It's important that we all work together when visiting the park to make sure that our pups have a safe and enjoyable time. Below you will find some very important rules, answers to Frequently Asked Questions, as well as some suggestions for park etiquette.
If you encounter a questionable situation or incident at the park, or have a grievance, please report it to the board. If an altercation happens between dogs at the park, it's important to work together. Gather names and contact information. Also, ask for the names of witnesses.
Many avoidable situations/altercations at the park happen near the gate. Everyone needs to work together to create a safe environment for our dogs.
Do not enter or open the gate before dogs inside the park are pulled away from the gate. Pay attention to new visitors trying to enter the park when you are there. Restrain your dog and stagger their release so that new dogs are not overwhelmed by multiple dogs all at once.
BE THE PERSON YOUR DOG THINKS YOU ARE.
Visiting the park is a great opportunity to interact and bond with your dog. Your dog also depends upon you to advocate for them. You know your dog's quirks and fears. Dogs can't be expected to like every person, every dog and every situation. Pay attention to your dog and be prepared to step in before a situation escalates into something more unpleasant.
Owners are legally and financially responsible for any and all injuries to people or dogs caused by their pet. Dog owners/handlers must be at least eighteen (18) years of age in order to obtain a permit.
Do NOT share your key fob. Do not allow or bring in visitors to the park whose dog(s) are not registered. Doing so may result in the loss of your membership. Each dog must be registered and vetted prior to entering the park. If someone's key fob is not working, they need to contact BarkParkCoordinator@gmail.com or call (803) 994-9663.
Dog owners must remain with their dog(s) in the park at all times and keep their dog(s) in sight at all times. While not in the fenced area, dogs must be leashed.
All dogs must wear a collar/harness at all times.
Owners must immediately leash dogs showing aggressive behavior towards people or other dogs. Incidents of aggressive behavior should be reported to the management committee and may result in the loss of membership privileges.
POOP SCOOP POLICY: Dog owners must pick up and throw away dog waste
Bowls or other containers are not allowed inside the Dog Park. Watering sources are provided for use by Dog Park permit holders.
Human food, dog food, dog treats and dog chews are not allowed in the fenced area at any time.
Balls, frisbees and other dog toys are permitted provided the use of such toys does not provoke aggressive behavior.
Dogs must be spayed or neutered and current on shots (rabies/kennel cough/DHLPP). Puppies must be older than 6 months.
Smoking is not allowed inside the Dog Park.
Only dogs under 30 lbs. are allowed in the small dog fenced area.
MINIMUM AGE REQUIREMENT: Persons accompanying a permit holder inside the Dog Park must be at least ten (10) years of age and strictly supervised.
Can I get a day pass or come visit the park before I fill out the application?Our procedure only allows for registered members to enter NoMa Bark Park. This policy is for the health and safety of all who visit the park, and requires all dogs’ owners to submit required documentation before membership tags are issued. The regulation is in keeping with the requirements of the City of Columbia, which owns the land used by NoMa Bark Park as an off-leash area. Please try contacting one of the several other dog parks in the Columbia area. It’s possible one of those facilities does allow for day passes.
Why do I have to pay to register?NoMa Bark Park is a non-profit organization dedicated solely to operating and maintaining the off-leash dog park within Earlewood Park. Membership fees are set at a rate to simply cover the costs of keeping the Bark Park running. The price for membership is $40 annually. If you have more than one dog, each additional membership is $20.
Why do you need all this paperwork?Submitting the required documentation with your application helps ensure that all dogs entering the Bark Park are healthy and up-to-date on shots. In the rare event that an aggressive incident were to occur, it’s important that there be records indicating all dogs involved have received necessary vaccinations. This policy is in keeping with the requirements of the City of Columbia, which owns the land used by NoMa Bark Park as an off-leash dog park.
Why can’t children enter the Bark Park?As the Bark Park was being established, this policy was a primary concern of the City of Columbia when discussing the use of their land in Earlewood Park as a dog park. The Bark Park Board understands that many dogs are great with children and many children are wonderful with dogs, but having young kids in an enclosure with dogs off-leash could pose a safety risk. Founding members of the NoMa Bark Park Committee agreed to the Minimum Age Regulation required by the City of Columbia – and current Board members enforce this policy – so many dogs and their people can enjoy this wonderful space.
What if I see someone break the Bark Park Rules?NoMa Bark Park Board encourages owners to resolve issues that arise at the Park amongst themselves. If you see someone who forgets the rules (i.e., forgets to pick up poop) politely introduce yourself, remind them of the rule, and thank them when they comply with the rule. If a dialogue between owners is unsuccessful or if a person or dog is injured at the Park, the owners involved should submit a complaint to the Bark Park Board by emailing the Board Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do I do if I see aggressive activity from a dog(s) at the Bark Park?File an Incident Report located on our Grievance page. Please use this form to record and report any aggressive activity by a canine member that could endanger the health and/or safety of any dog or person entering the dog park. Responses will be forwarded to the Board Chair and Membership Coordinator.
What do I do if I have ideas for Bark Park improvements?The Bark Park Board, the group in charge of keeping NoMa Bark Park running, is comprised of several dedicated, dog-loving volunteers. The board meets often throughout the year to discuss Bark Park matters and is open to hearing from all Bark Park members. Ideas and concerns can be submitted via email to the Board Chair at email@example.com. Questions include if you are interested in volunteering or joining the Board, to request items or supplies for the park, or to report a needed repair.
Why must my dog be spayed or neutered?Intact males have a different smell than other dogs. Indeed " intact males retain the ability to mate and give of the scent of male, which can be considered a threat to neutered males" explains trainer and behavior consultant Karen Fazio. The hormone testosterone is what gives a dog his "maleness" scent. Interestingly, when dogs reach 10 months, there's a peak in this smell as testosterone levels in the adolescent male dog may be five to seven times greater than the levels of an adult! This "male" scent may cause neutered dogs to react negatively towards them causing tension and even aggressive displays. (Read more from Pethelpful.com...Why Is My Dog Aggressive Towards Intact Males?) Unneutered dogs should never be taken to a dog park. Since we can't predict the types of dogs that other people bring into the park, it's important that you take responsibility for your own pet. If your dog keeps attempting to mount another dog, you should remove your dog from the situation and take him elsewhere to play in a different area of the park. (Read more from Cesar Milan... Dog Park Problems Solved)
What are these large red plastic squares?These are dividers that are meant for herding livestock. They are there at the park to help break up dog aggression or dog fights. They also help to redirect dogs who fixate on another dog.