In this section, we have tried to gather all of the frequently asked questions regarding Leslie’s Retreat Park.  We have broken it out into three sections: Pooch Pass, Park – Rules and Regulations, and Park – General.  If you don’t find your answer here, please feel free to contact us using our online Contact Form.

Pooch Pass

Q: Where can I purchase my Pooch Pass?
A: Pooch Passes can be purchased from the Parks and Recreation Department located at 5 Broad Street, Salem. You can download your Pooch Pass application form HERE, mail it to 5 Broad Street in Salem, and for only $1 additional they will mail your Pooch Pass directly to you.  No need to visit their location.

Q: What is required to obtain a Pooch Pass?
A: To start, you need to fill out a Pooch Pass Application form which you can get HERE.  After you have filled out your application form, you will need to provide a copy of the following documents – City Dog License, Proof of Spay/Neuter, Certificate of Rabies Vaccination, Proof of Distemper Vaccination, and a $25 check payable to Salem Park & Recreation.  If you visit the 5 Broad Street location, you can also pay by cash or credit card.

Q: Do I have to be a Salem resident to get a Pooch Pass?
A: NO :) The park is open to any registered, spayed/neutered dog that is up to date on their vaccinations.

Q: How much does a Pooch Pass cost?
A: Pooch Passes are $25 per dog, per year. All funds go directly back into the maintenance and improvement of our parks!

Q: Why should I buy a pooch pass? I see other people who don’t have passes regularly go to the park.
A: The park’s maintenance and improvements are entirely funded by cost of the Pooch Pass as well as additional funds raised by SPACE.  Everything from dog poop bags, to annual cleaning and maintenance is funded from this money.  Without the continued support of our members, the park may not be able to continue to provide these services and amenities.

Q: Should I approach/confront people who don’t have a Pooch Pass?
A: Under no circumstances do we recommend confronting other users in any manner, including Pooch Pass registration.  Instead consider using our online  Contact Form to contact us and we can help facilitate communication with the Salem Dog Officer.  You can also contact him directly at (978)-744-0171 ext. 121 to report any issues.  If you are able to safely obtain a license plate number of the offender, this is the most useful tool in helping the Salem Dog Officer contact that individual.  We cannot stress enough to maintain your personal safety and to never put yourself at risk to obtain any information.

Park – Rules & Regulations

The following questions regarding the rules of the park are in accordance  with the Ordinance pertaining to Dog Park Use Regulations as adopted by the City Council or the City of Salem.  You can find a copy of these Ordinances under Section I Chapter 26-101 Use Regulations of Chapter 26, Article IV. Dog Park rules and Regulations:

Q: At what age can I bring my dog to the dog park?
A: A dog must be at least 6 months old to use the dog park.

Q: Are children allowed in the dog park?
A: For their safety, children under 10 are NOT permitted in the dog park. Children between the ages of 10 and 17 are permitted with an adult.  The dog park is a fast pace and unpredictable environment with dogs frequently running around in packs which can be a hazardous mix with small children and strollers.

Q: Can I keep my dog on a leash?
A: No, you must unleash your dog in the entry area BEFORE you enter either the small dog park or the general dog park. Leashed dogs can create a safety hazard to other dogs and owners by becoming tangled, or tripping others. Leashed dogs may also feel threatened by the unleashed dogs, and react by displaying aggressive behavior.

The following questions regarding the rules of the park are in accordance with the Ordinance pertaining to Dog Park Use Regulations as adopted by the City Council or the City of Salem.  You can find a copy of these Ordinances under Section II Chapter 26-10 Prohibitions of Chapter 26, Article IV. Dog Park Use Regulations:

Q: Is smoking permitted at the dog park?
A: No, smoking is not permitted in the dog park.  Violations are subject to a fine of $25 for the first offense and $50 for any subsequent offences.

Q: How many dogs can I bring at one time?
A: The City of Salem ordinance allows for up to 3 dogs per person at the park per visit.

Park – General

Q: I’d really like to get involved and volunteer my time and/or talents to improve the park! Who do I talk to?
A: We can always use extra volunteers! You can reach out to the Board of Directors in person or simply use the Contact Form on the website.

Q: Is any dog allowed in the small dog park?
A: No, your dog must be under 30 pounds to enter the small dog park.

Q: Does the park have any breed restrictions?
A: NO! The park does not have any breed restrictions. We ask that you exercise good judgement and not bring your dog to the park if you know they are commonly aggressive with unfamiliar dogs or people.

Q: When can I bring my dog to the park?
A: The park is open year round, from dawn until dusk.

Q: Can I bring treats into the park for my dog?
A: For safety reasons, no food is allowed inside the park.

Q: Who should be contacted if an incident occurs at the park?
A: If you have an issue that requires attention, please follow these steps:

  • If it is a safety emergency (e.g. a person or dog is seriously hurt or in immediate danger of being seriously hurt) please call 911.
  • If it is a situation which you are able to safely remove yourself from, please try to get a license plate number and make/model of the car for the person who owns the offending dog (or offending person). Use the Contact Form to provide the Board with an account of the incident and we will share with the Salem Police Department.
  • Do NOT try to deal with an aggressive person or dog yourself. Calmly leave the park and report the incident.

Have a question that wasn’t addressed on this page? Please ask via the Contact Form and we’ll get back to you ASAP!


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Tax deductible donations can be made to SPACE, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, via PayPal or by mailing a check to "SPACE" at SPACE, P.O. Box 8875, Salem, MA 01970.