New York City’s parks have gone to the dogs – this time, officially.
The city voted to allow dogs to run free in all city parks before 9 a.m., seven days a week. New York City dogs had been allowed to roam leash-free from 9 p.m. until 9 a.m. in most public parks for more than 20 years, but the off-the-books practice came under fire when a group of citizens challenged the tradition.
“Give your dog an extra treat today, because off-leash is the law of the city of New York now!” says Matthew Greller, of NYC Dog, which represents 35,000 dog owners who pushed for the off-leash law. Greller says the law makes New York City a world leader in off-leash privileges.
Some areas, including certain wilderness areas, ball fields, tennis courts, pools, and playgrounds, will remain off limits to canine guests.
Owners must show proof that their dogs are licensed and vaccinated against rabies, and all dogs must remain in sight of their owners.
Fines for various infractions range from $200 to $400.