One by one, Santa Cruz County’s beaches are becoming off limits to off-leash dogs. The penalties for disobeying leash laws in these “No Paw Zones” can be up to $300, and Animal Control is stepping up enforcement efforts around the County.
With fewer safe outdoor spaces for dogs to exercise, play and socialize, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for pet owners to say on the right side of the law. Luckily, canine refugees can find sanctuary in one of Santa Cruz’s many dog parks.
Finding the right dog park can be a bit of a balancing act for both a dog and its human. Location, amenities, maintenance, safety, and the dogs and owners that frequent the parks are all considerations for finding the right dog park. Is there an area for small dogs? Are the fences high enough? Do I feel safe here? Are people being responsible for their dogs?
The good news is that there are a lot of dog parks to try out in Santa Cruz County. Some of the best are Chanticleer Dog Park, Scotts Valley Dog Park, Aptos Dog Park, and the sole dog beach in town, Mitchell’s Cove.
Whether you’re a newly ticketed refugee in search of a new home, or are a longtime dog park connoisseur looking to try out a hot new park, enjoy this guide to dog parks in Santa Cruz County.