It seems that in the state of Washington it is illegal to have dogs off-leashe on school property. Even if its 5am on a Labor Day Monday. I had gotten off work early and arrived home about 10 mins. to 5, the corgi's were giving me the "Don't even think your going to bed without walking us" stare so I thought it being 5am and Dark outside I'd just run them up to the school. Now this school share's a feild with another school and this is a big feild between the 2. So I'm a little obsessed with being able to see the corgi's and attached 3 lights to each. 1 on each side of the harness and 1 from their collars. I (to make sure they could see me) attached a light to my zipper and carrried a glow stick that flashes. We were lit up like x-mas tree's out there. I look over and in pulls a cop. I'm thinking what the heck? The cop flashes's his lights by my car so I hook the corgi's up and head over just to be informed of this rule..Then he leave's ruining our good time. I'm all for following the rules but give me a break. What was this cop wasting his time with me for? I drive a decent car was no where near the building's so it should have been very obvious I wasn't casing the joints...He must just hate blonde women walking cute little corgi's in the dark. And as for the LAW....I quess we know.

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Comment by Michelle on September 6, 2010 at 8:43pm
I know it is the law...but it just seems so wrong. Did he think that your were goin' "hey I think I'll got knock the school off...and I'll light myself up like a Christmas tree....Oh Oh Oh I'll take my dogs with me and light them up as well....I can put little vest on my corgis and they can help carry the pencils out of the school.... HAHAHAHA. I don't think we will see this story line on CSI. Glad he did not give you guys a citation!!! PS Enjoy your new pencils!
Comment by Nancy Geddes on September 6, 2010 at 5:54pm
I have been admonished by our county police and park rangers (once even by my neighbor across the street (who is from Paris)). Yes, there is a leash law. It is more and more difficult to find a venue in which to let them get their ya-ays out. How I wish I had acreage - but I don't. We only had nightmares with the two corgis at the dog park so I am not going their with my expanded pack of three. The officer is upholding the standards of the law and I'd love to see the glow in the dark corgis!!!! All the best from Williamsburg, VA: Nancy, Bear, Tasha and Linus
Comment by Carla on September 6, 2010 at 3:32pm
@Nicola Porter - I think it upsets people that, when reasonable precautions are taken to engage in (mild) infractions of the law in ways that do not interfere with the (likely unrelated) original intent of said law, that law enforcement agencies spend time and energy imposing that law in irrational ways. Further to this, many people see the enforcement of unrelated infractions of law as wasteful of the time and energy that could be spent on other, more important matters.

While law and criminal policy are always necessarily black and white, reality is not. People hope that enforcement officials have the good sense to enforce law in reasonable ways that account for the discrepancy between the grayness of reality, and the harsh dichotomies set up in criminal codes. While it is absolutely “within his right” as a police officer to do such things, most agents working in criminal justice endeavors distinguish between the “spirit” or “intent” of law, and its actuality. This means understanding what the original intent of the law is, and distinguishing that from mild infractions that likely cause no overall harm to society. This law was likely set up to discourage off-leash dogs in areas where small children were playing, to minimize harmful interactions between the two. It is unlikely that there were small children playing in the middle of the night, thus eliminating the interaction this law was created to prevent.

As someone who has worked shift work in the past, I can say that at 5:00 in the morning, there are, among other things, numerous dangerous drivers on the street that deserve some law enforcement attention. Street racing, drunk drivers and driving erratically from lack of sleep are common at this time of day, and I think many people see those activities as more deserving of the time and energy of police officers.
Comment by Dominique on September 6, 2010 at 3:07pm
I love the lighting idea - I don't work the graveyard shift, but it'll start getting so it's dark when I get up.
Comment by Geri & Sidney on September 6, 2010 at 3:01pm
The officer was just enforcing the rules, I'm sure he doesn't hate you. I'm glad you got off with a warning, a fine would have been a nasty surprise. I'd love to see a video of them all lit up though!
Comment by Nicola Porter on September 6, 2010 at 1:47pm
I am quite surprised at the responses to this, this was due diligence on the officers part. If you were an officer and while on your rounds see something illegal then it is his right as an law enforcer to do this. No matter how you feel or embarrased you were the right response is to stop doing whatever it is you are doing that is illegal. How about if another citizen saw the officer do nothing, that leads to people doing whatever they want whenever they want.
Comment by Alison Prasavath on September 6, 2010 at 1:00pm
I'm so sorry to hear that. Apparently he had nothing better to do at 5:00 in the morning. That is just frustrating. I'm sure I posted this comment a while back about Noodles and I being kicked out of my nephew's t-ball game and Noodles was on his leash playing with my youngest nephew who was 1 at the time. A gentleman came over and told me that I wasn't allowed to have my dog there and I told him there were no posted signs. He said that is correct, but they (the league) decided this year not to allow any dogs there for fear of someone being bit. He told me I could stand at the other side of the field (which meant I couldn't be around anyone and I couldn't watch the game). I just decided to leave. I thought, people's younger kids were running in to the field while the games were being played, but my dog, who was leashed, not barking and minding his own business got kicked out of the game. It really upset me.
Comment by Carla on September 6, 2010 at 12:44pm
It could be worse - my city has a bylaw that no dogs (whether ON or OFF leash) are allowed on school property. You can get fined just walking your dog through a school field.

Obviously the law is there for a reason, but it is a bit ridiculous to expect at 5 in the morning that young children would be playing in the same field. I also agree that cleaning up is not really the issue - there are plenty of people who walk their dogs on-leash in my neighbourhood that aren't cleaning up after their dogs.
Comment by Jane Christensen on September 6, 2010 at 12:06pm
Can you send a picture of you and the dogs in your new garb??? hehe!
Comment by Beth on September 6, 2010 at 11:36am
I understand how you feel, and also understand the rules. We got gigged once (no fine though) at 7am on a freezing cold winter morning while it was still dark out, for being off-leash in an on-leash park. The thing is, the dog-walkers and joggers help keep the criminal element out of the park, and who else is using the park when it's 10 degrees out pre-dawn in February? And not cleaning up is not the issue here, since on-leash dogs are at least as likely to not be cleaned up after as off-leash dogs.

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