Love em’ and Leash em’. Be a good neighbor
Your dog may be your best friend but that doesn’t mean everyone wants to get to know them. Did you know, the number one concern THPRD’s Park Patrol responds to on a regular basis are complaints of off-leash dogs. It’s important that all guests feel free to enjoy and experience our shared park spaces and you can help make that happen by following the rules and keeping your dog leashed.
Your dog running loose may seem like no big deal but to others it can be an unwelcome or scary experience. Not everyone feels safe around dogs and it’s important we all respect that we share our park spaces.
It’s the Law
In Washington County, all dogs MUST be leashed and under your physical control when not on private property or in designated off-leash dog parks. The leash must be 7 feet or shorter. It is a violation of both the county’s ordinance and THPRD rules to allow your dog to be off-leash on park property outside of designated off-leash spaces. You can be subject to a $160 citation from the county or face a possible exclusion order from THPRD property.
Not all Dogs Like to Socialize
One of the most common complaints THPRD hears is from owners of dogs, following the leash rules, who are upset about an off-leash dog who approached their dog. Some dogs may be nervous, reactive, fearful, or in-training. Some have been attacked by a dog before and are fearful of dogs approaching them.
Off-Leash Dog Parks are Available
THPRD offers three off-leash dog parks: Hazeldale Park, Winkelman Park, and PCC Rock Creek. We are looking to expand off-leash designated dog options and hope to open additional fenced dog runs soon. Please visit www.thprd.org to learn more about what is available.
To respond to the numerous park users who have reached out, THPRD staff are working on a plan of action to encourage all park visitors to respect the leash rules. You can expect to see more signage and reminders at problem locations this spring and summer. Park Patrol will be spending the month of June handing out reminders and encouraging all guests to follow the rules. As the summer progresses, Park Patrol will be issuing exclusions to repeat violators, so please be sure to respect the leash rules.
The reality is with more than 120 parks, 1,500 acres of natural areas, and 51 miles of trails, Park Patrol staff cannot be everywhere and respond to all reports of off-leash dogs. That’s why it’s important that we all respect the rules and remember the parks are there for everyone to feel safe and enjoy. Thank you for doing your part to make our parks welcoming for everyone.
To report a concern to Park Patrol please call 971.246.0169. For more information, visit www.thprd.org