Citizens for the Protection of Volunteer Park (CPVP)

Contact: Ellen Taft Tel or Txt : (206) 310-9973

 For immediate release

Ellen Taft proposes “Dog Free, People-Only Parks”

No more OLA’s for Unlicensed Dogs

In response to COLA’s (Committee for Off-Leash Area) demands that Seattle Parks and Recreation provide more Off Leash Areas, Ellen Taft, president of Citizen’s for the Protection of Volunteer Park proposes the following

DOG LESS PARKS- PEOPLE ONLY PARKs- If Public property and park land can be taken out of use, for people, then that the same percentage of Park land dedicated to OLA’s should be dedicated to People Only-Dogless Parks.

BAN DOGS FROM PARKS WITH BEACHES. Dogs should be banned from all the parks which have beaches. However, there are several violations per hour. Dog feces pollutes water, contributes to the growth of milfoil, the fecal coliform level and the parasites from worms, which grown in dog feces actually kill fish such as salmon. It is also dangerous for small children and babies.

DECREASE NUMBER OF DOGS PER HOUSEHOLD TO ONE Since COLA believes that there is too little acreage for the number for dogs in the city, The Logical conclusion is NOT to increase the number of OLA’S but to DECREASE the number of dogs. Currently SMC allows three dogs per household, which means three Great Danes, Three Irish Wolfhounds, Three Rottweilers or Three Pit bulls even in an apartment.      If we only had one dog per household it would cut down on the number of dogs in OLA’s as well as the amount of dog feces polluting our environment

NO DOG WALKERS IN OLA’S , ONE DOG PER OWNER       Dog walkers should be banned from OLA’S and a one-dog per owner adopted in OLA’s

ONLY LICENSED DOGS SHOULD USE OLA’s.   Perhaps COLA could enforce.

BAN PIT BULLS AND FIGHTING BREEDS FROM OLA Pit bulls and all fighting breeds should be banned from OLA’S here is a petition signed by Seattle users.There are many people with dogs who will not use the off-.leash areas because they and their dogs have been attacked by Pit bull.

Taft will be speaking at the Parks Board Commission meeting on Thursday Sept. 22nd at Miller Community Center at 19th and E. John.

“In 1991, my ten month old child was attacked by three dogs in the wading pool of Volunteer Park. Although I grabbed her just in time, the owner never said he was sorry,

In 1992-I suggested to City Councilor Cheryl Chow at the old Kinko’s on Broadway, that maybe we should do something about off-leash dogs in the parks.

In 1993, I founded Seattle Pro-Leash after I had been chased and attacked several times while running in Volunteer Park.

In 1995, when the City of Seattle designated some part of parks as off leash areas, there was an implicit agreement, that if dog-owners had off-leash areas, that dog-owners would leash their dogs and there would no longer be dogs running in parks.

It is now 20 years later and we still have the same problem.

I agree with Cola’s proposal to “Legalize DOG”. It is precisely what I have been telling city Council and a succession of Mayors since ‘93.   I want the 80% of dogs who are currently unlicensed to get legal and buy their licenses.

According to Animal Control there are only 39,527 licensed dogs in the City, that is the appropriate number of dogs for a city of 282, 335, not a city of 652,405. according to estimates by the AVMA.* However, if there are approx. 40,000 unlicensed dogs then the number of dogs in the city is probably around 200,000, with about 160,000 unlicensed dogs.

Since I have been tracking the figures, Animal Control’s budget comes up $1 o $1.5 million short every single year because of unlicensed pets. The general fund has to subsidize 2/3rds of its budget. Since 1990, The owners of unlicensed dogshave cost the city over $35 million.   All other taxpayers have been subsidizing Animal Control.

Now, it seems to me that the City of Seattle is under no obligation to provide Off leash areas to ANY unlicensed dogs, I believe that the current acreage is sufficient for the approximately 40,000 Licensed dogs.” Says Taft.


* Extract from email received from Brett Rogers of Animal Control.

The number of currently license dogs is = 39,527


Robin L. Klunder-Ryall, Operations Manager

City of Seattle – Dept. of Finance & Administrative Services  206.386.1985


Websites about pollution caused by dog feces

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