Dog attack in Hamlin Park on September 12

Sunday, December 19, 2010

King County Regional Animal Services is investigating a dog attack that happened on September 12 in Hamlin Park.

An unnamed woman was walking her small dog in Hamlin Park, when she was attacked by an unleashed dog described as a long-haired black chow mix.

Glynis Frederiksen, Operations Manager, Regional Animal Services of King County, says that "Apparently the owner whistled for the dog and called it off the victim during the attack. It is not clear whether the owner knew the dog was biting, although the victim said she was screaming."

The victim had significant injuries and was transported to the hospital. Apparently the hospital reported the attack to Animal Services. The City of Shoreline was not notified until some time later and Shoreline Police were not involved.

It is our understanding that the victim is ok now, and there was no mention of her dog being harmed. King County Regional Animal Services worked with the victim in the case and pursued other investigative leads to try and identify the dog involved in the attack, but were not able to obtain any information that lead them to the party responsible.

Glynis Frederiksen says, "Unfortunately we didn’t receive any leads on this case. The victim did not see the dog’s owner, who disappeared following the attack. We tried looking through our licensing database for similar-looking dogs in the area, and talked with individuals at the park at different times but reached a dead end. We will certainly reopen the case if we have new information."
City staff say that they have reached an understanding with Animal Services that they will notify the City more quickly in the future and will partner with the City in the investigation.

3 comments:

Anonymous,  December 20, 2010 at 7:17 AM  

The City was notified on October 5 and finally has decided to ask the public for information, they have not right to put the onus on Animal Control Services since they were aware of this attack for months. The City Attorney and Parks Department elected NOT to inform the City Council and Parks Board for weeks after receiving my fax that included the poster I found in Hamlin Park on 10/4 asking for information related to the attack.

It is disturbing to find that the city staff continues to shift blame and provide misinformation, disinformation, lies, and distortions to the public.

Anonymous,  December 21, 2010 at 3:02 AM  

It's amazing to learn that this attack happened so long ago and we are just now hearing about it. I went through the Park Board minutes and found the following from the Oct 28th meeting, almost two months after the attack:

"Hamlin Dog Attack -
On a related issue, the Board asked for a brief report on the status of the recent
off-leash dog attack of a park user at Hamlin Park. Mr. Deal responded that neither
the dog nor its owner was seen again. The police were not contacted by the victim
so no police action has happened, though the incident was reported to King
County Animal Control and a description of the animal was passed along. Staff
hope that off-leash enforcement staff may have kept descriptive records of the
animals and owners that were being cited during a prior leash law enforcement
campaign that included Hamlin Park. A leash law enforcement contract for
Shoreline parks with an independent contractor is currently being developed."

Now several more weeks have gone by and we are hearing excuses. It sure would be nice to hear something like: We could have handled this better and have made internal process changes to assure all fully informed in a timely manner so a dangerous owner can be located and justice sought.

Maybe instead of hoping contracted services are being properly provided, there should be some oversight on the taxpayer money being spent. I expect the proposed contract include regular audits.

Anonymous,  December 22, 2010 at 6:57 PM  

Actually the dog may have been seen again, it just has not been possible to associate it with an address. I provided the information to several city staff members and Regional Animal Control Services, who elected not to respond to me at all.

Regional Animal Control Services, probably due to the Parks Board meeting discussion, posted on November 3, a notice in Hamlin Park asking for information on the attack; weeks after it occurred. The notice posted on October 4 was from a witness or friend of the victim.

The city AND animal control services are completely remiss in investigating this attack and enforcing the leash law in Hamlin Park.

Equally important is the fact that the city has elected to not site an off leash dog park on the east side of Shoreline and instead sited both off leash dog parks on the west side of Shoreline. This is completely irresponsible on the part of city staff, but par for the course. The volunteer off leash dog park committee identified more than several candidates for an off leash dog park on the east side of Shoreline but city staff have refused to follow through on any of these suggestions.

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