The director of the Off Leash Area Edmonds (O.L.A.E.) dog park says an Edmonds resident who is suing the city after his two dogs died at the park says he failed to keep his animals safe.
Christian Rothrauff was at the park at Marina Beach with his two Siberian huskies, Baron and Nugget, when they slipped around a fence and were hit by a train. Rothrauff told King 5 News that the city knew the dog park wasn’t secure, and he wants compensation.
Fencing at the dog park, which was recently renovated, was added at the south end of the designated off-leash area, which still has open access to the beach and Puget Sound.
“Mr. Rathrauff took his dogs to an off-leash area,” said Lori Parsons, director of O.L.A.E. “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 Rathrauff in his claim against the city of Edmonds, notes Parsons, since 2009 Rathrauff has taken his four huskies to the off-leash area two to four times per month for exercise. “Given the amount of time that he spent there,” said Parsons, “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 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.”