Dogs In The Park

The NYC Parks Department’s general rule for all park areas is that they allow dogs to be off leash from the time the park opens until 9:00 a.m. and from 9:00 p.m. until the park closes. Cadman Plaza Park has a synthetic turf green space; therefore, dogs are not allowed off leash south of the war memorial at anytime.

NYC Parks Department Policy:

  • Dogs must be on a leash (no more than six feet long) at all times, except in the designated off-leash area before 9am and after 9pm.
  • You must pick up after your dog and dispose of the waste in containers provided throughout the park.
  • You must prevent your dog from chasing birds, squirrels, and other animals.

Dogs are not permitted on the synthetic turf green space ball field at any time.

Respect the Park and Others

  • Keep an eye on your dog at all times. Only you are responsible for your dog’s actions.
  • Please remember that other park visitors may be afraid of your dog.
  • Do not allow your dog to run and jump on other people or dogs without an invitation.
  • Do not allow your dog to drink from park fountains.
  • Be good to the grass, heavy use in a given area compacts soil and damages the turf. Keep walking – you’ll see more and do less damage.
  • Please keep off wet grass. During and after a rainfall, topsoil is 20 times more vulnerable to compaction.
  • Off-leash Hours policy was a compromise for Parks resources between dog owners and dog haters. Well-socialized and exercised dogs benefit the entire City with less barking, less on-leash aggression, less tendency to become territorial, friendlier behavior towards people and other dogs.

The nearest dog run is Hillside Dog Park off Vine Street a 0.4 mile 8 minute walk.

State Laws

New York State law requires that dogs be vaccinated against rabies, and the New York City Health Code requires every dog owner/attendant carry with them proof of current dog license and rabies vaccination while in public. Dog owners may be fined for violation of these laws.

Failure to comply with any of these laws including the leash law can lead to a ticket from authorized employees of New York City’s Departments of Health, Sanitation, Parks and NYPD – so be careful!

For Non Dog Lovers

Doesn’t the City’s Leash Law prohibit dogs off-leash in public everywhere and always? Isn’t the Off-leash Hours policy illegal?
No to both.

These questions were finally and unequivocally put to rest by New York State Supreme Court Judge Peter J. Kelly’s written decision on November 30, 2006 in the case of Juniper Park Civic Association v. The City of New York, NYC Parks Department, when the judge concluded that the Off-leash Hours Policy always has been and continues to be legal and within the discretionary power of the New York City Parks commissioner. This ruling came from the failed legal attempt by the Juniper Park Civic Association, a small group in Middle Village, Queens, to eliminate Off-leash Hours recreation in all New York City parks.

Six days later, on December 5, 2006, the New York City Health Board heeded Judge Kelly’s written recommendation to amend the New York City Health Code to eliminate any discrepancy in agency regulations that could result in further lawsuits. The Health Board amended Section 161.05 of the Health Code (the “Leash Law”) to specifically grant the New York City Parks commissioner limited discretionary authority to allow dogs off-leash in New York City parks.