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Dogs on the Beach

Dogs on Saco's Beaches 

Saco's beaches are dog friendly; however, an ordinance amendment has modified the leashing requirements for our canine beachgoers. 

In September, the Saco City Council approved an ordinance change that requires dogs to be leashed and under control of their owners from April 1 to Sept. 30 on beaches in Saco where piping plovers or least terns are present or have traditionally nested... Previously, dogs only had to be on leash on the beach from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in July and August.

The amended ordinance intends to protect endangered and at-risk wildlife, not restrict dogs. This ordinance is in effect for Bayview Beach, Kinney Shores, and Camp Ellis Beach. 

In March of 2021, this ordinance received further amendments and additional changes regarding dogs at beaches, sport and athletic fields, and Saco Dog Parks.  Please see below for details.

If you have any questions, please call the Saco Parks & Recreation Department at (207)283-3139.

Saco City Code: 64-10 Public Beaches
The following restrictions apply to dogs on beaches:
[Amended 3-10-2021]
  1. From April 1st through September 30th dogs shall be leashed on beaches. This includes Kinney Shore, Bayview Beach, and Camp Ellis Beach. A leash of a length no longer than 12 feet shall be used at all times on Beaches of Saco from April 1st through September 30th .
  2. From October 1st through March 31st dogs can be off leash if they are under Voice Control and Sight Control.
  3. Whenever a portion of a beach has been roped off, fenced off or otherwise demarcated or posted as a protected area to protect the nesting site of a piping plover or of any other endangered species protected under federal law, no dog shall approach within 100 feet of such protected area.
  4. Dogs shall be on leash while entering or exiting vehicles at the beach.
Saco City Code: 64-11 Sport and Athletic Fields
[Amended 3-10-2021]
Dogs are not allowed on Sports fields and Athletic fields due to public health threat. Athletic and Sports Fields are always restricted to dogs. Athletic fields are located at: Memorial War Field (Burns School), Young School Softball Field, Saco Middle School Front Field, Saco Middle School Softball Field A and B, Saco Middle School Soccer/Lacrosse Field (Lower field out back), Phoenix Field (Front Field located off Foss Rd), Sandy Brook Field (Back field located off Foss Rd). 

Saco City Code: 64-12 Saco Dog Parks
[Amended 3-10-2021]
Dogs shall be on leash while entering or exiting vehicles at the Dog Park. Dogs are allowed off leash while in the Dog Park and must remain under voice command. There are two Dog Parks, one for smaller dogs ranging in weight from 0-10lbs and a larger park for all dogs above 10lbs. The Saco Dog Park is located on School Street.

Click here to view the City Code online.