What is MARDOG?
MARDOG stands for the Morris Area Responsible Dog Owners' Group. It is a non-profit 501 c-3 charitable organization dedicated to the promotion and development of off leash dog parks in the Morris County area, such as the Lewis Morris Dog Park. We're all volunteers, and we rely on dues, donations and events to do what we do.

What is the history of MARDOG?
The Morristown Area Responsible Dog Owners' Group originally started as a grass roots effort in December 2001 in the Town of Morristown, New Jersey. MARDOG, Inc. was officially organized as a non-profit corporation on August 4, 2002.   On March 13, 2003, MARDOG presented a formal written proposal to the Morris County Park Commission in support of one or more public off leash dog parks in Morris County. On April 7, 2003 MARDOG received its 501 c-3 status from the IRS.   On November 15, 2003, a temporary off leash area was established at Lewis Morris County Park in Morris Township, New Jersey. This off-leash area was given permanent status by the Morris County Park Commission on October 14, 2004.

When was MARDOG created?
MARDOG was legally created on August 4, 2002 as a non-profit and charitable organization. Its actual development began in the Fall of 2001 when a group of dog owners visited Ledgerwood Park in Morristown to allow their dogs to play in the baseball field. Some people received summons so a petition was formed in December 2001 to promote the establishment of an off leash dog park in Morristown.

Why was a petition established and
when was it first presented?

A petition was drafted with the assistance of an attorney to prove to the town the need and interest for such a facility. In May 2002, MARDOG presented its petition to the Morristown Town Council with over a hundred signatures. The Council was supportive, formed a Dog Park Committee and then encouraged the group to appeal to the Morris County Park Commission because no land was available in the Town of Morristown.

In the Fall of 2002, MARDOG appealed to and received resolutions from the towns of Madison, Morristown and Morris Twp. supporting an off leash dog park in the Morristown area and encouraging the County of Morris to provide such a facility. In July 2002, MARDOG presented its concept to the Morris County Park Commission. In March 2003, MARDOG delivered and presented a formal written proposal to the Park Commission's Strategic Planning Committee. Consequently, MARDOG attended several Morris County Freeholder public meetings soliciting their help. On November 15, 2003, a temporary dog park of approximately 1.25 acres opened in Lewis Morris Park in Morris Township.

When are the meetings?
The group meets on a monthly basis at the Morris County library on a weekday evening. The guest speaker presentation is from 6pm to 7pm and is followed by a brief business meeting. Meetings are free and open to the general public. A donation is suggested to cover the cost of a light dinner.

How can I become a member or sponsor?
Click on the Register Now and Support MARDOG buttons on our Home Page.

How many levels of Sponsorship are there?
There are six levels of individual sponsorship ranging from $20 to $500 and there are five levels of Corporate Sponsorship ranging from $500 to $10,000.

How can MARDOG help me get a dog park
in my town?

MARDOG will continue to volunteer to educate elected and appointed officials in Morris County about the benefits of canine companionship and the need for public off-leash recreation. MARDOG will continue to participate in the Morris County Park Commission's Friends of the Off-Leash Area (FOLA) Task Force to ensure the Lewis Morris dog park's success and to apply our expertise to towns and officials that ask for our guidance. In 2005, MARDOG prepared a matrix on suitable surface areas for outdoor off-leash areas for the Morris County Park Commission and fact sheets on off-leash recreation, dog park etiquette, dog-dog and dog-human aggression and dog park rules. MARDOG upgraded its web site and continues to educate the public about dog parks through various outreach and educational opportunities. MARDOG attended Town Council meetings in Morristown, Parsippany and Rockaway to ensure the interests and rights of dog people were represented. MARDOG also assisted the town of Roxbury in establishing its dog park committee and is currently assisting other towns with their planning efforts. We do all this without the benefit of a paid staff or a large operating budget.

Does MARDOG own and operate the park at Lewis Morris?
The Lewis Morris off-leash area at the Lewis Morris County Park is owned and operated by the Morris County Park Commission. MARDOG actively lobbied and advocated for the park's development, but does not own or operate the park.

Where is the park located?
The park is located in the Lewis Morris County Park in Morris Township at 270 Mendham Road. The park is located in the "Old Army" section of the park. See the MARDOGs tab for more information.

What benefits are available to MARDOG sponsors?
MARDOG sponsors receive a quarterly newsletter, attend monthly meetings, guest lectures, receive a discount on pet insurance, and can get their name on the web site if they desire.