Having just been introduced to princeofpetworth.com, I was reading through the previous
posts and came across one concerning Rock Creek Cemetery’s decision to ban dog-
walking. I am the Director of Christian Education at St. Paul’s – the active parish that
resides within the cemetery – and thought I might clear up some of the misconceptions as
to why the decision was made, and why it was not.
In May of 2010, the vestry of St. Paul’s amended the rules of dog-walking on the
premises, with the hope of decreasing the number of complaints we received from those
visiting their loved ones. The rules were as follows:
Pets must be kept leashed AT ALL TIMES.
Clean up your pets droppings. Waste Cans are provided throughout the
churchyard for your convenience in disposing of your pet’s waste.
PLEASE RESPECT the people at rest in this Church Yard and their families as
This is an active cemetery. Please keep a respectful distance from funeral
preparations and interment services.
This is an active Church Community. Our Sunday worship times are 8:00am and
10:30am. If you are not joining us in church for worship, please do not walk your
dog in the area around the Church during services!
Less than a year later we had more complaints than ever. This past spring alone we had
dogs off of their leashes running up to an on site funeral, dogs pestering our parishioners
after Church, dog’s droppings were not always picked up, as well as numerous other
problems. Further, over the last year, as many of you may well know, St. Paul’s has been
in negotiations with Christian Family Montessori School. At the time we reached our
decision it was clear that they would be moving into our space and beginning school this
coming Fall. After weighing our options, and recognizing that our campus will be quite
busy with so many children, we decided it best to ban dog-walking altogether.
We recognize this as a huge inconvenience to many in the immediate area; we also
recognize that many of you have graciously followed the rules for many years and are
being held responsible for the actions of others: for this we greatly apologize! Our intent
at St. Paul’s is to provide a safe, serene place for the neighborhood, the families of those
resting, and the larger DC area. We can only hope that you will continue to enjoy our
wonderfully historic DC landmark, without accompany of your pets.
Thanks for your understanding. If you have any other questions, feel free to email me
Director of Christian Education
St. Paul’s Rock Creek Parish