Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the Dog PAC?
The South Loop Dog Park Action Cooperative, or SLDogPAC, is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization, administered by an 8 member Board of Directors. It was founded in 2001 to help establish dog-friendly areas (DFAs) in the South Loop and to promote responsible dog ownership.
The SLDogPAC raised over $75,000 in community contributions that were required to have Grant Bark Park built in 2006.
Today, the SLDogPAC is responsible for maintaining the South Loop DFAs, as well as planning and financially supporting any improvements or changes to the dog parks. In addition, the SLDogPAC continues to promote responsible dog ownership, providing socializing opportunities for our dogs and their people, as well as educational information.
2. What is a DFA?
DFA stands for Dog Friendly Area, an off-leash dog park. It is a separate fenced-in area in the city where dogs can exercise and play off-leash in a safe and supervised environment.
3. Where are the DFAs in the South Loop?
There are two DFAs in the South Loop – Grant Bark Park, on the east side of the Metra tracks, just west of Columbus Drive and just northeast of the 11th Street pedestrian bridge, and the Coliseum Park DFA, under the CTA tracks at 14th Place and Wabash.
Lists of and information about all the Chicago DFAs can be found here:
The Chicago Park District DFA page
4. What are the requirements for use of a DFA?
The Chicago Park District requires all dogs using any Chicago DFA to have a DFA license. Licenses can be obtained from participating veterinarians and require a City of Chicago dog license.
The CPD requirements can be found here:
5. Are there any rules for the DFAs?
Dogs must be healthy and supervised by their owners. Owners must supervise their dogs at all times and clean up after them. Dogs who have exhibited aggressive behavior are prohibited from using the park.
Owners must pick up after their dogs! The SLDogPAC maintains dog waste bag dispensers at each DFA, and there are several trash receptacles at each park.
6. Why are the DFAs paved? Why isn’t there any grass for the dogs to run in?
The Chicago Park District requires that all dog-friendly areas must be hard-surfaced. It is thought that this allows the area to be kept clean and sanitary.
7. Who maintains the DFAs?
The South Loop Dog PAC! Our board of directors and SLDogPAC membership are responsible by law for overseeing and maintaining the dog parks in the area. We need your help!
8. Why does the SLDogPAC continue to hold fundraisers if the DFAs are built?
We are responsible for maintaining the existing South Loop DFAs. This includes keeping the area clean, providing pools for the dogs in the summer and ensuring there are no safety hazards. For example, in 2008, all the pea gravel was replaced in Grant Bark Park to ensure the area remained safe for the dogs to play in, as well as clean and odor free.
Despite generous discounts from vendors and hard work from many volunteers to curb costs, this project alone was almost $3,000. In the future, the paved areas will also have to be resurfaced to prevent moisture damage.
Financial information for the South Loop Dog PAC is available upon request.
9. What improvements are planned for the South Loop DFAs?
Some improvements that we are hoping to fund include:
Grant Bark Park
A small dog area.
Resurfacing the park.
Enclosing the gravel areas.
10. What can I do to help the PAC?
Join the SLDogPAC. Please visit our membership page for more information about joining.
Provide input and feedback on dog-related issues in the neighborhood and ideas about what you would like to see change. Follow our blog and comment or contact us using email, phone, or Twitter.
Volunteer at our fundraising events, where neighborhood dogs and their owners to get to know one another. Volunteers for these events are always needed and you might just have fun!
11. How can I contact the Dog PAC if I have questions?
Please see our Contact page for more information.