With animal control tickets about to ramp back up in Seattle, this group wants a dog park in Cal Anderson

Most mornings and afternoons, Cal Anderson is a dog park. Volunteer Park, too. But the chaos of the pandemic is about to give ground to the order of Seattle City Hall and a group of Capitol Hill dog owners is frustrated with the options.

“During the pandemic we have paused issuing citations, but as our county is in Phase 3 and seeing more public recreational activity, citations will likely resume in the near future,” a Seattle Parks spokesperson tells CHS. There’s no date — yet — for resumption, but tickets are coming soon for owners allowing dogs to run free in city parks or on forbidden ground like Cal Anderson’s Bobby Morris playfield turf.

Cal Anderson, meanwhile, is in the middle of community and city discussions that began in the wake of CHOP and have continued with groups and advocates working to take on new projects around the park — though progress on providing outreach resources, or resources like phone charging stations, rain shelters for mutual aid providers hasn’t kept up with smaller efforts like clean-ups and new decorative lighting. The busy park serves a lot of needs. Adding room for a dog park for neighbors living around the green space does not seem likely to be one of them. Continue reading

To help Capitol Hill pets and their owners get back on a healthy track, Urban Animal holding vaccination clinic

Dr. Cherri Trusheim

In the middle of a major expansion and the challenges of 2020, Capitol Hill’s Urban Animal is hoping to help the neighborhood’s pets and owners get a healthy start on 2021 with a first come, first served vaccination clinic.

It’s not just people waiting in lines for vaccines right now. Many dogs and cats have also been waiting for vaccines or boosters while COVID-19 restrictions and busy human schedules have made getting things scheduled a little more difficult than normal. Tuesday at the Capitol Hill clinic, Dr. Cherri Trusheim and her staff are hosting a day of walk up vaccinations and quick wellness checks to try to help Urban Animal families get needed care.

The first come first serve walk-up clinic will be from 11 AM to 2 PM on Tuesday, February 23rd. According to Liz Weber of Urban Animal, “this will be a low cost, brief exam, vaccine day where people who haven’t been able to get into our clinics for an appointment with the restrictions can now get updated.”

In late 2019, CHS reported on Urban Animal’s big plans to expand on Capitol Hill as Cafe Solstice got out from under its expensive just off-Broadway lease. The plans for a new expanded clinic — complete with separate entrances for dogs and cats — have been delayed through the pandemic. Urban Animal is currently operating out of the old cafe space while remodeling the original location next door as part of the expansion.

“We feel like all we do is tell people no all day, they call and we tell them we can’t get you in, because we can’t have people waiting outside,” Trusheim said. “It’s been really challenging. The expansion will help, we will be able to get more people in the door.” Continue reading

CHS Pics | A new daycare for Capitol Hill’s furbaby boom

With the smash of a tennis ball-packed piñata, the latest edition to the Capitol Hill pet economy opened over the weekend.

CHS reported last fall on the plans for a Capitol Hill expansion of the Tails of the City dog daycare business in the underground space beneath Velocity Dance Center on 12th Ave. The longtime Georgetown doggy daycare, is expanding to its second Seattle location under owner Karyn Johnson. Continue reading

Former Capitol Hill Arts Center below Velocity Dance going back into motion with Tails of the City dog daycare

(Image: Tails of the City)

Mostly inactive since the final days of the Capitol Hill Arts Center more than a decade ago, the area beneath Velocity Dance Center’s 12th Ave building will be swirling back into motion with more energy than even the curl ups and tendus going on upstairs.

Tails of the City, a longtime Georgetown doggy daycare, is expanding with a second Seattle location in the basement of the 1600-block 12th Ave building — a huge space that will provide room for the business to add a highly demanded new service: dog boarding.

“This space used to host raves and parties. I toyed with idea of making an area so people can watch,” Karyn Johnson tells CHS. Sorry to report, Johnson said the doggy bar just wouldn’t work out. And, yes, that’s the second time you can be disappointed about that. Continue reading

With Urban Animal vet clinic expansion, sun will set on Cafe Solstice Capitol Hill

(Image: Cafe Solstice)

(Image: Urban Animal )

Capitol Hill’s cats will love it. For the students and neighbors who hang out there for hours cramming, talking, and hanging out in one of the neighborhood’s largest, most bustling coffee houses, it will be a sad day.

Staff are telling friends and regulars that the Capitol Hill Cafe Solstice will shutter at the corner of 10th and Thomas mid-month. CHS has learned that neighboring veterinary clinic Urban Animal is set to expand into the space bringing an end to its five years as a cafe. It’s a much needed expansion, Dr. Cherri Trusheim tells CHS.

“We just don’t have enough room for the volume that comes through the door,” Trusheim said. “Quite frankly, it’s been crazy sometimes.” Continue reading

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

Picture from a CHS reader. Thanks for the picture and tip!

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.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill cat cafe credited with helping boost King County pet adoption

A sleepy moment inside Neko

King County says it has been able to boost its pet adoption rate to 92% thanks to partnerships with pet stores and a new trend of cat-focused businesses — including Capitol Hill’s Neko Cafe.

The adoption rate has risen from a sad 51% in 2003, the county reports.

“The latest milestone is the result of several strategies, including partnering with cafes and pet stores to make it easier to adopt cats, starting a new dog playgroup to help staff and volunteers better assess a dog’s behavior, revamping the volunteer program, and significantly increasing the number of pets that are licensed,” a King County announcement on the happy numbers reads. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Pets | Dexter at Vita

Jessie McGee was having his coffee outside Caffe Vita with his little friend Dexter, a rat terrier/min pin mix, when we stopped to say hello. Dexter is not only an excellent friend, but he is also a service animal. Jessie told us, as he dug around in his wallet, “He’s the only dog that I know of that has ID.” Indeed, Dexter does have an ID, laminated and everything.

We ask photographer Alex Garland to follow marchers in the rain and do crazy things like trying to make yet another picture of yet another huge apartment building look interesting. We thought we’d ask him to do something a little more fun. Capitol Hill Pets is a semi-regular look at our furry, fuzzy, feathered, and finned friends found out and about on Capitol Hill. Are you a Capitol Hill Pet we should know about? Drop us a line. We also have amassed an excellent roster of submissions we’ll pull together soon for a special edition of Capitol Hill Pets. Thanks for all the mail!

Advocate group looks for Capitol Hill support for more off-leash dog parks

(Image: City of Seattle)

(Image: City of Seattle)

The forecast this week calls for the dog days of summer, but dogs in Seattle don’t have many options for relief from the heat.

Dogs are only allowed to swim at Magnuson Park, which has 145 feet of shoreline.

Citizens for Off-Leash Areas, or COLA, wants to change that. The group wants more waterfront parks open to dogs and more off-leash options in general that are within walking distance of every dog owner. Organizers see it as much more than an issue of play and lakeside fun. COLA reps say resources for dog owners are a social justice issue in a city supposedly tackling equity issues across its neighborhoods. Meanwhile, Seattle’s population is set to soar to 750,000 by 2020. About one out of three of the new residents will bring dogs. Continue reading

Dog sickened after eating rat poison in Cal Anderson Park

A Capitol Hill dog was sickened Tuesday after eating what appears to be rat poison left near the playground in Cal Anderson Park.

Eva Gisellse tells CHS she was walking her dog Data in the park around 6 PM on Monday when the blue heeler ate an unknown substance. After Data became sick Tuesday morning, Gisellse retrieved the green substance and took her dog to Urban Animal at Broadway and E Thomas.

An Urban Animal spokesperson told CHS the substance was almost certainly rat poison, but veterinarians are awaiting final test results for confirmation. Thankfully, Data is recovering in her Capitol Hill apartment.

“We recommend that anyone walking a dog in the area makes sure it does not eat anything off the ground,” said Jen Pohlman, operations manager at Urban Animal. Of course, the same goes for humans.

UPDATE (7/20): After being notified of the incident, Seattle Parks had its pest control contractor check the roughly 20 rat poison traps that were set around Cal Anderson Park earlier this year. According to Parks spokesperson Christina Hirsch, there was no evidence of tampering on the traps, which are designed to keep poison away from dogs and children. “All of the traps were locked and all of the traps have been regularly serviced,” she said.

Continue reading