Pets at the Refuge

Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge welcomes all visitors to this special place and is very happy to see visitors bringing their cherished furry family members with them. However, as a reminder, pets must be leashed at all times. This regulation is in place for many reasons.

  • Protect the wildlife and natural resources you've come to see

    Pets, particularly dogs, are natural predators to many wildlife here at the refuge. Also, dogs that leave trails destroy the homes of ground-nesting birds, stress small animals, destroy plants, leave feces, and are susceptible to and can spread diseases and viruses through wildlife encounters.

  • Protect your fellow visitor

    Not everyone likes dogs. Some cultures perceive dogs differently than your own. Also, another visitor may be afraid of dogs, even a friendly dog running up to them can be very distressing and cause them to have a negative experience here at the refuge or cause them to act out of fear and injure your dog. Whether intentional or not, your dog could bite, knock over, or injure someone. A dog on a leash shows that you're in control of your dog and that you respect those who wish to keep their distance from your dog.

  • Protect your fellow visitor's dog and your own

    An off-leash dog could wander across another unleashed dog, provoking a fight leading to injuries to the dogs and/or humans.

  • Refuges are different from parks

    Refuges are set aside for wildlife first. Please help protect them and visitors by respecting refuge rules. Otherwise the next rule change may be "No Dogs Allowed." 

    Thank you for your cooperation!

  • Citation and Fine

    Failure to respect the refuge regulations and your fellow visitors can result in a citation and minimum fine of $150: 50 CFR 26.21(b) and/or 50 CFR 27.51(a).