Like many others, Snoqualmie resident Simone (who asked her last name not be included) is afraid of dogs, but said she respects the love dog owners have for their pooches.
Simone was recently walking the paved path that wraps around the soccer fields at Jeanne Hansen Community Park when a big dog ran across the large field right at her. She said she froze. The dog sniffed and ran back toward its owner. Her heart continued to pound long after the dog had left.
Simone said she approached the dog’s owner, who had not noticed the encounter, to let him know about her fear of dogs and that she didn’t appreciate the dog running at her as the park is not an off-leash dog park. The owner told her he was sorry she was scared of dogs, but that he had the right to let the dog run free as the area is an off-leash park.
A summary of the incident was posted on the Snoqualmie Ridge Facebook group and it seems many others share Simone’s fear of dogs – and many others have noticed off leash dogs running the fields at Jeannie Hansen Park…. and other parks in Snoqualmie. One person noted an encounter that even led to a dog bite.
Clearing up Possible Confusion about Jeanne Hansen Park – it is NOT an off-leash Dog Park.
Years ago, before construction began on Jeanne Hansen Park, a collaborative effort led to a small area of the empty land parcel being fenced off and utilized as a temporary off-leash dog area. At the time Murray Franklin Homes worked with local dog owners to establish the small off-leash area under the condition that the when park construction began, the off-leash area would cease to exist.
Now that the land is a City of Snoqualmie Park, city leash laws apply – as they do at all parks except Three Forks Dog Park. Signage at Jeanne Hansen Park, which some say is bit limited, also states that dogs should be leashed and are not allowed on the park’s two synthetic turf fields – but the signs don’t specifically address the large grass field where Simone’s encounter occurred – and where dogs are often seen off-leash.
Regardless of signage, City of Snoqualmie municipal code requires dogs be on a leash at all times unless they are on the their owner’s property, in their car or at Three Forks Off-Leash Dog Park, which is the city’s only dedicated off-leash park.
Read more about leash laws and dog confrontations HERE.
According to city law, if you don’t leash your dog when out and about it’s a misdemeanor and you could potentially get a ticket. That doesn’t mean, though, that police officers go around looking for owners not obeying leash laws, but complaints could lead to officers confronting non-compliant owners.
If you want to let your pooch run free, Three Forks Dog Park is a great option. Yes, we know it’s not on the Ridge and you’ll have to drive a few miles to get there AND your dog might get wet or muddy, but many pooch owners say it’s a great option for their energetic four-legged friends.
Located at 39912 SE Park St across from Centennial Fields, Three Forks offers a grassy, well-maintained 8-acre park has a soft-surface walking path around the open running area with an amazing view of view of Mount Si.
As for Simone, she hopes more dog owners will realize Jeanne Hansen Park is NOT a place for unleashed dogs to run free – and that some in the community are afraid of dogs – and become sensitive to the effect their dogs can have on those who are fearful.