Visiting Parks with Your Dog

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People love their dogs, and want to provide spaces for them to run free and socialize.  For this reason, the city has designated a safe off-leash area at the Centennial Way Dog Park, which is located adjacent to the Orange Memorial Park picnic area at the end of Memorial Drive.  Off-leash dogs outside of the fenced area enclosing the dog park are strictly forbidden in City parks and playgrounds.

The conduct of dogs in city parks and other public areas is prescribed by the city’s Municipal Code, which is available online, here:

Dogs must be kept on a leash, not to exceed 6 feet in length.  We also ask that owners pick up after their pet.  Failing to follow these policies may  result in a citation by the Police Department.  Individuals may report these concerns to the Police Department by calling (650) 877-8900 (non-emergency).

Dogs are  not permitted to run off leash in parks and ballfields, except for specifically designated dog run areas.

Relevant sections of the Municipal Code:

Section 9.04.070
Prohibited conduct: No owner or possessor of any animal shall cause or permit it to do any of the following: To be upon any public street, sidewalk, park, school ground, any public property or upon any unenclosed premises in the city unless the animal is properly licensed, if such licensing is required under this chapter, and under the control of the owner or possessor by being saddled, harnessed, haltered or leashed by a substantial chain, lead rope, or leash, which chain, lead rope or leash shall be continuously held by some competent person capable of controlling such animal. All domestic cats are exempted from the provisions of this subsection. (Ord. 1023 § 2, 1987)

Section 9.04.075
Removal of animal excrement from public parks and school yards. (a) No owner or person having custody of any dog or any other animal shall permit such dog or any other animal to defecate on any public park or public school yard within the city, unless excrement resulting from such defecation is removed immediately. (b) Any person walking or exercising a dog or any other animal in or upon any public park or public school yard shall have in possession an appropriate receptacle to retrieve any excrement should such animal defecate during such walk or exercise. (Ord. 1100 § 1, 1991)

Section 10.36.090
No person having the control or care of any dog shall suffer or permit such dog to enter into or remain in a park unless it is led by leash of suitable strength not more than six feet in length; and the owner and the attendant shall be responsible for any damage caused, in any event, by such dog, even if on a leash. (Ord. 675 § 8.4, 1974)

Section 10.36.095
Dogs prohibited in parks during special events. Notwithstanding Section 10.36.090, no dog, whether leashed or unleashed, shall be permitted within a city park on any day on which the park is host to a special event permitted under Section 10.36.210, unless the terms of the permit issued expressly allow for the presence of dogs, This prohibition shall not apply to any service animals, guide dogs, or Seeing Eye dogs used by a visually or mobility impaired park visitor. (Ord. 1358 § 1,2005)