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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-7529

1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

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Dogs for the Environment

Responsible pet ownership means more than licensing and vaccinating your pet. Here are some actions you and your dog can take to keep our beautiful city safe, healthy and enjoyable for all. 

Respect no-dog areas
No dogs, either on or off-leash, are allowed at Foster Floodplain Natural Area, Tanner Springs Park, Whitaker Ponds Nature Park, or the amphitheater at Mt Tabor Park. The wildlife habitat, water quality, and environment in these parks are particularly vulnerable to dog impacts. Dog owners help protect these parks by visiting them without their pets. 

Leash your dog
While your dog is your friendly, furry companion, other animals and even people may view dogs as a threat. Unleashed dogs can harm birds, amphibians, fish, and other wildlife. They may also disturb breeding areas or harass wintering wildlife causing them to use valuable energy reserves. Dogs running loose in natural parks also trample plants and create inappropriate trails. Worse, they can endanger themselves, other dogs, and people. Portland City Code requires that all dogs in parks must be kept on a leash unless in a designated off-leash area.

Scoop the poop
Dog poop is essentially raw sewage; it contains harmful organisms like E. coli, Leptospira, and roundworms. These organisms can be contracted by other dogs, wildlife, and even children. Bacteria from dog poop can wash into rivers and streams when it rains. City Code also requires that all poop must be picked up and disposed of into the proper receptacle. Violation of either leash or scoop laws will result in a fine of up to $150.

Off-leash areas
Every dog deserves the freedom to run, play, and socialize with other dogs. Portland Parks & Recreation offers 33 off-leash areas, ranking first in the country for dog parks per capita, according to the Trust for Public Land rankings. 

Parks are for everyone
Our parks and natural areas not only provide recreation and relaxation for people, children, and dogs, they also provide important habitat for fish and wildlife. Our parks are home to threatened salmon, salamanders, and birds. To protect these valuable resources, parks sometimes undergo restoration. You may notice fences going up near trails and streams; these fences are to protect parks from further degradation, and ensure the success of restoration efforts. Between 2002 and 2007, 36,500 volunteers gave 146,000 hours of their time to help restore Portland's natural areas. If you would like to get involved, volunteer opportunities are available throughout the city.