Sammamish’s war on dogs

Update, May 8, 11am: I received an email from Jessie Bon, who says the Sammamish Review not only misquoted her on the issue of dogs “relieving” themselves in the water–she says she didn’t say anything of the kind:

I believe I was misquoted in the Sammamish Review. To my knowledge (and I’ve watched the tape), I did not make a comment about dogs relieving themselves in the water. In fact, nothing of that nature was said at the council meeting based on my review of the tape this afternoon.

If, indeed, the Review did misconstrue what Bon said or didn’t say, this doesn’t negate the larger issue, and that is the City of Sammamish is engaged in unnecessary action to restrict parks from dogs. Big Rock Park’s North Meadow makes a great run/play area and Evans Creek Park has acres and acres of meadow for which no use whatsoever is undertaken.

Update, May 8, 12n: I’ve now received an email from Ari Cetron retracting the dogs relieve themselves portion of his story. Cetron writes:

She was generally right about the water. I actually just reviewed the tape myself. She didn’t say the dogs relieve themselves in the water, she said there would be “sanitation issues” with dogs on ballfields and kids then playing the the field. I conflated the two situations and have corrected it online.

Original Post:

The City of Sammamish continues its war on dogs.

This week’s Sammamish Review has this article that proposes more regulations banning dogs from pretty much any public park and property. The Review writes:

The new regulations all but bans dogs from large parts of Sammamish parks. Four-legged friends, even on a leash, would no longer be permitted on athletic fields, in picnic shelters, or in water bodies and their associated beaches, docks and nearby marine areas.
[Parks director Jessi] Bon said she understands some dog owners like to take their pets to swim at city lakes, but noted that animals might relieve themselves in the water, causing potential health problems for people. She also noted some areas where dogs are currently allowed might also be taken off the list if the animals destroy vegetation.

Apparently Bon doesn’t own a dog, or so it seems. Dogs have very distinct postures when “relieving” themselves and after a lifetime of owning dogs, I’ve never seen one do so in the water. They splash, swim, wade and even run. People are more likely to “relieve” themselves than are dogs. The larger problem of urine and feces in the water comes from ducks, geese, fish and other wildlife.

Dogs are already restricted at all the city parks in some form or another. The exception, if you want to call it that, is the prison-like off-lease area at Beaver Lake Park, a very small area that can be walked around in five minutes. Big Rock Park and Evans Creek Park have large, open fields that are used for nothing that make great play areas to run and chase balls–but our City Council designates these entire parks as on-leash parks.

The vote was 5-1-1.

This is another nanny state effort on the part of the City Council.

Welcome to Sammamish, Klahanie.