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Tragedy at French Lake Park

Very Sad News to Report! On August 20th at around 3:45 p.m., we had our first confirmed fatality at French Lake Dog Park. A 6-year-old Chihuahua named “Roxy” was killed near the front entrance after being attacked by two dogs. The primary aggressor was believed to be a female Staffordshire Terrier (white with brown spots) which killed Roxy, who was pronounced dead upon her arrival at the vet minutes later due to a punctured lung. The person with the aggressor dog was a white middle-aged woman with light hair.

For a multitude of reasons too long to list here, aggressive and/or uncontrolled dogs are neither wanted nor welcomed at French Lake Dog Park. It is “strict liability” for dogs who cause injuries to others (people or dogs) at this park, and the  owner faces responsibility for vet bills approximating $400.00, PLUS possible citation, banishment, and/or quarantine from the City of Federal Way.

Many of us long-term patrons of this park (including this one) have noticed an observable downturn in the level of responsibility over and control of dogs many owners have exhibited in this park over the past several months. All who enter this park must understand that they need to control and supervise their dogs at all times, that means you are able to see your dog and exert immediate voice control over your dog whenever they are in this park. The actions (or failure to act) of the park’s patrons will determine what kind of  environment we have in this park, now and in the future.

If anyone has further information about this incident or anyone involved, please contact Federal Way Animal Control at      253 835-7387.

P15-Roxy Edited for PP Web Page (2)



2016 Calendar contest

Get your cameras out and start snapping pictures of your dog(s) for the seventh annual Park Pals calendar photo contest! Send your favorite picture(s) of your dog playing, sleeping, enjoying the park, etc. The front cover winner will be awarded a free calendar!

Changes from 2015 contest

• Entry fee has been eliminated.
• Photo can feature only one dog.

In the past we’ve allowed people to enter multiple photos featuring the same dog. The committee has then picked one of those photos. We’ve seen some beautiful photos of the same dog and it can be challenging to pick one to be entered in the calendar contest. This year the dog’s owner gets to make the decision as to which photo to enter.

• Contest is open only to patrons of French Lake Park in Federal Way.
• Only digital photos will be accepted. Photos must be 800 pixels wide or larger and not modified. (Our editor will make any necessary corrections for lighting, color, etc.)
• Owner can enter only one photo per dog. If you have two or more dogs, you can submit a photo of each dog.
• No humans are allowed in photo. People’s hands, etc. should not show in picture.
• No copyrighted photos will be accepted.
• No professional photographer advertising will be permitted.
• If photo is submitted by person other than owner, owner’s permission is required.
• Photos must be received by contest deadline: Monday, September 21, 2015.
• Photos will be used on Park Pals’ website.

To enter contest:
Fill out the online form and attach your photo(s).

Memorial page
If your dog passed away after September 2014, fill out the memorial entry form. His/her photo will be placed on the memorial page.



  • Do submit the original photo. The calendar editor will make any lighting, cropping, etc., changes needed.
  • You can use a digital camera or even a cell phone to take pictures. The winning photo two years ago was taken with a cell phone.
  • The dog is the focus of the picture, not the background scenery.
  • If you submit a photo from the index of a CD, the photo will pixelate when enlarged.

The following photo was taken in 2006. The photo shows a group of people and dogs. If the photo were to be submitted as an entry and the Airedale (photo center) was the dog entered, the photo pixelates when enlarged.

Mandy cropped to 6X4Mandy Cropped





It’s been 10 years!

Way back in  2005, dog-loving French Lake Park patrons (many of whom had been using the park as an “unofficial” dog park) convinced  the Federal Way City Council to authorize the park as a city-approved off-leash park on a 12-month trial basis. An ordinance approving that trial took effect in July, 2005.

In spring 2006, park patrons learned that the city park staff wanted to extend the trial period. Park Pals (at that time, our informal park patrons’ group) and concerned users persuaded members of the Parks, Recreation, & Public Safety Council Committee to end the trial period and recommend that the park receive official off-leash status. The  City Council approved the revision and passed an ordinance  in the summer of 2006 making French Lake Park the official off-leash dog park in Federal Way.

Driven largely by volunteer and patron efforts, numerous fund-raisers  by Park Pals (since 2007 a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit), generous individual donations and with some wonderful support by several Federal Way businesses, the park has been significantly upgraded. At its inception, the park had waste baskets only at the front gate and directly up the hill, approximately 75 feet into the park. Since the park’s inception:

*five “doggie”stations (waste baskets and plastic waste pick-up bags) have been added;

*five benches have been added

*a water fountain was installed in 2012.

*several stainless-steel water bowls have been added

*this winter, a much-cherished water hydrant was installed near the fountain, enhancing the ability to quickly get water to take out to the water bowls spread throughout our 10-acre park.

The majority of these additions have been procured due to the efforts of Park Pals and its generous donors and volunteers.

Happy Anniversary, French Lake Dog Park!!!

Kiosk2006 Kiosk

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