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Off-Leash Dogs in the GGNRA

Pet Food Express continues to support an off-leash Golden Gate National Recreation Area.


Pet Food Express GGNRA Support Summary
Photo by Mark Rogers Photography


  •  Areas where our dogs have been welcome to walk or play off-leash for decades could be severely cut or banned outright under the latest GGNRA dog plan. The new rules would affect off-leash as well as on-leash access at Crissy Field, Fort Funston, Muir Beach, Rancho Corral de Tierra on the slopes of Montara, and many other park lands.
  • The San Francisco Board of Supervisors recently unanimously passed a resolution objecting to the GGNRA plan, which prompted Sierra Club head Arthur Feinstein to say that the board is pandering in order to “gain points with a minority of extremist dog owners” (SF Gate, “Park Service Not Around to Hear From Dog Lovers” 10/22/13).  However, SF dog-owners are far from being a small group, with the 2010 census confirming that there are actually more dogs than children in San Francisco. We believe that as responsible citizens, we must be realistic and fore-thinking about how to accommodate nearly 120,000 local dogs in a city with limited space.
  • There hasn’t been a single peer-reviewed, site-specific study - as required by law - that supports such a drastic restriction of dog-friendly areas. The GGNRA should be obligated to provide a factual report before they pass legislation.
  • The Golden Gate National Recreation Area was set up to be a RECREATION AREA for a densely populated, urban area. These trails and beaches have been set aside for dog walking since the original pet policy in 1979.
  • If the dog management plan is adopted, the majority of the Bay Area’s dogs will have to find somewhere else to go, overcrowding the few dog parks available. That will create more dog-related problems than the GGNRA proposal allegedly solves.
  • We are not suggesting unlimited dog walking access, and we advocate responsible dog ownership in all GGNRA lands. But there is no credible reason to deny fair and reasonable access for both on- and off-leash dog walking that has taken place on GGNRA land for more than 50 years. 


As a company – and more personally, as dog lovers who are alarmed by the suggested changes - Pet Food Express feels strongly about this issue, and has been a proud participant in the cause of keeping the GGNRA off-leash.  In the first half of 2014, we assisted this movement in a myriad of ways:

  • Leading up to the San Francisco Town Hall Forum on GGNRA Dog Management Plan, and immediately after, we devoted the main page of our company website to educating the public and generating support.
  • Pet Food Express’s booth space at the Cow Palace Dog Show was dedicated to collecting signatures and increasing awareness regarding GGNRA's proposed plan.
  • Beginning the last week of January and throughout the month of February, we hosted dog group volunteers at information tables in many of our locations.
  • In February, we joined with Supervisor Scott Wiener on radio ads which broadcast on KFOG, as well as running ads in the Marina Times.
  • Postcards protesting the changes were provided to interested customers in all stores within the affected area of the Bay. Our stores were also designated drop-off locations for postcards to policy-makers, and the cost of postage assumed by Pet Food Express, to ensure that every off-leash supporter who wished to be heard would be. The National Park Service later confirmed that by the time the public comment period ended on February 18th, they had received 3000+ postcards from our customers.
  • Banners and posters were distributed to Pet Food Express stores in San Francisco and Marin to raise customer awareness.

We are just one of the many groups opposing the GGNRA plan. Other opponents of the proposed changes:

U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier
San Francisco Board of Supervisors (unanimous)
San Francisco SPCA
Marin Humane Society
Marin Unleashed
DogPAC of SF

and many more…

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