Indianapolis has Bark Parks all around the city where “pet parents’ can let their dogs roam free, run and cavort with other dogs, and do it safely. A Bark Park is fenced off, gated, and dedicated to canine capers for members. In Indianapolis, the Indy Parks and Recreation Department operates three “Canine Companion Zones” for residents and their dogs, convenient to different parts of the city.
Indianapolis Municipal Bark Parks.
Why not buy a “Pooch Pass” and take advantage of fun and exercise for your dog at an Indianapolis Muncipal Bark Park? Good to know that your dog will be playing with and among healthy dogs with responsible owners. To make sure of that, owners must apply at the park office and meet a few requirements before Fido can run freely among his peers:
1. Take proof of your dog’s inoculation history with you showing vaccinations are current for rabies, distemper, parvo, and bordetella/kennel cough.
2. Fill out application form at the park office.
3. Sign waiver releasing park from responsibility under certain circumstances.
4. Purchase Annual Pooch Pass for $75, plus Gate Access Device for $10; or Daily Pooch Pass for $5. The passes are good for the calendar year (January-December). You need a separate pass for each city bark park. Replacement tags and gate cards are $10 each.
Broad Ripple Dog Park, North Side Indianapolis
This lovely park has a grassy, four acre area fenced and gated for pooches with passes. The main park entrance is on 62nd street near Norwaldo, and the Bark Park is on the right as you drive in. Amenities include a water fountain, trash receptacles and disposal bags. There are nearby rest rooms for two legged guests. When Sir Pooch and I visited there recently, a water main had broken in the big Bark Park, and a fellow dog owner pointed the way to the back up park, also fenced and gated, but smaller. Dogs were merrily barking and running, some playing fetch, some playing chase. Some rather rambunctious play occurred, but no real fighting. Broad Ripple Park (or any Indy municipal park) does not have night lighting. 1610 Broad Ripple Avenue
(317) 327-7161/ 317 327 7275
Hours: Monday though Thursday, 9 a.m. — 9 p.m, Friday, 9 a.m. — 5 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m — 1 p.m. Sunday, closed.
Eagle Creek Dog Park, West Side Indianapolis
Eagle Creek Park is known for its natural beauty, woods and trails. At the Bark Park within the park, furry four leggers run free and unleashed, in a grassy five acre fenced, gated area. There are people benches, water, dogs and more dogs. As with all the city Bark Parks, you bring your dog at your own risk, and sign a waiver at the park office where you get your pass. If doggy loses his tennis ball it’s your responsibility!
7840 W. 56th St.
Indianapolis, IN 46254-9706
317 327 7110
Hours: Open daily, 7:00 am – 8:00 pm
Paul Ruster Bark Park, East Side Indianapolis
This park, open in 2007, offers grassy acres of gated and fenced Bark Park where dogs can run free and unleashed, chase balls, chase each other, and generally lead a dog’s life. Plenty of water, and some benches for “pooch parents” to rest and enjoy the fun. Of course, if you sit and chat who is going to throw the ball?
City Bark Parks have no night lighting, but there is access to water, disposable bags, trash receptacles, and nearby people restrooms.
11300 E. Prospect St
Indianapolis, IN 46239 – 9622
317 327 0143
Hours: Open daily, 7:00 am – 8:00 pm
Indianapolis Humane Society Pet Park, Northwest Side Indianapolis
The Humane Society Pet Park has distinctive amenities not found at the municipal parks, including a canine agility course, picnic tables, and night lighting. There are a mile and a half of wooded trails to hike through, and a fenced park just for pet owners and their pets to hang out.
To join the Pet Park, bring your dog’s vaccination records to the Humane Society of Indianapolis during shelter business hours.(See below.) Include proof of current bordetella/kennel cough, rabies, distemper and parvo vaccinations. You will also need proof that your dog is neutered or spayed and is at least 6 months of age. There is a $50 annual membership fee for your first dog, and $30 for each additional dog. Daily passes, $5 per dog. You will be given a key fob which allows you to use the Pet Park even if the shelter is closed. (Pick up fobs during normal shelter hours. Replacement key fobs $15.)
7929 N. Michigan Road
Indianapolis, IN 46268
317 872 5650
Pet Park hours: Fall winter: Daily 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Spring/Summer: Daily 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Shelter hours: Monday through Friday, 3 p.m. – 8 p.m. closed Thursdays. Open Saturday, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Pierson Bark Park, Fishers, Indiana
Pierson Bark Park, right outside of Indianapolis in Fishers, is privately owned. This old farm field turned Bark Park is a delightful four acre setting. A brick path meanders through the entire park, the pond is fountain aerated, and there is even a “Doggy Bar” or watering station. There is a separate area for small dogs and elderly dogs. The entire park is encompassed by a six foot fence.
Join the park, and visit anytime from dawn until dusk, every day of the week, and every week of the year. The application form can be found online. (See reference below.) Proof of vaccinations are required, as well as an agreement to follow safety rules and basic doggy etiquette. This makes for a safe, quality experience for everyone. Day passes are available for $7 and annual passes are $139 for the first dog and $49 for each additional dog. Also, there is a $10 annual key card required.
11787 E. 131st St.
Fishers, IN 46038
Waggin’ Tails Bark Park, Lawrence, Indiana
Not Wagon Trails, but “Waggin’ Tails!” A two acre Bark Park with extra amenities like obstacle and agility doggy training equipment and a “double bubbler” water fountain. That means people-level water and dog-level water too! Residents of the city of Lawrence pay only $30 per dog per year (just bring your Lawrence water bill with you) and non residents can join for $40 per dog, per year. There is a key deposit of $25 the first year only. To become a member, visit the City of Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department at 8950 Otis Avenue during office hours, from 8 am to 4 pm. The Bark Park itself is near 63rd and Sunnyside.
10450 E. 63rd Street, near 63rd and Sunnyside
Lawrence, Indiana 46236
317 549 4815
Hours: Dawn to dusk year round.
Basic Bark Park Etiquette
Just to make sure every dog has had its day (at the vet) your dog must wear a visible rabies tag, and permanent I.D. tag which frolicking in the park. In most Bark Parks your dog must be at least 4 months old, and preferably six months old. No dogs in heat, or dogs displaying aggressive behavior are allowed. Of course, you are legally responsible for your dog’s unacceptable behavior. No children under 12 are allowed in the Bark Park, and no dog owners under 18 may bring dogs in. Supervise your dog and keep him/her under voice control at all times, and clean up after him/her.Unleash your dog at the gate to the Bark Park, and observe any posted rules. No, silly, you can’t use the agility equipment. It’s just for dogs!