Off Leash Recreation Areas for Dogs

The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) supports off-leash recreational areas for dogs.  We believe that such areas (often called a Dog Recreation Space (DRS) or Off Leash Recreation Area (OLRA) provide many benefits to a community, including:

  • Improving the quality of life for families with dogs.  They make the community a nicer place to be.  Dog recreation spaces benefit the whole city or town, not just dogs and their families;
  • Segregating dogs in public areas away from residents who do not enjoy the company of dogs;
  • Making the surrounding area safer.  People walking dogs deter crime and act as a neighborhood watch group;
  • Reducing the time officials must spend enforcing leash laws;
  • Providing a positive recreational social outlet for both dogs and their owners;
  • Promoting public health and safety by providing a place for dogs and their waste.

There are many cities and towns in the United States and Massachusetts that have successful dog park systems, though most residents would agree that these spaces are still lacking in the Commonwealth.

The MSPCA has a small fenced-in dog area on our property that the Jamaica Plain community uses to exercise their dogs.  

Additional Resources:

MassDog, a network of independent dog-related community organizations.  The site also contains a list of dog park in Mass.

In Boston, several dog parks have been formed in the past several years pursuant to the City's ordinance.  These include:

The Joe Wex Dog Recreation Space (at Peter's Park) (South End) - www.peterspark.org
Ronan Park (Dorchester) - www.friendsofronanpark.org
Bark Park (South Boston) - www.sbbarkpark.org 

There are also efforts to create an off-leash space on the Boston Common.  Read this article for more information.