The Dog Park

The Cesar Chavez Dog Park occupies an area of approximately 17 acres in the north-central portion of the park.  It is the only area in the park where dogs are allowed off leash.  The Dog Park provides dispensers for doggy waste bags, a water fountain with water dishes, and a hose for washing dogs.  A bulletin board, three picnic areas and a porta-potty lie within the Dog Park.  

Park rules provide that owners must leash dogs from the park entrance to the off-leash area.  Dog feces must be picked up regardless of where deposited.  There are doggy waste bag dispensers at several locations outside the Dog Park, marked with a dog-paw icon on the map.  Inside the Dog Park, dogs must be under voice control and within sight of their owners at all times.  If dogs become aggressive, they must be put on leash.  To prevent damage to the landfill cap, dogs must not dig holes; if they do, owners are responsible for filling them up.  

The Dog Park is not currently fenced, and there is no separation for small and large dogs.  Visitors should be aware that some Dog Park boundary signs and markers may be damaged or missing.  All of the markers shown on the map on the southern boundary of the Dog Park, present as recently as 2016, are missing and awaiting replacement as of the spring of 2018.  An important boundary marker on the northwest side, on the east-west trail linking the north-south valley trail inside the Dog Park with the north-south ridge trail outside the Dog Park, is missing and awaiting replacement as of the spring of 2018.  Markers downslope from the Cesar Chavez Memorial Solar Calendar are invisible due to the growth of vegetation around them.  The Solar Calendar lies outside the Dog Park.  

Here are relevant sections of the Berkeley Municipal Code:

10.04.120 Dogs in public playgrounds and parks prohibited–Impoundment required–Exception.

A.    Except in an area specifically set aside and designated by the City Council as a “dog park,” or “off-leash” area, it is unlawful for any person to permit any dog, whether or not such dog is licensed, to be in or upon any public playground or park maintained by the City, unless such dog is securely restrained by a substantial leash not to exceed six feet in length. Dogs are not permitted in sand or wood chip covered play equipment areas or in totland or other fenced tot play areas or in the Berkeley Rose Garden under any circumstances. Any dog found in or upon any playground or park as hereinafter designated, except those meeting the above criteria shall be impounded.

B.    In any “dog park” or “off-leash” area set aside and designated as such by the City Council, no more than four dogs per owner/guardian, or per responsible party shall be allowed at any one time, and the owner/guardian, or responsible party, must be physically present at all times. Any dog whose owner/guardian, or responsible party, is not physically present shall be impounded pursuant to Section 10.04.200 of the Berkeley Municipal Code.

C.    The provisions of this section shall not apply to dogs being used by disabled individuals as service animals. (Ord. 6627-NS § 1, 2001: Ord. 6568-NS § 1, 2000: Ord. 6460-NS § 1, 1998: Ord. 5983-NS § 1, 1990: Ord. 5950-NS § 1, 1989: Ord. 5679-NS § 1, 1985: Ord. 5599-NS § 1, 1984: Ord. 5239-NS § 1, 1980: Ord. 4372-NS § 10, 1968)  § 1, 1984: Ord. 5239-NS § 1, 1980: Ord. 4372-NS § 10, 1968)

10.04.091 Carrying instrument for removal of dog feces and actual removal of such feces required.

A.    Any person having custody of a dog while on public property, including any easements, and public parks, and private property not owned by such person shall at all times carry an instrument suitable for removing and disposing of any feces which may be deposited by said dog and shall remove any such feces which may be deposited by such dog while on such property.

B.    The provisions of this section shall not apply to dogs being used by the blind as guide dogs, or service dogs that are assisting disabled persons who are unable to remove such feces. (Ord. 6627-NS § 1, 2001: Ord. 6568-NS § 1, 2000: Ord. 6467-NS § 2, 1998: Ord. 5205-NS § 3, 1979: Ord. 4372-NS § 13.1, 1968)  

10.04.180 Interference with impoundment prohibited.

It shall be a misdemeanor for any person to rescue any animal, or in any way interfere with any City employee authorized to impound any animal, while he or she is impounding or attempting to impound an animal. (Ord. 6568-NS § 1, 2000: Ord. 5716-NS § 3 (part), 1986: Ord. 4372-NS § 16, 1968)

10.04.200 Impounded dogs–Care and disposition.

All impounded dogs shall be humanely cared for and shall be supplied with sufficient food, water and other necessary care. All impounded dogs which are not reclaimed by their owners/guardians shall be kept for a period of five days after the giving of notice of impounding to their owners/guardians. In any case where the owner/guardian of the dog is unknown, and the dog is not reclaimed, such dog shall be kept for a period of five days after impounding. Any impounded dog that has not been reclaimed within the period herein specified, may be sold at public or private sale or humanely destroyed.

Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary set forth herein, any impounded dog which is suffering from rabies or an incurable disease shall be forthwith humanely destroyed, and any impounded dog which is suspected of suffering from rabies or an incurable disease shall remain impounded for a sufficient period of time to determine whether or not it is in fact suffering from said diseases. (Ord. 6627-NS § 1, 2001: Ord. 4511-NS (part), 1970: Ord. 4372-NS § 19, 1968)


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