The Corps and Fido

By Erin Jimenez

Labor Day is almost upon us and you all know what that means…fun in the sun! While everyone is gearing up to set off with their families to fun vacation locales, here at the Corps we often get questions about our pet policy. Because we understand how important your fur babies are to you, we wanted to take a quick moment to advise you of our pet policy.

Corps parks are an exceptional natural resource for people across the nation. As such, the Corps has certain rules in place in order to ensure that all visitors have a fantastic time. While many pet owners would like to take their animals to as many places as they can, certain areas within the parks are off limits to furry friends.

These areas include swim beaches, playgrounds, and sanitary facilities. The only exception to this rule would be service animals. In addition, in order to ensure that both dog owners and those without dogs have a good experience pet owners need to pick up after their animals. Dogs are also not allowed to run around off leash and the leash cannot be greater than 6 feet long, they are not to be left unattended, they cannot bark excessively, and owners must maintain control over their pets at all times. All this information is in accordance with Title 36 CFR 327.11.

An animal must meet certain classification requirements as stipulated under Federal regulations in order to be allowed in public areas. The 3 most common classification types are: service animals, emotional support animals, and therapy animals.

Water safety isn’t just for humans, it’s for pets too!

Service Animals

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, service dogs are defined as dogs that have been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability.  The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person’s disability.

ESA and Therapy Animals

According to the ADA, animals under this classification provide comfort just by being with a person; they have not been trained to perform a specific job or task. So they would not be considered service animals.

We want everyone to enjoy Labor Day weekend at our parks, so whether you are coming with a dog or not, please be courteous and be safe.

To view Title 36 CFR 327.11 please visit:

For more information about Service, ESA, and Therapy animals please check out the following sites:


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