RUFF Receives $25,000 Grant to Help Build Permanent Dog Park

Responsible Urbanites for Fido (R.U.F.F) has landed another milestone in their fundraising efforts to complete the buildout of their permanent dog park in the DiFilippo (Gassy) Playground. Recently, the group was selected as the Northeast Region winner of “Bark for your Park,” a program brought by PetSafe that awards grants to help create safe, off-leash areas for pets and their owners. RUFF applied for the grant and have won a $25,000 award to help build the park! 

After completing a successful pilot run last summer, Boston’s North End neighborhood is now one step closer to building a permanent dog park thanks to a $25,000 grant recently awarded through PetSafe® Brand’s Bark for Your Park™ program. Boston is one of 25 cities nationwide that was selected to receive funding to build an off-leash dog park through this year’s Bark for Your Park grantgiving program.

In spring 2015, Responsible Urbanites for Fido (RUFF)—a small, community dog group—partnered with the City of Boston Parks & Recreation Department to open a pilot dog park at DeFilippo Park. The purpose of the pilot program, which ran May–July 2015, was to determine if a dog park would be utilized and well-received by the community. After the pilot program proved to be a major success, RUFF petitioned the city to transition the space into an official, permanent dog park.

“We were thrilled to receive such an overwhelmingly positive response from the community during the pilot program,” said Leslie Horn, president and co-founder of RUFF. “The goal now is to transform this bare bones, concrete space into a plush, open and safe dog park, and we are extremely grateful to PetSafe Brand for helping us make this dream come true.”

The new PetSafe dog park will be located within the DeFilippo Park off Prince St. & Snow Hill St. The two-level dog park, which allows for separate areas for small and large dogs, will be updated with artificial turf, automatic irrigation and landscaping, and will also feature other pet-friendly amenities including drinking fountains, fire hydrant sprinklers, ramps and added agility and recreation equipment. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2017, with the goal of having the new dog park fully operational by late spring/early summer 2017.

“The PetSafe Bark for Your Park program is all about finding enthusiastic, pet-loving communities that support allocating green space, investing time and energy in improving their community and encouraging responsible pet ownership,” said Willie Wallace, CEO of Radio Systems® Corporation, makers of the PetSafe Brand. “RUFF, the City of Boston and the North End community epitomize our mission to help provide dog parks that will be truly loved, used and supported for years to come, and we are honored to be able to support them in this endeavor.”

PetSafe Brand developed and launched the nationwide Bark for Your Park program in 2011 to help communities build their own off-leash dog parks. This year, PetSafe Brand restructured the contest into a grant-giving program and increased the number of awards from five to 25, with five communities—including Boston— receiving $25,000 for new dog parks, 10 communities receiving $10,000 park upgrade awards and 10 communities receiving $5,000 park maintenance awards. Recipients will be awarded a combination of funds as well as commercial-grade dog park equipment from UltraSite™, a PlayCore company.

Boston is one of five communities in the Northeast region to receive a grant through the PetSafe Bark for Your Park program. Guilford, Conn. and Medford, N.J. received $10,000 grants to upgrade their local dog parks, while Provincetown, Mass. and Sanford, Maine both received $5,000 grants for park maintenance. For a list of all Bark for Your Park grant recipients announced to date, please visit

Event Notification! 

5pm-7pm on September 20th: Doggie Soiree, PetSafe celebration – DeFillipo dog park – RUFF is hosting a fun soiree in the dog park to celebrate our PetSafe award. PetSafe will be joining us in this fun! Dress your pet in dapper attire, enjoy some human and doggie desserts, have some fun in the RUFF photo booth and learn about the amazing dog park coming Spring 2017! Be on the look out for an evite from RUFF! Hope you can join us.

2 Replies to “RUFF Receives $25,000 Grant to Help Build Permanent Dog Park

  1. Good work RUFF! 1 of 25 cities selected to receive funding is something to bark about, Lucky for all our neighborhood doggies.

  2. now all you need to do is get all dog owners to take their dogs up to the dog park. I see owners every day letting their dogs off leash on the basketball court, the hockey court and the children’s playground down below. also allowing the dogs to do their business everywhere but up in the dog park. I know it’s not all, and there will still be a few who are too lazy to walk up the steps. and it’s not off hours. it’s at different times of the day.

Comments are closed.