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Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

phone: 503-823-7529

1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

What kind of damage can unleashed dogs do to wildlife and habitat?

Off-leash dogs seriously compromise the health of parks and natural areas. Portland Parks & Recreation's designated off-leash areas are thoughtfully sited to avoid environmental impacts. Allowing even a single dog off-leash can disturb wildlife, and impact the habitat Portland Parks & Recreation works so hard to protect. 

  • Off-leash dogs disturb nesting areas and damage sensitive wildlife habitat 
  • Ground-nesting birds are particularly vulnerable to off-leash dogs 
  • Dogs urinating in nesting and sensitive wildlife habitats "marks" the territory, which makes it undesirable or uninhabitable to the wildlife living there
  • Dog fur/paws pick up seeds, which can spread invasive plant species
  • Unleashed dogs can chase and injure (or even kill) squirrels, ducks and other wildlife