Spring Update

April 27th, 2015


The muddy areas of the Barkyard have been fenced off, allowing use of the less muddy areas. In the upcoming weeks, we will be spreading ground cover to aid in absorbing excess water near the water fountain in the All Dog Area.


We Need your help!

We are seeking volunteers for our bi-annual park cleanup, scheduled for Sunday, May 17, at 10am.

At these cleanups, we spend a few hours removing overgrown weeds, sweeping the shelters, adding support to small trees if needed, cleaning up any dog waste that may have been overlooked during the winter, and other general repairs and maintenance. It’s typically a casual and social gathering, with donuts and coffee supplied by one of the volunteers (you’re welcome to bring other treats to share).

To volunteer, simply email us at volunteer@thebarkyard.org, leave a voicemail at (716) 218-0303, or send a message on our Facebook page.

Winter Park Use

March 1st, 2015

Due to our extremely cold and snowy winter, the Barkyard is not safe for use at this time. Although the city has plowed D.A.R. Drive, it is down to one lane of travel, which we feel is not sufficiently cleared for visitors to the Barkyard. Also, since the sally port is full of snow, the gates do not open or close properly. We are also looking at damages from built up snow along the fences and on the top of the fences.

We recommend that you find another avenue for exercising with your dogs. If, however, you choose to use the Barkyard, please understand that you may risk getting stuck there, and the fence may not contain your dog due to the height of the snowpack.

We are sorry for this inconvenience, but please understand that it has been an extraordinary winter.

Pet Photos with Santa

December 2nd, 2014

Pet Photos with Santa

Come have your pet’s photo taken with Santa, Sunday, December 14, 10am–2pm at the Ellicott Square Building in downtown Buffalo.

A $10 donation gets you a 4×6 color photo, plus a raffle ticket to win an autographed Buffalo Bills football. Additional raffle tickets are $5 each.

The City of Buffalo Animal Shelter will also be there, with adoptable dogs for you to meet.

Back to Stool 2014 Fall Cleanup

September 28th, 2014

Update: Rescheduled due to rain.

Back to Stool 2014
Join us, Sunday, October 12, 2014 at 10am, to get the Barkyard cleaned up and ready for winter. Volunteers should bring rakes, shovels, trash bags, and a cheerful, positive attitude. Let’s have some fun, meet new people, and get the Barkyard looking great in the process.

Instagram Contest

June 24th, 2014

April Stools Day 2014

April 6th, 2014


Join us Sunday, April 27th, at 10am for our annual pre-season cleanup. We can always use a few more volunteers, and we assure you, it’s less messy than it sounds. For more information, feel free to drop us a line at info@thebarkyard.org, or post on our Facebook page. See you at the Barkyard!

State of the Bark 2014

January 4th, 2014

Each year at this time, we take a moment to look back over the year that has passed and review what we have accomplished. 2013 saw the return of three of our annual projects.

Early spring brought with it April Stools Day—our biannual clean up day. Late spring we were thrilled to repeat our Mitzhah Day with our friends from Temple Beth Zion and Westminster Presbyterian Church. It was our largest turnout ever, and with all hands on deck we were able to complete the re-staining of our information kiosks and tackle some other general maintenance issues. Thank you to all who participated!

With autumn, we were back at the Barkyard and busy with Back to Stool—the other half of our clean up program. I am pleased to report that at each clean up event there was less to take care of than ever before. Thank you to everyone who is duty-diligent in this regard.

The most noticeable physical change at the Barkyard is without a doubt our wonderful shelter mural. Our Board of Directors reached out to the folks at Community Canvases for their help in improving the appearance of our shelter. We now have a beautiful Franz Marc inspired mural. This work celebrates the dynamism of our four-legged friends—both large and small. The dogs pictured were inspired by actual Barkyard visitors, thus ensuring their joyful expressions! We would like to thank everyone at Community Canvases for a very successful collaboration.

The change at the Barkyard that we are most grateful for comes from all of you—our users. From the very beginning, we knew that the future success of the park would be dictated by its users. Over the course of the past few years, the regular visitors have taken ownership of the park. This shared sense of possession is what will ensure the continued accomplishments of the Barkyard. It is the only way any of our off-leash areas can function and we thank each and every park user that has embraced this commitment.

We have more plans for 2014 and welcome all of you to offer us feedback and share your ideas.

To continue to manage the park safely and make the necessary improvements we really do need your help. Our biggest challenge is to remind people that we are a not-for-profit group that runs solely on donations from pet-loving individuals like yourself. We cannot do it alone.

Thank you again for continuing to make Buffalo’s first off leash area a great success.

Joseph Lonzi

Buffalo Off Leash Area, Inc. – The Barkyard

Community Canvases and Barkyard Mural Featured on Buffalo Rising

October 27th, 2013
Mural on the Shelters at the Barkyard, by Community Canvases

Mural on the shelters at the Barkyard, by Community Canvases

The recently completed murals on the shelters at the Barkyard are featured in a Buffalo Rising post about Community Canvases. We are proud to have these fine works on our shelters, and look forward to them being on display for years to come.

Mural Painting in Progress October 12–13

October 11th, 2013

"Dog Lying in the Snow," by Franz Marc

"Dog Lying in the Snow," by Franz Marc


October 11, 2013

Samuel Scarcello


The Barkyard is sponsoring the mural to be done in the style of Franz Marc.

Buffalo, N.Y. – This Saturday, October 12th, Community Canvases artists and board members, Jim Montour and Elaine O’Toole, will begin work on a new mural in The Barkyard, coordinated by Joseph Lonzi and Jay McCarthy.

Done in the style of German Expressionist, Franz Marc, the mural will incorporate a variety of breeds of dog. The project is funded by The Barkyard and has the full support of its president, Josephy Lonzi.

Buffalo School Board member, Jay McCarthy (North District) helped coordinate the event and shared his excitement over its commencement, “I am excited, as vice president of the Barkyard and a board member of Community Canvases, to see this project, which will improve upon the existing structure with an exciting artistic element.”

A table with art supplies will be set up to encourage children of all ages to come down to The Barkyard on Saturday and draw a picture of their own dog. Their artwork will even be hung up at the park.

Community Canvases Vice President, Jim Montour, can’t wait to bring two of his passions together with the piece, stating, “I live for art and for animals, so this is a dream project for me. Partnering Community Canvases with The Barkyard is an exciting prospect for us, so we hope it sparks more conversation and even more public art!”

Back To Stool 2013

September 3rd, 2013

Join us Sunday, September 29th, at 10am for a little year-end cleanup. We could always use a few more volunteers, and we assure you, it’s less messy than it sounds. For more information, feel free to drop us a line at info@thebarkyard.org, or post on our Facebook page. See you at the Barkyard!

Mitzvah Day 2013

July 2nd, 2013

On Sunday, May 19th, we celebrated our 3rd annual Mitzvah Day at the Barkyard. Eager volunteers from Temple Beth Zion and Westminster Presbyterian Church joined Barkyard Board Members in refurbishing our information kiosks. We had a terrific turnout, and a few park users even lent their hands to the project. Our thanks to all who participated in making this our biggest Mitzvah Day ever!

Many thanks!

April Stool’s Day – 2013

April 2nd, 2013

On Sunday, April 21st at 10am, The Barkyard will undergo its annual spring cleanup.

We are often asked “how can I help?” While it’s not the most glamorous event to volunteer for, this is one of the most basic ways to volunteer for The Barkyard and get involved. It’s not nearly as gross as you might expect, and you’re bound to meet some friendly folks—as well as the ever-so-happy-to-be-there dogs.

To volunteer, simply send us an email, or leave us a message at 716-218-0303. Your help is greatly appreciated!

State of the Bark – 2013

January 8th, 2013

The Buffalo Off-Leash Area, Inc. Board of Directors, operators and overseers of The Barkyard, would like to thank everyone for their continued support over the past year. Each year we are pleased to see growth in our Barkyard family, making it a second home to more people and their pooches.

This past year we gave an identity to our beloved mascot. We needed your help in this important task; giving a name to this forever running dog. Through our hugely popular, open to all, contest we selected a winning name from over 1,000 submissions—Lola. It suits her perfectly. She is happy to have a real identity and I believe in 2013, she will finally find her voice. So keep watching—I think Lola will have lots to say!

We spruced up our benches this year with help from our friends on Mitzvah Day, as well as installed new bulletin board cases. We also made the decision to do away with poop bags that we purchased, in favor of recycled grocery and newspaper bags that park users bring. We thank everyone for their assistance in this new system.

We have more plans for 2013, including improved signage, new benches, and some great educational events are planned as well.

To continue to manage the park safely and make the necessary improvements we really do need your help. Our biggest challenge is to remind people that we are a not-for-profit group that runs solely on donations from pet-loving individuals like yourself. We cannot do it alone.

Thank you again for continuing to make Buffalo’s first off leash area a great success.

Joseph Lonzi
Buffalo Off Leash Area, Inc. – The Barkyard

Visit us at the 2012 Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts

August 24th, 2012

Come visit with some of our volunteers at the 2012 Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. We’ll be outside of Elmwood Pet Supplies on Saturday, from 10am to 2pm. While the event is open to pets, we recommend they stay home. Festivals tend to be too hot and overstimulating to most pets.

How to keep dogs cool and avoid heatstroke

June 26th, 2012

The heat of the summer is here! To keep our canine friends comfortable, please follow the suggestions below, and avoid a trip to the emergency vet.

Plenty of water

When your dog pants, he is cooling off by evaporating saliva and water on his tongue. This cooling process requires water. So always be sure your dog has plenty of fresh water.

Avoid midday sun

Plan your trips to The Barkyard (or other dog-friendly park) early in the day or late in the afternoon to avoid the heat of the day—especially if you have a dog with a “smooshed” face (such as a Pug, Bulldog, Boston Terrier, Shih Tsu or Pekingese).

Also, be careful if your dog is dark brown or black, since dark fur absorbs heat quickly. If you doubt it, next time you and your dog are with other canine friends in the sun, place your hand on your dog’s back and feel the heat. Then place it on the back (with the owner’s permission of course) of a light-colored or white dog—you will notice a big difference!

Never leave your dog in a vehicle

Even with windows open, parked cars can quickly—within 10 minutes—reach temperatures that cause heatstroke for a dog. I know your dog looks at you with those doe eyes and begs to come with you on car rides, but don’t buy it! He’s safer and comfortable at home.

Festivals and street fairs are no place for dogs

Unless it’s a dog festival, leave your dog home when you go to local summer events and concerts. Hot pavement, such as asphalt, cement, and tar / blacktop, can burn a dog’s paws—many dogs will lie down to avoid it.

Take breaks

If your dog is particularly exuberant and loves to run and play without taking breaks, be sure he does take a break every few minutes to avoid overheating. Early signs of heatstroke can include any of the following symptoms: bright red tongue, heavy drooling, heavy or rapid breathing, or reduced coordination. If you see any of these symptoms in your dog, use water at the fountain to cool him off, then head to the nearest veterinary hospital to take good care of your best friend.

Thanks for bringing your dog to The Barkyard!