MSPCA Cuts Daytime Hours at On-Site Dog Park

A sign about restricting hours at the MSPCA's public dog park, taken Nov. 22, 2014.

Chris Helms

A sign about restricting hours at the MSPCA\’s public dog park, taken Nov. 22, 2014.

Public access to one of the few fenced-in areas for dogs in Jamaica Plain will be trimmed significantly starting next Monday.

The JP-based Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has several areas for dogs on its campus. It keeps the dog park tucked into the corner of South Huntington and Perkins open to the public.

The space is well-used, to say the least. Former grassy areas are now dirt.

Starting next Monday, the animal welfare group is closing the park from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each weekday. A sign on the gate cites overcrowding, noise and lack of parking as reasons.

An MSPCA spokesman said the decision was taken after many meetings and consultations with a dog park committee that includes local dog walkers.

“There are too many dogs in the park on every day of the week; the wear and tear on the grounds is obvious,” said Rob Halpin, MSPCA director of public relations. “And on top of that, dog park users park in restricted areas (and often on the grass) which eliminates parking for MSPCA staff and visitors.”

Among the few other fenced-in dog parks in JP is Beecher Street, though several parks are “unofficial” dog parks in the early morning and late afternoon.

An effort is underway to build a “state of the art” dog park near JP at the Stony Brook Reservation.