 100% donation and volunteer driven. We’re exploring additional funding models such as grants and partnerships, and welcome ideas from anyone interested in helping Poogooder sustain and scale.
Beyond monetary donations, people can do some good today and every day by doing these three things:
1. Always pick up after your dogs and carry the bagged dog poo with you.
2. Never put dog poo in private garbage cans without explicit consent.
3. Remember to tie the bag and treat Poogooder bins and public garbage cans with care (dog poo NEVER goes in recycling, food & yard waste, or personal compost bins).
Poogooder is a community project where neighbors offer to maintain the bins and transfer the contents to their personal garbage for free, not a paid service, so please show stewards you care by not overflowing the bins, being sure your bag goes entirely in, and closing the lid to keep the rain out. If a bin is full, walk your bag home or check the active bin map at poogooder.com/active-bin-map for a nearby bin. We also need volunteers to help with the program and to sign up to be “bin buddies” to support stewards as needed. Join the movement and learn more at Poogooder.com.
Jim sent this report, as an alert to other dog owners:
(Tuesday) at about 2 pm, I was walking our 12-year-old Brittany “Copper” on his leash on our daily walk on Harbor Ave when Copper was attacked by a white pit-bull dog which was dragging its leash and not under control of its owner.
As we passed the Marination patio and walked north on the path a man was standing there and a dog was coming from the bushes. It approached Copper and then almost immediately attacked him, pinning him to the ground and holding him down with his mouth. It took both myself and the man to get the dog off and away from Copper.
I took Copper to South Seattle Veterinary Hospital immediately and he was taken in for surgery. Copper has multiple deep puncture wounds and we are glad that he is alive. The clinic and its doctors and employees deserve our thanks.
I am filing reports with Animal Control and the Seattle Police Department. I want this information to be out there for all to see. This dog attacked Copper without provocation. This dog was not being controlled. The owner was not remorseful. He left the scene telling me that this was the fault of my dog having “bad energy.”
I see so many West Seattle dog owners walking their dogs along the water all day every day. They need to know to be careful and always aware that this can happen to them. Copper has never been in a dog fight, much less provoked an attack, and he did not deserve to suffer this fate. If you are the owner of this dog, you should be very ashamed and you should take responsibility for your dog’s actions.
The Seattle Animal Shelter case number is C06730536; you can contact Animal Control with any info at 206-386-7387.
The Kenney (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW) has two invitations for you if you’re interested in sharing your holiday spirit with their residents (and others). First, something you can do at home:
Feeling the holiday spirit? Looking for a unique and creative service project for your kiddos or group organization? Help us #BringTheJoy to The Kenney residents this holiday season by sending in a video! Whether it’s of you and your family singing Christmas carols, your school orchestra playing a song or just wishing them a Merry Christmas, or reciting poetry, we want to hear from you!
For more information and to submit your video, please visit heritage1886.org/joy-video!
The Kenney is a part of the Heritage Ministries family of retirement communities, so not only do our local residents see your video, but also at our properties back east. It’s a great way to make the season shine for many others! Join us!
They’ll be accepting videos through mid-December. In the nearer term, how about a pup parade this Sunday? Here’s that announcement:
The Kenney announces its first-ever “Holly-paws Dog Parade”! Walk off your holiday meal, give your pup some exercise and bring some joy to our residents! Dog moms and dads are invited to come brighten the day of our elders and walk their well-behaved dogs around the block of The Kenney. Holiday attire for all is encouraged! Residents will be gathered in two areas to watch.
Sunday, November 28 – 1:30-2:00 PM
-Meet on the corner of Othello and Fauntleroy, to proceed north on Fauntleroy at 1:30 PM.
-Feel free to dress your dog up in costume or holiday attire!
-Each pooch will receive a goodie bag of homemade dog-biscuits made by our residents.
-People-masking and physical distancing is highly recommended/strongly encouraged for the safety and enjoyment of all.
-If your dog is social and enjoys exuberantly greeting people, please exercise great caution with our residents.
That’s Miss Starla the guinea pig. You might recall our story last month on the Seattle Animal Shelter reporting that she was the last pet still in need of a new home one year after she and hundreds of other animals were rescued from a house in Delridge. SAS told us she had been adopted by a West Seattle family – and we heard from them today.
Kaj and Janet – with rescue pup Niko – are Miss Starla’s new family. Kaj says they read about her here on WSB and got their application in fast to beat the rush. “We brought her home this weekend, and she’s been quickly adapting to her new environment, showing off her personality.”
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