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