West Seattle, Washington
Another long-planned Seattle Parks project is about to get started. Here’s the announcement we received late today:
Seattle Parks and Recreation awarded the construction contract for the Westcrest Park Off-leash Area Drainage Improvements project to OMA Construction Inc. The contractor will mobilize and set up construction fencing the week of October 18.
The main off-leash area and the north parking lot will be fully closed during construction. In response to community input in 2019, SPR will construct a temporary off-leash area to the north of the existing site and west of the small/shy dog area in a space that is currently lawn. It will be set up prior to closure of the existing off-leash area for public use. The existing shy/small dog area will remain open. People interested in accessing the temporary off-leash area can access it through the south parking lot.
We anticipate reopening the parking lot and improved off-leash area in spring 2022. After construction, the contractor will restore the temporary OLA back to lawn.
Over the past few years, the maintenance project has grown from a simple drainage improvement project to a $505,000 project that will address drainage, access, and erosion. Funding is provided by the Seattle Park District Major Maintenance and Asset Management Fund. For more information, please visit seattle.gov/parks/about-us/projects/westcrest-park-drainage-improvements. If you have questions about the project please contact the project manager, Janice Liang at Janice.Liang@seattle.gov.
While not mentioned in the announcement or on the project page, the city told us back in May that the closed play structure would be replaced as part of this project.
Just out of the WSB inbox, from Sharon:
These are the cats I found this afternoon on the corner of 35th Ave SW and SW Fauntleroy Ave. Pretty obvious they were abandoned, but there’s a happy ending to the story.
While I was contacting Animal Control, one of my neighbors and her son happened by. They went home to get some cat food and water, as the cats were panting and looked dehydrated. Animal Control asked us to bring them to the shelter. My neighbors offered to make the (at least) 45 min drive through the detour to drop them off. Just as we got off the phone, another neighbor couple drove by, saw the cats in the box and stopped. They asked about the kitties and said they’d been wanting to get a cat! Animal control said to bring the cats in anyway so they could be spayed/neutered and vaxxed. In 3 days our neighbor couple can request these kitties and they’ll have a new family!
So, if you dropped off these cats, don‘t worry, they already have found a forever home!
I love that this story shows both how awesome our West Seattle neighbors are and that sometimes things just all work out to make the world better in a small way. I think we all could use a little more of that these days.
9:39 AM: Keeping the West Seattle lost/found Pets page since 2008, we’ve heard a lot of stories about how pets get reunited with people. This time we’ve heard from a person whose pet is already found – and now she’s looking for the people who helped. From CeiCei:
I’m trying to find and thank the Good Samaritans that helped out Sunday and walked my dog (Franklin) back to my house. Someone else found him by Madison Middle School, and passed him off to a couple that was jogging in the area.
My friend was watching my dog while I was OOT and I had no cell reception. Somehow the latch on the fence wasn’t fully latched and Franklin managed to paw the fence door open and get out of the yard yesterday. Someone found him, tried calling me, but wasn’t able to get a hold of me.
Picture belowm, when my friend found him tied up at home:
Let us know if you were among Franklin’s rescuers and we’ll connect you with CeiCei,
10:09 AM: Just heard from the folks who brought Franklin to his home!
Thanks for the tips! After reader questions about the future of the bright-green building at 11th/Henderson, we made contact with its owners, who bought the property late last year, and found out about their plan:
Addy’s Pet Shop is on the way this fall. David Leischner and wife Cortney are the building’s owners, and he’s busy remodeling:
He explains that they live in Highland Park “and we would drive by the building every day. During the start of the pandemic, I was helping out a friend at his pet store in Wallingford, Wally’s Pets, which is where the idea of opening our own shop began. We would walk our dog, Addy, past this building frequently to Westcrest dog park. We feel fortunate in our decision when you consider the location of the building to the dog park and the great neighborhood we live in.”
So far they’re on schedule to open Addy’s Pet Shop on October 1st. Hours will be 10 am-7 pm Tuesdays through Sundays, closed Mondays. They’ll specialize in dog and cat supplies – food, treats, toys, carriers, leashes, collars (no fish or reptile supplies).
P.S. This is not the family’s only new venture – their second child is due soon, too!
We can finally say conclusively that the turkey recently seen in West Seattle is NOT the turkey that spent a year wandering the peninsula. That’s been confirmed by both this turkey’s adoptive family and the person who built an enclosure for her in their yard. They sent photos, including the one above, and this report:
Hedda Gobbler is no longer wandering the street. She has found a safe home away from cars and dogs. For all those who wanted to believe she was a wild turkey, you were wrong. Hedda is a domestic bird not able to keep herself safe because she is a bit of a bird brain. She is very content and enjoying the good life in a forever home where Thanksgiving dinner will never be turkey again.
Hedda’s favorite food is cantaloupe.
– Hedda’s Forever Family
With fireworks-frightened pets on the run, the Fourth of July is usually a busy night for the WSB Lost/Found Pets page (now in its 14th year). So we’re publishing this quick reminder – if you lose or find a pet, please send info about it to us, including your contact # and a photo if available (description if not). email@example.com, or text 206-293-6302. The listings are at westseattleblog.com/pets. Wishing a safe night for all!
Imagine having a friend who would do anything for you.
Rachel clearly has that in Heather, who came up with a plan for a parade – starring Golden Retrievers! Rachel loves them. So Heather decided to recruit some – and their people – to parade past Rachel’s home on Alki tonight. She put out the call on social media, and we counted at least 18 who answered that call.
As you can see in our video atop the story, the dogs had a tail-wagging time too.
(Thanks for the tip on this!)
If you had passed that family on the trail in Fauntleroy Park on Saturday, you might have assumed they were just out for a family walk. Except for the clipboards carried by daughters Estela and Vivian as they walked with dad Eddie and mom Carina…
… and these flags they placed at 10 spots along the trail.
Estela and Vivian, 4th- and 1st-graders at Arbor Heights Elementary, are in their third month of a volunteer project in conjunction with the Fauntleroy Watershed Council. They’re gone out every month to survey the trail – through the watershed of salmon-bearing Fauntleroy Creek – for what visiting dogs left behind. We went along on Saturday afternoon for this month’s survey. Every place they found something, they marked with a flag.
The 10 flags they placed this time were fewer than their first two times (17 and 14). The flags are intended to both warn – one side says “Watch your step!” – and educate. They’re rain-resistant and made from paper, says creek steward Judy Pickens, and are removed two weeks after placement. Pickens’ community-connection work is what got Estela and Vivian involved – their family went to a fall “drumming to call the salmon home” event at her house and asked what they could do to help. They’re also involved with the Salmon in the Schools program at Arbor Heights Elementary, and might present their findings at school as well as to the Watershed Council, which has been tracking this problem since 2004.
So what do they hope to accomplish? Estela says it’s simple – convincing dog owners to pick up after their pets. “We don’t want it to get into the creek … we hope this helps the salmon. And we hope people understand there are things they can do” such as gentle reminders to other parkgoers. The sisters will be doing their part to help – and making a map and list of their findings – through August.
Back in September, we told you about Poogooder, founded by West Seattleite Lori Kothe as a way to tackle the problem so many complain about … dog waste fouling sidewalks, planting strips, etc., and sparking un-neighborly spats. Lori says nearly 80 Poogooder disposal bins – each with its own volunteer steward – are now up in local neighborhoods. But that’s just a start toward ending the problem, so Lori’s announced the Zero Poo Challenge, and you have two ways to be part of it:
The Poogooder Zero Poo Challenge is a free, crowd-sourced education initiative to raise awareness of the social and environmental impacts of wayward dog poo and the small steps we can take to foster a happier, healthier community and planet. It involves 2 main activities open to the public: an all-ages PSA Art & Video Contest and a Wayward Poo Hunt. Participants can win prizes, fame, goodies from local businesses, and even trophies! Deadline to submit or vote for family-friendly PSA creations is June 12. The Wayward Poo Hunt citizen-science research project runs May 23 – June 12 and coincides with PAWSWalk. Poo Hunters will use the Pooper Snooper mobile app to “win” by finding real secret treasure tins hidden throughout West Seattle.
If you are a local business, educator, organization, or individual who would like to be involved in some way and/or donate to the prize packs, please submit a contact form at Poogooder.com. Let’s have fun, get the facts, and inspire change to do some good today. More info, Dog Poo 101 guide, PSA voting gallery, and entry details at zeropoo.com.
That cat is one lucky kitty. It survived a close call with high-voltage danger, thanks to determined neighbors who spent hours on Tuesday trying to get it down. Among them, Corey, who sent the report, photos, and video:
Here is a crazy story with a nice ending. We live in the Osborn condos on California Avenue SW in the Junction. My wife was on our deck and a lady below asked if we had a black and white cat and pointed to the telephone pole in the alley behind our condo. There was a fluffy black and white cat about 45 feet above the ground balanced on a 3″ piece of metal on a telephone pole. Various neighbors called the fire department, electric company, animal control pleading for someone to help get this cat down.
Pastor Ron from (First Lutheran Church of West Seattle) and neighbor Dominic tried to use a 40-foot ladder to get the cat down, but the ladder was not tall enough. I visited the local fire department and spoke with fire chief. Two police cruisers ended up in the alley and two concerned officers helped by calling the public utility requesting assistance. After about two hours of neighbors placing calls and assistance from the Seattle Police, Seattle City Light came out with its lift and rescued the cat.
The City Light worker indicated that the cat was straddling a couple live wires and one bad step could have ended this cat’s life. The cat was successfully rescued and ran off to its home!
As you can hear at the end of the video, the rescue was a relief to everyone watching!
Last week, we reported that an Xfinity store is on the way to the center of Westwood Village. Today, news of another tenant for that same section of the center: The updated directory map included in listings for center vacancies shows Pet Supplies Plus as “coming soon” to the spaces next to Ulta Beauty.
Pet Supplies Plus is headquartered in Michigan and has more than 400 stores, operating on a franchise model, though a check of its website suggests this would be its first Northwest location. We have an inquiry out to the company to ask about the opening timeline. Westwood Village currently has one pet-supply store, Pet Pros – a Seattle-headquartered mini-chain – on the center’s east side.
That’s Jeb the miniature horse, formerly of West Seattle, now in Taos, New Mexico, getting used to his new home. Eight days ago, we reported on his impending departure. He had lived in a greenbelt-adjacent Admiral yard for more than 15 years, a present for two little girls who are now grown. He’s now with them in the Southwest, where the weather and grazing grass are expected to be better for his health, and he’s with other horses (as shown above). His family sent the video to let you know he arrived OK and is settling in!
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
One of West Seattle’s best-known residents is leaving.
It’s not because of the bridge closure.
It’s not because of the pandemic.
It’s … the grass.
Jeb the miniature horse has lived at an Admiral home, adjacent to a public street-end greenbelt, for more than 15 years. This Tuesday, a horse-transport firm will pick him up and take him to his new home in Taos, New Mexico.
Jeb’s human companion Mimi Miles contacted WSB because she wanted all his fans to know about his imminent departure. Word’s gotten out around the neighborhood. And there are signs up on the fence by his yard along that greenbelt:
Just opened this week at 5214 Delridge Way SW – a new self-serve pet-wash business, Pawsitively Kleen. Co-proprietors Mario and Keith tell WSB that they “moved to West Seattle close to 7 years ago and we have always wanted to open a business related to pets.” They of course have their own: “We have had 5 different types of dogs in the last 20 years. Currently we have a Mastiff and a Pit Bull.” Though Pawsitively Kleen is self-serve, they explain, “We will be there most of the time walking customers through the process. We are very excited to be able to serve the West Seattle community.” Hours are 10 am-8 pm.
Most of the obituaries we publish are for people, but we have occasionally received and published remembrances in memory of pets (including our own last year). This is from Tony:
I don’t think people freely speak enough about the depth of grief we feel we lose a pet. The loss is profound because it’s not only a beloved family member who is with you day in and day out, but it’s a little life that we care for, and tend to, from start to finish. But, they take care of us too.
In 2008, Millie, a Border Collie mix, was found running wild on the side on Interstate 5 in Skagit County. She was rescued by Northwest Organization for Animal Help (NOAH) in Stanwood, after what was likely an exhausting game of chase. Somewhat emaciated but in otherwise good health, the estimated 2 year old pup was quickly adopted by her forever people and brought to live in Seattle.
In her younger years, Millie enjoyed chewing up shoes, running and hiking with her people, chasing balls without bringing them back, barking at every other dog she saw (only wanting a sniff), and running for hours on the beaches in northern Puget Sound.
Throughout her entire life, she had an affinity for eating the droppings of other animals, particularly cats and rabbits, and rolling in the smelliest things she could find (particularly dead fish), embedding the scent deep into her thick double coat. She was also well known for her “I do what I want” attitude and letting everyone know that with her distinctly unique, absolutely shrill bark. In her later years, she enjoyed casual walks with her people, lying at their feet, and taking naps in the Lamb’s Ear in the backyard garden.
Most of all, she was a deeply affectionate dog who showed nothing but selfless devotion and love to her people, serving as their rock from early adulthood to nearly middle age. She was fortunate enough to peacefully pass away with painless intervention, in the comfort of her own home in the embrace of her people, after nearly nine months of progressing degenerative myelopathy.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Almost six months have passed since a tip led investigators to what the Seattle Animal Shelter‘s executive director called the “worst case of animal cruelty and neglect” she had ever seen – more than 200 neglected animals and 100+ dead ones in and near a Delridge house. The man arrested there, Matthew A. Hazelbrook, is awaiting trial on 17 counts of felony animal cruelty. In the meantime, SAS says some of the surviving animals were finally surrendered and are now up for adoption. In its announcement, SAS says it’s looking for “forever homes” after the animals have spent months either at the shelter or in foster homes. We asked for details on the 200+ animals originally seized, and here’s what SAS spokesperson Melissq Mixon sent:
We have 19 guinea pigs and 6 rabbits from the case still available for adoption.
We transferred 125 guinea pigs and 58 rabbits to other organizations.
The rest of the animals (~90) either had ownership claims and were reclaimed or have already been adopted.
As noted in its post, SAS is also trying to find homes for 70 cats from an unrelated case – found in a downtown studio apartment. Mixon tells WSB, “We’ve had an incredible response to both this case and the latest one. Our teams are working as quickly as possible to review and process adoption applications …” Adoptable animals, and information on how to adopt, can be found here. Hazelbrook’s trial, meantime, is tentatively set for July.
Now that spring is here, warm weather is on its way, and parks will get busier. For people who bring their pets, Seattle Parks and Recreation has rules – such as, no pets on beaches or in ponds or streams. But what’s the problem? some wonder, insisting their pets are well-behaved. To answer that question, the Seattle Animal Shelter published this post: “Pets Are Not Allowed – But Why?” explaining three major reasons for rules regarding pets at parks, both on the water and inland. WSB reader Tami saw it this past week and emailed us suggesting that we tell you about it; she explained, “As a one-time beach naturalist with the Seattle Aquarium, this is an issue that concerns me, and I think it would be good to remind everyone WHY pets should respect public park spaces.” P.S. If you’re new in West Seattle, we do have one off-leash dog park, at Westcrest Park – it’s on this map with the city’s other off-leash parks.
With so many new readers finding WSB this past year – readership was up almost 50 percent in 2020 over a recordsetting 2019 – we’re thinking we should re-introduce some of the site’s features now and then. So here’s the first installment: Lost + Found, pets and non-pets, and how to use the two features … plus an added option.
LOST & FOUND PETS: This page has been a WSB staple since 2008, the only peninsula-wide place to post a lost or found pet. The page is here. If you lose or find a pet in West Seattle (we’ll include White Center or South Park on request), please email us at email@example.com with description, contact info (phone number is best), photo if available, and we will post it. When you tell us there’s been a reunion, we’ll update to mark the listing “reunited.”
LOST & FOUND, NON-PETS: We added this section a few years ago at readers’ request. Lose or find keys, jewelry, a sweater, or … ? You can see the posts by going here. This is a self-post section in the WSB Community Forums, so it requires a login – if you don’t have one, you can get one by using the box on the right sidebar if you’re on desktop/laptop/tablet, and by going here if you’re on a phone. (You can also use your WSB Forums login for posting in the other sections, such as posting a free job listing, but no login is required for reading.)
LOST/FOUND ITEM THAT WAS PROBABLY STOLEN AND DUMPED: If you find something that is unlikely to have been simply lost/misplaced – purse, bicycle, etc. – we usually include those in West Seattle Crime Watch, so please email us the info (and photo if available) although you are welcome to post on the Lost & Found page too.
Thanks to everybody who’s used these features over the years! We’re planning on a couple more WSB FYIs this holiday weekend.
A month and a half after Matthew Hazelbrook‘s arrest, with hundreds of sick or dead animals found on his Delridge property, the survivors are still in the care of the Seattle Animal Shelter. Though – as we reported last month – Hazelbrook is charged with 17 counts of animal cruelty, SAS spokesperson Melissa Mixon tells WSB, “The animals are in the custody of SAS but still the property of the defendant and are not available for adoption at this time. Until we have an owner-surrender, or a court order, the animals cannot be put up for adoption. However, we will be working with our incredible community of foster parents to eventually move some of these animals into foster care.” Meantime, she adds, “We are seeing significant improvement in the health and wellbeing of the more than 200 animals in our care. This includes guinea pigs, rabbits, dogs, chickens, and chinchillas.” If Hazelbrook is found guilty, restitution will be sought to cover what the SAS is spending to care for the animals. The case is making its way through the courts; he has another status hearing next Monday, after pleading not guilty last week.
This case is part of a troubling trend this year; the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office convened a media briefing today to talk about that trend. So far this year, KCPAO has filed charges in 19 animal-cruelty cases, double the number of recent years – 9 in 2019, 10 the year before that. (Recent cases include another in West Seattle, a Sunrise Heights man accused of duct-taping his dog’s head to try to quiet the dog.) A prosecutor who specializes in those cases, Tali Smith, said the nature of the cases also has evolved – previously, they primarily involved neglect, but now there’s increased violence. Violence against animals often accompanies violence against humans; police and animal-control officers are cross-trained to look for signs of one when investigating allegations of the other.
The Hazelbrook case originated with a tip, according to court documents. If you suspect animal cruelty, we asked, what’s the best thing to do? If it seems to be an urgent life-safety issue, SAS executive director Ann Graves replied, call 911. Otherwise, you can report it to her department, 206-386-PETS (7387). They do investigate, but it often takes time. And their enforcement team isn’t any bigger than it was when she began work 20+ years ago, she said when we asked about its size: 14 animal-control officers for the entire city. If you call to report a possible situation, provide them with as much information you can – what you saw, where you saw it,
The SAS’s other role, of course, is caring for animals if their owners can no longer do so, or need help, reminded Victoria VanNocken from the City Attorney’s Office. Added Graves: “Animal cruelty is not an animal problem, it’s a people problem.”
9:49 AM: Just got this by phone – please help watch for this stolen car, whose owner tells us her senior dog was inside. The car is a white 2010 Honda CR-V, stolen just before 8 this morning from an alley between 55th and 56th SW, off Alki Avenue SW. \
The dog is a 14-year-old Pomeranian/Chihuahua, black with a pink harness, chipped, with tags that have her phone number. If you see the car, call 911; if you find her dog, 206-330-5057.
1:01 PM: We got word that Dottie the dog has been found, in Burien. No word yet on the vehicle’s status.
2:20 PM: Peggy, Dottie’s person, says the car hasn’t been found yet. Dottie, meantime, is home and doing OK.
That’s Ella, an Aussie/Border Collie mix, 5 months old when she was rescued from 2011 storms in the Midwest, given a new home by Stefanie. After 9 years as “amazing companions,” Stefanie has lost Ella … and she has a message for others, in hopes of saving their dogs from her fate:
WARNING: Immunize your pet against Leptospirosis. It is lurking in West Seattle.
I lost my dog suddenly/unexpectedly 6 weeks ago. She got a bacterial infection contracted from wildlife urine that is preventable if an “optional” immunization is given. The vets need to counsel all owners about this horrible disease, which causes the dog’s organs to fail, and to strongly advocate and recommend it. By the time you see any symptoms, it is very late to reverse and is miserable for the patient. With all the knowledge of this infection and the increase of wildlife in our parks and neighborhoods, it is critical to protect your pets. I would not want anyone else to have to go through this.
Ella was “fit and healthy and happy” when she got sick, Stefanie says. As for where she contracted the disease, Stefanie doesn’t know: “I took her on walks in all the local parks and even have wildlife in my backyard garden.”
Some stayed in their cars … others stood outside, distanced:
This was the pandemic-era Blessing of the Animals, held by St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church this morning in the neighboring West Seattle High School parking lot.
This is an early-fall tradition for many churches, honoring the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and ecology. As declared in St. John’s program: “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.”
Presiding were St. John’s rector The Rev. Kate Wesch and Brother Paul Dahlke of the Order of St. Francis:
Also from the program, part of “a prayer attributed to St. Francis”:
Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union;
where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.”
P.S. As previewed here, Alki UCC will include a Blessing of the Animals during its livestreamed service tomorrow, followed by a neighborhood walk-by.
You and your pet(s) are invited to join in two West Seattle churches’ Blessing of the Animals events this weekend, both with pandemic-altered formats:
SATURDAY: St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church invites you and your pet to the West Seattle High School parking lot (3000 California SW) north of the church at 10 am Saturday (October 3rd). The blessing dates each year are in recognition of the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals, and this event usually has a participant from the Order of St. Francis, as it will this year. As explained on the church website, you and your pet can either stay in your vehicle or stand outside to receive the blessing.
SUNDAY: Alki UCC will include its Blessing of the Animals in the livestreamed service at 10 am Sunday (October 4th), and you can send the church a photo of your pet to be part of it – today’s the deadline – firstname.lastname@example.org. The church website has info on registering to view the service. As also explained in our calendar listing, the church also is having a pet “walk-by” event Sunday, 11 am-noon outside the church entrance, at 6115 SW Hinds.