Twenty-five years ago I was called to pick up a dead red fox at Me-Kwa-Mooks Park that had been mauled by off leash dogs. As I carried its dead body out I encountered a woman with an off leash dog on the lawn. She was so sad, she said that she used to watch that fox from her window while she was having coffee. I told her that she should know the fox was mutilated by off leash dogs. She said that she wouldn’t let her dog off leash again. There used to be red foxes in West Seattle, but I haven’t heard of any sightings in about 5 years.
For a long time the Animal Shelter was having difficulty keeping positions filled, and when they were fully staffed ‘park patrolling’ was low priority, so for a couple years there were essentially no park patrols. Now they have a team of two focusing only on patrolling parks, and there is a plan for Parks to assign one ranger to do leash education and the shelter will hire a person to team up with that ranger to write citations – so there will be 2 teams patrolling 465 parks.
What will it take for domesticated life to stop our encroachment on Earth’s wildlife?