Letters to the Editor

No one listens to howling about unleashed dogs

I can empathize with Mr. Nusbaum’s frustration with lack of enforcement of the leash law on the BPA Trail. (Letters, Feb. 18, “Trail needs attention from city authorities”). Because of repeated threats from unleashed dogs, I fought this fight for years, also without success.

The basic problem is that we have two entities –– the city of Federal Way and King County Animal Control –– that simply don’t care about enforcement, and irresponsible dog owners know it. Over the years, I have written letters to the city Parks and Recreation Department with no result. On one occasion, I simply asked for some signs on the trail which state that we have a leash law and that it’s enforced. Shortly thereafter, a stop sign was placed at the location where the trail crosses First Way South. Not on the road, on the trail. After I asked what was going on, the sign disappeared.

Several years ago, I ran across an animal control officer sitting in his truck, reading a paperback in the Little League parking lot. I asked if he enforced the leash law on the trail. He replied that he does not and gave me two reasons: (1) The fine is too high in his opinion, and (2) lots of other cities don’t enforce theirs, either.

When I was bitten and my dog was killed in an attack by an unleashed Rottweiler, animal control failed to go after the owner of the attacker. No citation was issued and no civil penalty was sought in spite of violation of the city of Seatac’s leash laws and the death of an innocent animal. The attack was not in Federal Way, but our city was informed of it and was reminded of my efforts to get leash law enforcement here. It was also suggested that they may not be getting their money’s worth from animal control. There was no response, and Federal Way continues to write a check to animal control every year.

Instead of going to the police, maybe Mr. Nusbaum would have a better chance of success if he talked to the people directly responsible: Jennifer Schroder, Federal Way Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services, and Vicki Schmitz, King County Animal Control.

Or maybe not.

Bob Roper

Federal Way

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