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Seattle Poop-Scoop Police Are Cracking Down

Deviant Art Photo/LauraCF (CC BY-SA 3.0)
File photo. A dog looks on quizzically.

Starting next week, dog owners may get busted if they let their dogs run off leash in city parks or fail to scoop up after them.

Seattle's Parks Department has hired a two-person team to enforce the city's leash and scoop laws.

But the department is aware that enforcement isn't everything -- dog owners also need more places to let their pets run free. An Off-Leash Area Plan is under development, and the superintendent made recommendations to the Park Board Thursday. Those include creating off-leash dog areas when new parks are developed.

But Ellen Escarcega says that plan doesn't do enough, and Seattle needs more dog areas now.

She's chair of the Citizens for Off Leash Dog Areas, COLA.

She says a study compiled by COLA found that "New York City has 120 acres of off-leash land, Vancouver B.C. has 168 acres, Seattle has 25 acres." Escarcega says the city "isn't providing the land for the people who have been moving here for the past 15 years with dogs, and the ones that are coming in the next 20."

Escarcega says other cities let dogs go off-leash in city parks during certain hours. The superintendent recommended against that idea in his presentation Thursday night.