For the dogs: Furry 5K and the great work of Citizens for Off-Leash Areas



Leash your pooches, lace your sneakers, and stuff your pockets with baggies and treats! 

On Sunday, June 12, hundreds of doggies and their human friends will descend upon Seward Park for the annual Furry 5K.  The walk, Seattle Animal Shelter’s biggest fundraiser of the year, supports the shelter’s Help the Animals Fund. Registration ends Wednesday evening, so sign up now if you’d like to participate or donate to the shelter.

Don’t have a dog?  Neither do I.  However, almost one in every three households in Seattle has a canine companion.  Some, like my legislative staff, refer to their pooches as their “four-legged kids.”   Often people tease that there are more dogs in Seattle than children, so it makes sense that we would provide places for our furry friends to frolic.

 In 1997, Seattle City Council did just that.  Led by the efforts of a volunteer group known as Citizens for Off-Leash Areas (COLA), Seattle City Council voted unanimously to establish permanent off-leash areas. 

Our dog parks serve as shining examples of volunteer organizations partnering with our Parks department.  COLA acts as the officially-recognized steward group of our dog parks.  Each quarter, COLA meets with Parks to address maintenance and other issues related to the off-leash areas.  Together, they make sure that the off-leash areas are kept in working order. 

Thanks to the work of COLA, Seattle is now home to twelve off-leash dog parks throughout the city. Use the map on my website to find them all.

We all understand that sometimes a dog just needs to run free.  It’s important, however, to respect leash laws at our Seattle parks and beaches so that everyone, with dog and without, can feel safe to enjoy their time outdoors. So when you want to spend untethered time with Fido, take him to an off-leash park.  He’ll be glad you did.

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