Revisit and change the NY two dogs per campsite rule
  • Petitioned Maryann Corbisiero

This petition was delivered to:

Director of Camping New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Maryann Corbisiero
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Rose Harvey
New York Governor

Revisit and change the NY two dogs per campsite rule

    1. Cathy Riga
    2. Petition by

      Cathy Riga

      Buffalo, NY

Do you have multiple dogs and plan to camp at any of New York State's campgrounds this year? If you care for more than two canine companions, you're in for big disappointment.

For 2012, New York State has instituted a new two dog limit per campsite rule -- in response to what it described as numerous complaints from campers and campground administrators. Right now, your only options are to exclude one or more of your furry friends from an excursion (unthinkable) or reserve more than one campsite (pricey).

Like most responsible dog owners, we get frustrated with inconsiderate folks who don't keep Fido on a leash, or refuse to clean up after him, or allow unreasonable barking. But how those real issues have any correlation to the number of dogs at a campsite is beyond us. Whether an irresponsible owner has one dog or six, the problem remains.

If you're like us, one of the primary reasons we camp is because our dogs are part of the family. And camping is a great vacation for every family member, whether they walk on two legs or four. Mix in one of the many outstanding New York State camping facilities, and a relaxing, successful vacation is almost guaranteed. Well, that used to be the recipe, at any rate.

We have spoken with the Office of Rose Harvey, Commissioner of New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and Governor Cuomo's legal counsel. Both areas informed us that all parks will enforce the new rule, and there is no room for discretion from camp administrators. We respectfully argued that a two dog limit won't stop irresponsible owners. More distressingly, it punishes owners with more than two dogs who have always followed the rules and been respectful camping neighbors. We even suggested a couple of alternatives:

Allow campsite administrators the option of enforcing the rule (the way many municipalities in New York operate today). If an inconsiderate owner is ignoring park rules, they are subject to expulsion.

Charge a per dog fee for campers with more than two dogs. Again, inconsiderate owners can be expelled, and they lose all fees paid.

We're sure there are other reasonable alternatives, and that's the point. The current two dog limit allows for no flexibility.

Governor Cuomo's legal counsel suggested writing a letter. But we feel there's more strength in numbers. That's why we're starting an online petition, urging New York State to revisit and change the new two dogs per campsite rule. Please sign this petition so all pet owners can once again camp in some of the greatest parks in the U.S.

Recent signatures


    1. Part 2 of response from Commissioner Rose Harvey

      Cathy Riga
      Petition Organizer

      I understand that there are other visitors who share your concerns about the regulation's impact on visitors with more than two pets. After the season ends, it is our plan to review the implementation of this rule to determine whether it enhances our mission and the overall enjoyment and safety of the camping public.

      Your perspective is important to me, and I would like to thank you for sharing your concerns. I hope that you will continue to enjoy the spectacular natural and historic resources of which we are all so proud.


      Rose Harvey

    2. Part 1 of response from Commissioner Rose Harvey

      Cathy Riga
      Petition Organizer

      June 18 2012
      Dear Ms. Riga,

      Governor Cuomo has asked me to reply to your letter regarding the two-pet limit at State Park campgrounds. As a dog owner myself, I truly understand how important pets are to our families, and I can relate to your concerns.

      State Parks' mission is to provide safe and enjoyable recreational opportunities for all New York State residents and visitors. Establishing a rule that provides for the safety and enjoyment of all campers, while at the same time balancing the wishes of pet-owners can be challenging.

      Through exploring various options, State Parks has determined that two-pets per campsite (at those campgrounds that continue to allow pets) provides a reasonable balance between ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for all campers while accommodating a most pet owners.

    3. Response from Commissioner Rose Harvey

      Cathy Riga
      Petition Organizer

      Please click on the More at link to see the letter.

    4. Reached 500 signatures
    5. Thank you for your support! Over 450 signatures so far!

      Cathy Riga
      Petition Organizer

      Thanks to all who signed this petition! So far, more than 450 people agree this rule doesn’t get to the root of state campsite problems. That's because any issues are not pet problems--they're people problems. The number of dogs at a site is irrelevant; irresponsible owners are the source of trouble.
      As many pointed out, the rule is effective only at punishing responsible folks who own more than 2 dogs and don't want to break rules!

      Signing the petition is a great first step to getting the rule changed, but we're afraid our efforts might "die on the vine." That's why we're asking you to take additional actions:
      • Post the petition to Facebook and other social network sites.
      • Post it to blogs/discussion groups you follow.
      • E-mail it to folks who’ll sign.
      • E-mail Parks Commissioner or call her at (518) 474-0443.

      Let's continue to work to get this rule changed, so we can resume enjoying NYS parks with all our furry friends who love them as much as we do!

    6. Reached 250 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Donna Mott CATO, NY
      • about 1 year ago

      My husband and I have 3 well behaved dogs that we always travel with. We have been welcomed at campsites in most states through out the US but NOT in NY, the one we call home, work in and pay taxes in. Are we angry, YES! Should we have to go elsewhere, NO! Does NY get our vacation money, NO WAY! We may have to drive further but we'll go where we are ALL welcomed until NY State gets their act together. Some other states request a fee per pet at the campsite along with your promise that you'll clean up and their rabies certificate. WHY does NY have to be so difficult? Makes it pretty hard to say "I love NY". Keep on writing so they realize how we feel!

    • David Madison NORWICH, NY
      • about 1 year ago

      Why should I be banned from state parks just because I have 3 dogs? Why should I have to pay for 2 sites and deny someone else the enjoyment of camping because I have to pay for an empty site? As it is just my wife and me now our dogs are our family. I wouldn't think of leaving one home so you will lose my business if this rule stays in place. Our family loves walking on the trails in and around the parks. We always clean up after them and keep them quiet. My taxes and the fees I pay support these parks but now you say I can't use them. Eliminate this rule.

    • Cathleen Mann HIGHLAND LAKES, NJ
      • over 1 year ago

      My three dogs are my family - I thoroughly enjoy camping in the NY State Parks and really hope that the dog limit can be changed.

    • Christa Lombardo BUFFALO, NY
      • over 1 year ago

      Most NYS municipalities allow 3 dogs, so why wouldn't NYS campgrounds? Having to pick which one to leave behind, stupid rule.

      • over 1 year ago

      I think that camping is one of very few vacation options that many Americans can still afford to do with their whole family, including pets. It would be reasonable to ask campers who have more than two pets to pay an extra fee to camp rather than eliminate them as customers. I have 3 dogs and a motorhome and now it seems my only options are to camp (and spend) outside of NYS.


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