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The Three Best Dog Parks in Philadelphia

  • By: Larry Lefkowitz
  • Published: February 27, 2014

With so many benefits to taking dogs to the dog park, as opposed to a stroll down the sidewalk, it is no wonder that dog parks are gaining in popularity. Dog parks are great places for condo and apartment dwellers. There are no such places for dogs that live in that type of housing either. Being at a dog park off a leash sure beats those walks on hard concrete every day while sniffing fire hydrants and trees on narrow strips of grass. In a park, a dog will certainly get the exercise that it needs. It might even fall asleep in the car on the way home.  They’re likely to behave better at home too. Dog parks are also great locations for community-related dog activities.

Here are several of the best dog parks in the Philadelphia area:

Schulykill River Park Dog Run: The only downside to Schulykill is that it’s near train tracks. Rumbling loud noise and vibration from trains on the tracks along with train horns might make some dogs nervous. What’s the upside? For humans, it’s the synthetic surface that they call K9 Grass there. That translates into no muddy dogs entering your car or dwelling. For people, Schulykill has a great view of the river. Like kids, dogs get thirsty too, so there’s a great water fountain. Separate areas are even set aside for large dogs and small dogs. A total of 15 acres of dog park will give you some exercise too. This is a great place for events that both you and your dog will look forward to returning to.

Rolling Hill Park:  This park is huge. It’s more than twice the size of Schulykill. Both you and your dog are going to need a nap when you get home from this place. It’s a scenic park with fenced, off-leash trails. Don’t wear flip-flops to this park.  There’s a great creek running through the place that a water dog is going to love. Large dogs are in their element at Rolling Hill.

Seger Dog Park: Seger is a neighborhood jewel in Philly. The not-for-profit corporation that operates it does whatever it can do to continually improve the park. It’s sponsored by members, and those are the same people who work to improve the park. Wood chips are on the ground, so those will help keep your dog’s paws clean unless its raining. Your dog might not care whether it’s raining or not. That might just be added fun. Take notice that a train runs by this park too. Compared to Schulykill and Rolling Hill, this park is tiny, but it’s in the middle of the city and cared for by dedicated volunteers.

Potential Issues at Dog Parks

For people who use dog parks, there’s always an issue of aggressive dogs, dog fights and people getting bitten when trying to break up dog fights. Of course, a person’s dog might get seriously injured in an attack too, so that just compounds the medical bill problem. People and dogs get injured at dog parks every day, but in many parks, you’ll need to sign a waiver and hold harmless agreement just to get past the front gate. Even if you’re not asked to do that, you’ll see warning signs that might legally operate to warn you that you’re assuming certain risks while on the property.

Suing a Dog’s Owner

Given how owners and operators of dog parks protect themselves from liability, it’s unlikely that the victim of a dog attack would prevail in a personal injury lawsuit against a park. In Pennsylvania, the owner or keeper of a dog can be held liable for injuries to another person or dog if he or she knew of their dog’s dangerous propensities and failed to take appropriate measures to keep the dog from attacking or even just jumping up and knocking a victim down. That rule applies in leash-optional dog parks too, especially for a dog with a vicious disposition. An owner with a dog like that should simply not take their dog to a dog park.

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Larry Lefkowitz

About the Author Larry Lefkowitz is a Family Law and General Practice attorney who specializes
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