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‘All Dogs Must be Leashed’ — Overrun by naughty off-leash visitors (and their dogs), Seattle U changes policy

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It costs Seattle U students $45,765 a year to attend the south of Capitol Hill campus but many neighborhood dogs have been freely enjoying the fields of academia — off leash.

But now the school and its popular Union Green, one of Capitol Hill’s most popular “secret” off-leash play areas, is off-limits. Seattle University has changed its policies and now requires all canine visitors to be leashed:

“For the safety and wellbeing of our campus community and all visitors, dogs are now required to be on leash and under control of their owners at all times while on campus,” the university announcement reads. “This policy is consistent with the City of Seattle’s leash laws.”

Tipsters say the change came after some naughty owner behavior including a few good dogs allowed to get too rough, start fights, and deliver a few bites.

“The university previously allowed owners to keep dogs under leash or voice control. An increasing number of visitors have failed to follow that policy, however,” the Seattle U statement provided to CHS by a school spokesperson reads. “This has resulted in aggressive dog behavior and has caused a number of recent health and safety issues.”

While the Union Green is routinely closed to doggo activity during the winter, the policy change means the end of romps in the final crisp days of fall and no hope for more come spring.

Dog owners around the Hill can turn to the nearby official parks where off-leash dogs are allowed like Plymouth Pillars and the Colonnade but the new Seattle U rules have also brought larger packs to the grass of Cal Anderson and Volunteer Park where it is against the law to let your dogs roam unleashed.

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27 thoughts on “‘All Dogs Must be Leashed’ — Overrun by naughty off-leash visitors (and their dogs), Seattle U changes policy

    • I see so many dogs off lease in parks where leash are mandatory, I doubt this will make any difference. Eventually they will restrict access to the public.

      • Yes, it is a problem in our public parks….mostly dogs whose owners are homeless. The City’s enforcement is spotty, to say the least.

        But I expect that Seattle U will strictly enforce their new policy. They have security staff which will do just that.

      • Bob (below), try walking in the UW Arboretum or Volunteer Park. All those off-leash dogs are clearly not those belonging to homeless people.

    • Because dog owners never believe that their little darling could possibly ever do anything naughty much less actually bite, I mean much less even actually annoy anyone – because absolutely everyone else loves their little snoogy-woogems too, especially when it’s growling and charging them….. and it is of course the cutest and most well behaved do in the whole wide world – don’t you realize!!!

      In other words people lie to themselves and cannot be trusted to be at all objective about their pooches training or behavior. They will insist that their dog is under voice control as they desperately call it’s name over and over again it completely ignores them… They will assure you that it’s friendly as it snarls and snaps at you…

      The reality is that very few dog owners have much of any control over their dog or have them trained at all. A small minority put in the time and effort to properly train and socialize their dogs. Some get lucky and have super laid back, by nature, animals. Most do not, but still are absolutely convinced that they do…. Self policing doesn’t work unless those people are honest with themselves, therefore everyone must keep their dog leashed, unless it’s an off leash area.

    • The vast majority of dog owners are shit. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been pawed by some poorly trained dog and the owner giggles and says sorry but clearly doesn’t give a fuck. Most people in Seattle like dogs and are thrilled to make friends with a new dog so there is no motivation for owners to do better. When I make it clear I don’t appreciate it people are offended. And don’t get me started about dogs in the office that pee everywhere…

  1. Why is it relevant what the student tuition is? It’s a private university, folks are lucky their dogs were ever allowed in the first place. Too bad they abused it.

  2. Cal Anderson Park needs signage like this, and mounted high enough on a pole that the signs can’t be removed or vandalized without a ladder. The north half of the park is treated like an off-leash area.

    Seattle Animal Control/FAS, how about adding a few signs?

      • Hells yeah. Talk about a quick infusion for the city’s coffers. And it would enable the city to continue to ignore property crime. Win/win.

      • Animal control officers…. as far as I know SPD don’t give out leash/scoop violation tickets, so there shouldn’t be a need to take up time better spent on crimes with this…..

  3. The greater issue here is the lack of off-leash dog areas in this city. The dog park at Boren/Madison is tiny, congested, dirty, and right on top of the freeway. The next closest one to that is an hour walk. Without options, of course people are going to use school play fields and parks.

    • I agree that there are limited public off leash areas, and why I tell dog owners about new app: Sniff Spot.
      Check out Safe, insured, private off leash areas that you can book online. Hosting was easiest passive income I ever made

    • Great. Advocate for more off-leash areas in the city.

      But I’m so sick of dog owners who suddenly realize that a dog is a responsibility and sometimes a burden. “It’s so faaarrrrr to take Bailey to the dog park. It’s unfair, so I’m going to go run him at a playfield and put the burden on everyone else.”

      Too many dog owners in this city who view their pets like their tattoos; lifestyle accessories that they believe will give them personality.

  4. The way this is stated is odd:
    “Dog owners around the Hill can turn to the nearby official parks where off-leash dogs are allowed”

    The term is “Off Leash Dog Park” – if it’s not an Off Leash Dog Park – your dog should be on a leash.

    Despite signs being everywhere in Volunteer Park, when I’ve asked people with their dogs off leash IF THEY KNOW that it’s not an off leash park – they often seem confused. It’s crazy. These dogs are NEVER under the owner’s vocal control.
    MAX!! BAILEY!! OLIVIA!!!….nothing, gotta see about that squirrel/duck/picnic/puppy.
    We probably aren’t going to get anything more than another pocket dog park, and everyone will just have to use the existing dog parks, or you know, stop being so entitled and walk their dogs on leashes.

  5. The offending dog was a pit bull with a history of biting people and dogs. I witnessed the attack and had seen that dog attack others before. I called the police before and they arrived this time. And to my knowledge nothing happened to the dog or owner.

    Seems like a flimsy excuse to go after corgis and lap dogs who want an easy location to run around in the grass. The world is full of danger, dogs are pretty low on the list unless it’s a pit bull. So don’t be a dick about cute little guys who want a little freedom. How long would the average dog hating scared of his own shadow idiot last on an eight foot leash all day?

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