Photography ©TOURISM Santa Fe

The Santa Fean Pet Guide

by Kassira McKee

Santa Fe is known as a pet town. With the Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society, the Spay and Neuter Wellness Clinic, Felines and Friends, Critters and Me, and the Horse Shelter, to name a few, the City Different offers many opportunities for pet adoption and care. Fortunately, we have several dog parks where we can take our canine fur babies for some exercise and a little socialization.

One of the largest community dog parks is located at the entrance of the Santa Fe Animal Shelter at 100 Caja Del Rio Road, 87507. The shelter offers public and single parks on a sprawling seven-acre campus. They include Samantha’s Park for small dogs (under 30 pounds) or weak or impaired dogs of any size. There are also three parks that can be reserved for single use for dogs of any size that lack the social skills to mingle with other dogs.

Murad Kirdar, the Public Relations and Business Officer for the shelter, says, “Our dog parks are open from dusk to dawn and don’t require reservations. We have stations with waste bag dispensers, waste cans and water sources. We strongly request that all visitors please pick up after their pets. Also, we want pet owners to know that if it’s too hot or cold for you outside, it’s too hot or cold for your pet. No pet should be outside when it’s 30 degrees or below, or 95 degrees and higher.”

“We want pet owners to know that if it’s too hot or cold for you outside, it’s too hot or cold for your pet. No pet should be outside when it’s 30 degrees or below, or 95 degrees and higher.”

Kirdar also says that if others are waiting to use one of the three single parks, those occupying the parks may do so for a maximum of 30 minutes. Here are the guidelines for use of the shelter parks:

  • Use of the dog park is at your own risk.
  • Be courteous and respectful to others.
  • Owners are responsible for any injury and/or damage by their dog.
  • Owners must clean up after their dog, meaning, you MUST pick up their poop.
  • Aggressive, unhealthy or unaltered dogs are not welcome.
  • Owners must monitor, control and accompany their dog at all times.
  • All dogs must wear a collar and have current license and rabies tags.
  • Dogs must be at least 4 months old to enter.
  • Dogs should be leashed when entering or exiting the dog park.
  • No more than 3 dogs per owner are permitted.
  • Food is not allowed in the dog parks, except for small treats for training purposes.
  • Constant barking is not permitted.
  • If a dog is misbehaving or gets into a fight, the owner should leash him/her and remove from the park as a time out.
  • Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18.
  • If there is a human-to-human dispute, those involved should work it out or call the police or 911. If there is a dog-on-dog or dog-on-human dispute or issue, call City Animal Services at 505-955-2700.
  • Any maintenance issues should be reported directly to Shelter Staff at 505-983-4309 x1139.

Other Open Designated Dog Parks

Frank Ortiz Park at 160 Camino de las Crucitas, 87501, designated area behind children’s playground.

Salvador Perez Park at 601 Alta Vista Street, 87505, designated area behind complex.

Villa Linda Dog Park at 4250 Cerrillos Road, 87507, designated area north of playground.

Sierra del Norte Dog Park at 1800 Hyde Park Road, 87501, designated park area only. Dogs MUST be on leash on the trail.

The city’s rules and regulations for dog parks are posted here.

Helpful Tips

It’s suggested that you bring your own doggie waste bags as some parks may not provide them or may be temporarily out. Although cats are not allowed in dog parks, you can take cats on public trails as long as they are leashed or contained.

You and your pets want to enjoy yourselves and each other. You also want to make sure others can enjoy themselves. Observing the guidelines makes both of these possible.

Lynn Cline

Lynn Cline is the author of The Maverick Cookbook: Iconic Recipes & Tales from New Mexico. She has written for The New York TimesBon Appétít and numerous other publications. She also hosts Cline’s Corner, a weekly radio show on KSFR 101.1 FM.


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