Off-leash dogs kill blue heron at Arboretum

Off-leash dogs killed a great blue heron at the Arnold Arboretum on Aug. 19, according to a message posted on the Arnold Arboretum website. The organization says it will strictly enforce local dog-leash laws because of the incident.

An Arboretum visitor saw the attack and reported the incident to staff the following day. The great blue heron is a protected species under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.

Based on the incident, the Arnold Arboretum is emphasizing the importance of keeping dogs on leashes. The Arboretum has received reports of off-leash dogs pursuing and injuring bicyclists, children and other visitors.

Both state and City laws require dogs to be leashed while on public property.

The Arnold Arboretum continues to welcome visitors to enjoy the park with their pets, requiring only that dogs remain leashed at all times and that dog waste is removed and disposed, according to the message posted on the website.

Arboretum is collaborating with Boston Police Department (BPD) and officials from the City’s Inspectional Services Department (ISD) to ensure that safety and comfort can be maintained in the park.

Visitors may report off-leash dogs within the Arboretum to Boston Animal Control (617-635-5348) or BPD (617-343-5630).

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