Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Boy Scout Project

Saturday, August 8th, 2015

On August 8 and 9, approximately 15 Boy Scouts—one of whom is working toward his Eagle Scout badge (Andrew)—came to the Barkyard to build new benches, cut down a dead tree, clean up weeds, and generally spruce up the area. We would like to thank Andrew M., Paul M., Mitchell S., Theresa R., Nathaniel G., Brian and Ben T., Tyler L., Zachary L., Alex and Justin R., Evan R., Tad E., Kyle T., Alex E., and Stephen N., for taking time out of their busy lives to work on this project. We couldn’t have asked for a better bunch of workers!

The benches this project provided look great, and will make a great addition to the cement benches we have planned for installation in the next few months.

Service Project: Saturday, August 8, and Sunday, August 9

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

Andrew Morrison, a Life Scout with Boy Scout Troop 659 at Queen of Martyrs Church in Cheektowaga, New York, is proposing to complete his Eagle Service Project at the Barkyard, as a requirement toward earning his Eagle Rank. For his project, Andrew and his helpers will be providing four new benches (unrelated to the cement benches we are also installing this year), replacing and adding trees, improving the drainage around the fountain on the all dog side, and cleaning up the shelter and the fence-line weeds.

Andrew’s service project will take place on Saturday, August 8, 2015, from 10am until mid-afternoon, and on Sunday, August 9, as needed.

The Barkyard will remain open during this project. We ask for your cooperation—as gates may be opening more frequently than usual, and there will be several volunteers working in each side of the Barkyard.

Andrew is raising the funds to purchase the benches and trees, and other additional materials needed. If you can help him out with your time or donation of materials, please contact Andrew at 716-830-4951.

If you would like to donate funding toward this project, you may email, or donate on our page. Funds raised will be dedicated to helping Andrew defray the costs involved.

We can all agree that new benches are sorely needed at the park, and this is a wonderful way to obtain them. It is also quite obvious that work on the drainage around the fountain at the all dog side is needed. Please consider helping to make these needs a reality through the donation of your time, energy, resources, or money.

Thank you,
The Buffalo Off-Leash Area Board of Directors

Bench Fundraiser

Sunday, July 12th, 2015

bench-castGreat news! We are in the process of having semi-permanent cement benches custom made for the Barkyard. The cast has been made, and we expect to have the benches completed and installed this summer. To help offset the cost of each bench, we have several donation options—many of which put your dogs’ names permanently on display at one of their favorite places to visit.

Dog tag with donor or donor’s dog name: $75

6-inch custom inlay: $325

Half bench sponsorship: $950

Full bench sponsorship: $1800

Bench donation of your choice.

For donations under $75, you may receive a special gift, or a letter of appreciation. For other amounts, we will contact you to discuss options.

We will have more details as the bench-building process moves forward. No company names allowed, we will contact you to discuss options, and verify spelling. For more information, please feel free to contact us at

Spring Update

Monday, 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, leave a voicemail at (716) 218-0303, or send a message on our Facebook page.

Winter Park Use

Sunday, 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.

Instagram Contest

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

State of the Bark 2014

Saturday, 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

Sunday, 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

Friday, 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!”

Mitzvah Day 2013

Tuesday, 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!

State of the Bark – 2013

Tuesday, 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

How to keep dogs cool and avoid heatstroke

Tuesday, 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!

April Stools Day 2012

Monday, March 26th, 2012

This year’s April Stools Day will be Sunday, April 15th at 10:00am.

As usual, we can use all the help we can get, so if you can spare some time to help keep the Barkyard a fun, safe, and clean place to visit, please stop by!

Our mascot has a name!

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

And her name is Lola! The winning name was submitted by Kathleen Hackford, who won our grand prize of $400.
The runner up, Dash, was submitted by Don Mitchell, with a prize of $100 to Dash’s Market (completely a coincidence).
Both prizes were donated by a Friend of the Barkyard.
Thank you to the over 1,000 people who submitted names!

Name Our Dog Contest

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

Sam? Molly? Snuffleupagus?

Please help me find my identity! I’m calling all Barkyard devotees to help me find me a name. I may actually stop running and take a rest once I can be called by name!

How will I get a name?

It’s simple: Submit a name that you think best suits me. Remember, not only do I not have a name, I don’t even know my gender (thanks a lot, Barkyard Board Members) so anything is possible!

The chosen entry will win $400 cash*, and the opportunity to reveal the selected name at our upcoming fundraiser in February, as well as being featured on our website with your story of how you selected that name.

One Runner Up will receive a $100 gift certificate for Dash’s Market.*

The “small print”:

Entering is free of charge, and you may enter as many names as you’d like. The name will be selected by the Barkyard’s Board of Directors (so entering the same name more than once would be silly). If the winning name is suggested by multiple entrants, the first entry for that name will win. The winner will be notified late in February.

*All prizes donated by a Friend of the Barkyard.

Thank you, and good luck!

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