A topic and questions about dogs off leash in Seattle came up at the community forum at the Northgate Community Center this evening. Mayor McGinn answered questions.
One woman felt strongly that dogs in the city should have room to run off leash because it is important for their mental health. She said that the mental health of dogs in the city who are allowed to run off leash is much better than dogs who are in the country.
I'm all for dogs. I love dogs. However, I have a different point of view because I believe that if you have dogs in the city, you must be responsible for them. Not all dogs are safe off leash. Not all owners seem to understand this. Not all owners of dogs clean up after them. Most dog owners that I have seen don't bother to clean up after their dogs at all.
I know of an example of a dog off leash who ran through a running event with runners at Green Lake. The dog, off leash, broke the leg of a runner. The owner did not bother to even say I am sorry. He walked away and felt no responsibility. I realize this example is rare but it happened.
I believe strongly that dogs should always be on leash. I know and hear of multiple examples of dogs who are bred to attack being in a home by owners who say how tame and mild they are and then they bite a child or show they are not safe. Dogs should always be on a leash. Dog owners need to be responsible for their dogs. Dog owners need to always clean up after their dogs.