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9611 SE 36th Street
Mercer Island, WA 98040
Phone: 206.275.7601
Fax: 206.275.7663
Email: mary.swan@mercergo. . .
Hours: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm (Mon - Fri)
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Leash Law Information

To report a pet incident or complaint, please call 206-275-7932 or email

To report a vicious dog, dog bite or injured animal, please contact the Regional Animal Services of King County at 206-296-PETS or email

Leash Law - Animal Control Ordinance

A summary of the law appears below. For the complete text of the Animal Code, please click here.

Dogs Are Not Allowed:
  • on any public school ground or associated school facilities,
  • any playground,
  • any sports court,
  • any sports field when practices, games or other organized activities are in progress. This applies to the sports field itself, not the spectator areas around the sports field.
  • in any public swimming area from May 1 to September 30. From October 1 through April 30, dogs are allowed in public swimming areas only if they are on a leash. The restrictions at public swimming areas apply only to the areas designated by sign for swimming, diving, or recreational bathing, not every location on the Island where there is water access. MICC 7.04.110
Dogs Must Be Leashed In:
  • Luther Burbank Park
  • the northeast quadrant of Pioneer Park
  • Deane’s Children’s Park (“Dragon Park”)
Dogs may be off leash, but under control, inside a designated off-leash area and there are also places in these parks where dogs are not allowed at all.

Where Dogs Can Be Leashed or Under Voice/Signal Control
For all other Mercer Island parks (except as specified above) and in designated off-leash areas, owners may choose to leash their dogs or keep them under control by using voice or signal commands defined as follows:
Under control” means the animal is on a leash or under voice and/or signal control so as to be thereby restrained from approaching any bystander or other animal or from causing or being the cause of physical or property damage when off a leash or off the premises of the owner. The animal is not under control if it charges, chases, jumps on, or displays aggression toward other people or animals, or behaves in a way that any reasonable person would find disturbing.
Under voice and/or signal control” means the immediate recall of an animal to the person in control of the animal when signaled or called. To be under effective voice and/or signal control, the animal must be within the sight of the person in control. MICC 7.04.020
Number of Dogs
One person may not have more than two animals whether under control or on leashes on public property. MICC 7.04.110


Off-Leash Areas (OLA's)

The City of Mercer Island Parks and Recreation Department hosts two off-leash areas (OLA’s) for dog owners and their pets to enjoy - one at Luther Burbank Park on the north end of the Island and one at the south end at Wildwood Park. Click here to learn more about off-leash areas (OLA’s).

Questions? Please contact


Did You Know?

  • There are over 35 parks on Mercer Island
  • Mercer Island has approximately 476 acres of parks and open space, over 300+ acres of which is open space, and 30 miles of trails
  • The City offers two designated off-leash areas (OLA’s), located at Luther Burbank Park and Wildwood Park
  • There are 1,642 licensed dogs on Mercer Island (2016)
  • 31% of all estimated dogs on Mercer Island are licensed
  • King County collected $43,428 in revenue in 2015 from Mercer Island dog licenses
  • 1988 = Year the City of Mercer Island’s current Animal Control Ordinance was adopted
  • 1980 = Year the City contracted with King County for Animal Control services
  • Each day 7 King County field officers and 2 sergeant patrol a service area that includes over 25 cities and extends over 2,200 square miles. The service area population is over 1 million residents. Field services are provided 24 hours, 7 days per week. Officers are on duty from 7:30 am to 6:30 pm daily with emergency services provided at other times by 2 on-call officers.
King County Animal Control provides the following services to over 34 cities:
  • Field Services:
    • vicious animal complaints
    • cruelty investigations
    • animal bites
    • injured animal rescues
    • "Dead-on-arrival" wildlife/livestock/cats/dogs
    • pet license sales
    • police department calls for assistance options
  • Shelter Services:
    • shelter and care of lost dogs and cats
    • shelter of owner released animals
    • coordination of shelter foster/rescue program
    • pet adoptions
    • care/behavior
    • Domestic Violence Agencies Assistance
    • owner requested euthanasia of pets
    • redemption of impounded pets to owners
Information collected by the City of Mercer Island and Regional Animal Services of King County - February 2016

The history of leash law ordinances on Mercer Island

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