Letter: We all must take personal responsibility to keep our dogs safe when they’re off-leash

The following was submitted regarding the lawsuit filed against the City of Edmonds following the death of two dogs at the off-leash dog park.

To the editor:

Mr. Rathrauff took his dogs to an Off-Leash Area.  Off-Leash Area means that alone — a designated area where dogs are allowed off-leash.  “Off-Leash Area” does not imply, nor should it be assumed, that the area is either fully or partially fenced.  Every day, it is up to us dog owners to judge the situation(s) we put our dogs in and evaluate their safety.  It is always our responsibility to keep our dogs safe.

As stated by Mr. Rathrauff in his claim against the City of Edmonds, since 2009 he has taken his four Huskies to the Marina Beach Park Off-Leash Area 2-4 times per month for exercise.  Given the amount of time that he spent there, he should have been fully aware of the beach landscape, the fencing, the work being done by BNSF, and the train tracks running parallel to the Off-Leash Area.  It is very unfortunate that Mr. Rathrauff has chosen to file a lawsuit against the City of Edmonds for the very tragic deaths of his two dogs.  Over the years, the City of Edmonds has done everything possible to keep the Off-Leash Area safe for dogs and humans.  This is a designated area on Puget Sound which runs parallel to train tracks.  We all must realize the inherent risks in that, and take personal responsibility for keeping our dogs safe.

Lori Parsons
Off Leash Area Edmonds Director

  1. Nicely said. Unfortunately, there are too many people who won’t accept responsibility for themselves or something under their control. This lawsuit is filed for a claim amount that will make it easily settled without litigation because the cost of litigation would probably exceed the claim. It’s about the money and nothing else.

  2. It’s important to have ones dogs, no matter what breed, trained to respond to voice commands before allowing the dogs off-lead anywhere (outside ones own secure yard at home). Owning dogs requires taking responsibility. And yes, tragedies sometimes happen to beloved pets. Being angry while grieving for the loss of pets is understandable. Blaming others for these losses and making others responsible for our choices is not.

  3. To quote Voltaire: Perfect is the enemy of good

    The Dog Park will never be perfect. Let’s hope that anger and lawyers don’t destroy a good park that has made a lot of people and dogs very happy.

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