Dog Walking Banned from Rock Creek Cemetery

If you own a dog and like to go for long walks you probably already know this, but dog walking is no longer permitted at Rock Creek Cemetery. This change in policy went into effect at the start of June 2011.

Rev. Rosemari Sullivan, of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church/Rock Creek Cemetery, was at the June 14 ANC 4C meeting to officially inform the community of the new security policies they’ve recently implemented. Readers may recall that several bronze markers and small sculpture were stolen in March at the cemetery. To address this the grounds are being closed earlier and security has been increased. Rev. Sullivan is hopeful that thieves recently arrested in Maryland for thefts in cemeteries are also responsible for the ones here. But even so, she lamented that the bronzes stolen from Rock Creek Church Cemetery may never be recovered.

Regarding the change in policy toward dogs in the cemetery, Rev. Sullivan said that in the end it all boiled down to protecting the grounds and being respectful to families who’s loved ones are interred at Rock Creek. The first issue the church needed to address was the growing number of complaints from families who had come to pay their respects only to find dog feces on graves. The second problem was owners who off-leashed their pets on the grounds. Again, the church had been made aware that untethered dogs had intruded upon both those visiting grave sites and burial services.

To me, it would just seem to have been common sense that if one saw a funeral in progress you would do everything possible to be as unobtrusive as possible as a measure of respect. While I think it’s unfortunate that dog walking is no longer an option at Rock Creek Cemetery, I certainly understand their response to the circumstances and complaints.

Entrance to Rock Creek Cemetery, on Rock Creek Church Road

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10 Comments on “Dog Walking Banned from Rock Creek Cemetery”

  1. Jay'O Says:

    Yeah, I go to the cementary to bird watch and saw the notice sign all through the month of May. I never saw anyone walking their dog, or any dogs off-leash, but the Church’s actions are understandable.

    When I stroll around, I actively avoid others in the cementary in general as a way to preserve the peace and tranquility that everyone coming there obviously is seeking. If I see a cool bird like a Bay-breasted Warbler or Balitmore Oriole, I just give lots of space to others if the bird is near them.

    I just hope the Church doesn’t take this policy too far, since “eyes on the street” do make the cementary safer!


  2. […] in Rock Creek: Park View D.C. reports that dogs can no longer be walked in Rock Creek Church Cemetery: "The first issue the church needed to address was the growing number […]


  3. […] in Rock Creek: Park View D.C. reports that dogs can no longer be walked in Rock Creek Church Cemetery: “The first issue […]


  4. […] in Rock Creek: Park View D.C. reports that dogs can no longer be walked in Rock Creek Church Cemetery: “The first issue the church needed […]

  5. rd Says:

    “who’s loved once”? really?

  6. tina Says:

    Dog walking should have never been allowed at the cemetery in the first place. It’s disrespectful. A dog being a dog is going to lift its leg to relieve itself on the headstone or grave marker of someone’s loved one. I can’t believe that anyone was bone headed enough to allow their untethered animal to run around in a cemetery and especially during services.

  7. rudy Says:

    Dog owners across the world are in for a surpise. Bans are coming and more frequently. Time to take back our lawns, public parks and places where children used to be able to go without worry of dog pee and poo possibly making them sick. I have no mercy for dog owners. Absolutely an unnatural phenomenon and one that is illogical in for example a residential area where owners cant police themselves with consistency.

  8. MS Says:

    I am saddened by this news as a respectful dog owner who would love taking long walks in the cemetery, ALWAYS clean up after my dog and would even stay only on the road as to not encroach upon anyone paying their respects. I wish there was more of a compromise, such as stricter leash rules and signage stating dogwalkers had to stay on the beaten path.

  9. James Says:

    Can’t there be any place where people can be free of the unwelcome prescence of viscious, biting, barking, shitting, pissing mutts? Not everyone likes mutts, and the shit and piss they leave everywhere. You can’t walk down a street, in a park, ,or on a beach without having to watch out for dog shit. Ban them from cemeteries, parks, beaches. Have a few dog runs, but make the owners pay for it, and clean up after their precious shit factories.

  10. Doris Walls, Jacqueline Wilder is my daughter Says:

    I was up there the Sunday before. Thanksgiving. my dayghter is buried there, there was a big german shepard tied to the tree next to her grave. the owner came runing to get the dog. I asked her if the dog belonged to her , she said that she needed the dog with her because she is a 65 year old White lady and needed the dog BECAUSE OF PEOPLE LIKE ME. I am a 67 year old black woman. I was up there before with my little Yorkey in my arm , someone from the park came to me and said that I couldn’ have her. I said that she was in my arms, but that didn’t matter.this woman was driving a silver suv, it said something about saving the animals.


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