Take your dog with you to the beach and you could pay $54 – $160 in fines.
The city of Seattle has decided to start aggressively enforcing a long-standing, but un-enforced law, of not allowing dogs onto sandy salt water beaches. The reason – to protect new seal pups coming ashore.
Seattle Animal Shelter has already begun twice-daily patrols on these beaches handing out fines from $54 for a first time “offender” to $160 if your dog was off-leash.
As dog owners, we can view this in various ways.
The simplest – this is the law, so we should set an example and not break it. And if we do, we should be prepared to face the consequences and pay the fines.
The second might be to take a positive view – Seals can be vicious animals (although they look adorable). They have large sharp teach and can be very protective of their young. The last thing any of us want is for a mama seal to think your dog is a threat to her young, and go after it and injure it, or you. So this law, especially this time of year, can be viewed as one to help protect your and your pets’ safety.
Whichever way you choose to view the law, note – it is in place and is now being enforced.
But don’t feel like your dog will not miss out as alternatives exist.
If you want to let your dog feel the sand beneath its paws, take a dip in the shallows, or better yet, run free on the beach, there are off-leash dog parks where you can do just that – legally and safely. Moreover, the off-leash parks are all on lake beaches meaning freshwater, which can be less irritating for your dog’s eyes.
In the city of Seattle itself, Warren G. Magnuson Park Off-Leash Area is a great location. Over 8 acres in size, the off-leash area offers both dog and owner some great roaming and beach time. We ourselves take dogs there on a daily basis and it is fantastic.
A short drive from Seattle, on Mercer Island, is Luther Burbank Park. The park off leash area is over an acre of fully fenced area at the north end of the park with 3 access points to Lake Washington. Amenities include a separate area for ‘small, shy and recuperating dogs’, and a doggie hose down area.
And if you really want to have fun, roam, and get some splash time, you can’t beat “Doggy Disneyland“, as it is locally known – the Marymoor Park off-leash area in Redmond. Coming in at over 40 acres – yes, over 40 acres! This park has it all. From multiple water beaches to rolling lawns, woods, prairies, and more. It is well worth the drive and both you and your pooch will return home tired and happy.
Whatever you decide to do – stay legal, stay safe, and have fun.