Dogs Reported Off-Leash in City Parks, Could Cause Hazard to Users of Fields & Athletic Facilities

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City of Watertown The Watertown Health Department reminds people that dogs are not allowed in City Parks except for designated dog park areas.

The Watertown Health Department has received reports of loose pets in City parks, in violation of City rules.

Dogs that relieve themselves outside the dedicated dog parks can create a hazard for people, said Watertown Health Director Larry Ramdin.

“We have been observing several pets loose outside of our dog parks in the grassed areas in the parks reserved for sports,” Ramdin said. “Dogs defecating in those parks poses a secondary risk to children who use the parks for recreation.”

According to the CDC, dog waste can spread multiple bacteria, germs, and even worms that can be harmful to humans, including Echinococcosis, Giardia, hookworms, and roundworm. Click here for more information.

Under the Watertown Animal Control Ordinance, dogs are not allowed on school property, cemeteries, athletic tracks, or playgrounds maintained by the City of Watertown. This includes all City Parks.

Dogs can be walked on-leash on the marked or paved path in the following parks.

• Whitney Hill Park
• Arsenal Park
• Linear Park (the path between Whites and Waverley Avenues)
• Saltonstall Park

Violators of these rules are subject to fines. Fines start at $50 and increase for each subsequent offense up to $300. Each offense is considered a separate offense, according to the Health Department.

Dog Parks

Watertown has two city-run dog parks where canines can be let off-leash within the designated, fenced in area:

Howe Dog Park (Pleasant Street & Bacon Street) Off-leash dogs are allowed in the fenced area only. The open field adjacent to the fenced area is off limits to dogs!

Filippello Park (Grove Street) There is a large fenced area for all dogs and a smaller fenced area for small dogs.

Responsible Dog Ownership

When outside of dog parks, all dogs must be on a leash, no matter how friendly or obedient the dog is.

“This law is especially important in our dense community. Leash laws protect our dogs and the public at large from harm,” the City of Watertown’s Responsible Pet Ownership guide says. “Over 4 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the United States, and more than 800,000 receive medical attention for dog bites.”

If a person or dog is bitten, remember to get the contact information for the owner of the dog that bit the person or dog.

Also, dogs must be kept off private property, including front lawns. And if your dog poops, make sure to pick it up immediately and dispose of it in your own garbage.

“Never place dog waste in a storm drain. This water is not sent to a treatment facility and is released directly into our waterways,” the responsible pet owner guide says.

All dogs and cats must be licensed with the City through and renewed
each year.

See the entire Responsible Pet Ownership guide below:

Responsible Pet Ownership by Charlie Breitrose on Scribd

2 thoughts on “Dogs Reported Off-Leash in City Parks, Could Cause Hazard to Users of Fields & Athletic Facilities

  1. I walk 3 miles daily, and it takes me from my apt on Waverley Ave to Charles River Road, and the park there….I have seen dogs off of their leashes MULTIPLE times, and when the owners are confronted , all I get is anger and attitude….so now I just walk on the opposite side of the street across from the river where the houses are so as to avoid having an argument with these dog owners who seem to have no regard for the rules… this is not a dog park! these folks seem to think that they are above the law….

  2. Most dog owners are responsible, but there are always those who truly believe that their dog will not bite anyone or that they, as the owner, does not have to pick up after it. True, if only ignorance was bliss!

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