Pets Must Be On Leash

Bringing pets to the Capitol Hill Parks is one of the common uses of the parks. It is important to remember, however, that there are responsibilities associated with these activities.

The following are prohibited:

  1. Possessing a pet in a public building, public transportation vehicle, or location designated as a swimming beach, or any structure or area closed to the possession of pets by the superintendent. This shall not apply to guide dogs accompanying visually impaired persons or hearing ear dogs accompanying hearing-impaired persons.
  2. Failing to crate, cage, restrain on a leash which shall not exceed six feet in length, or otherwise physically confine a pet at all times.
  3. Leaving a pet unattended and tied to an object, except in designated areas or under conditions which may be established by the superintendent.
  4. Allowing a pet to make noise that is unreasonable considering location, time of day or night, impact on park users, and other relevant factors, or that frightens visitors by barking, howling, or making other noise.
  5. Failing to comply with pet excrement disposal; in all areas of the park pet excrement shall be removed or deposited in a refuse container by the person(s) controlling the pet or pets.

Further Information:

  • Pets or feral animals that are running-at-large and observed by an authorized person in the act of killing, injuring or molesting humans, livestock, or wildlife may be destroyed if necessary for public safety or protection of wildlife, livestock, or other park resources.
  • Pets running-at-large may be impounded, and the owner may be charged reasonable fees for kennel or boarding costs, feed, veterinarian fees, transportation costs, and disposal. An impounded pet may be put up for adoption or otherwise disposed of after being held for 72 hours from the time the owner was notified of capture or 72 hours from the time of capture if the owner is unknown.
  • Pets may be kept by residents of park areas consistent with the provisions of this section and in accordance with conditions which may be established by the superintendent. Violation of these conditions is prohibited.
  • This section does not apply to dogs used by authorized Federal, State and local law enforcement officers in the performance of their official duties.
dog wearing a BARK Ranger bandana

NPS Photo

Become a B.A.R.K. Ranger!

The popular BARK Ranger program is now at Lincoln Park!

We all love our dogs, and our dogs love us. They love to be with us as we soak in the sunlight and birdsong of natural green spaces and historical sites, such as those at our National Capital area parks. Now, our very, very good dogs can be recognized for their behavior by becoming official B.A.R.K. Rangers!

What are B.A.R.K. Rangers?

Any pet can be a B.A.R.K. Rangers, as long as they and their owners represent the height of responsible and respectful behavior. This includes

  • Bag your pet’s waste
  • Always leash your pet
  • Respect wildlife
  • Know where you can go

To become a B.A.R.K. Ranger, your pet will need to follow the ideals of the B.A.R.K. Ranger program and take a pledge (you can do this on their behalf). Once they’ve done so, they can receive their dog tag, which hooks right onto their collar! Check our calendar for a B.A.R.K. Ranger pop-up event to earn your dog tag or email us for a brochure and tag.

Last updated: May 21, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

National Capital Parks-East
1900 Anacostia Drive SE

Washington, DC 20020


(202) 359-1717
The Capitol Hill Parks are a part of the portfolio of parkland and historic sites of National Capital Parks-East.

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