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Seattle dog owners beware: Keep those critters off the beach

The Seattle Animal Shelter says it will be conducting emphasis patrols on the city's saltwater beaches where dogs are not allowed. (Photo: KOMO News)

SEATTLE -- The Seattle Animal Shelter says it will be conducting emphasis patrols on the city's saltwater beaches, so beware, dog owners.

Dogs, whether they are leashed or unleashed, are not allowed on Seattle's public saltwater beaches.

The ban is intended to protect the shoreline and the animals who use it. Marine mammals like seal pups are often born in April and use the beaches to rest and stay warm, the Animal Shelter says.

The Regional Fisheries office said since last summer at least four seal pups in Seattle have shown signs of canine attacks. Two of them died and the other two are still being nursed back to health.

"Our intention is to make Seattle beaches safe for marine wildlife as well as for people without dogs," said Animal Control Officer Brett Rogers.

Dog interaction with shore birds can mean that birds are less likely to reach adulthood, the Animal Shelter says.

Uniform officers will be patrolling the beaches and violators could face citations.

"Since the beginning of March we've issued over 900 citations," said Rogers.

A first offense carries a $54 fine.

For a list of off-leash areas for dogs in Seattle, click here.


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