Welcome to the Historic Congressional Cemetery (HCC) K9 Corps. Please bear in mind that HCC is first and foremost a functioning cemetery – not a “dog park” – and dog walking is a privilege that is limited to members of the HCC K9 Corps. Non-member dog walking is only permitted with the purchase of a one-day pass ($10 per dog), and pass holders must follow K9 Corps rules. Collective enjoyment of the Cemetery should be readily possible as long as all dog walkers are courteous and considerate toward each other, the cemetery grounds, and other visitors.
The K9 Corps Committee has established the following rules and regulations to ensure that the Cemetery remains both a safe and pleasant environment for all. Please review these carefully; members will indicate agreement to fully comply with all terms and conditions of K9 Corps membership by signing an Acceptance of Rules/Waiver and Release of Liability at their annual mandatory membership meeting. Payment of the day-pass fee by non-members signifies an agreement to follow all K9 Corps rules, which are posted at the HCC entrance. Those found in violation of any of these rules may have their privileges revoked immediately and without refund.
- Display of K9 Corps tag(s) at all times. No member dog may enter the Cemetery grounds without its current K9 Corps tag displayed. Should replacement tag(s) be needed, a fee of $10 will be charged for each new tag issued.
- Control of animals at all times. All members/dog walkers must be in control of their dog(s), and aware of the location(s) of dog(s) at all times. This applies to K9 Corps members, day-pass holders, and any individual who brings a K9 Corps member dog to HCC.
- Limitation on dogs. Members/walkers are allowed to bring no more than three K9 Corps member dogs onto the HCC grounds at one time. Non-member dogs are not permitted without the purchase of a day pass.
- No exceptions policy on spay-neuter and vaccinations. All dogs walked in the Cemetery must be spayed or neutered and up-to-date on rabies and distemper vaccinations. Members must certify this by providing spay-neuter status and vaccination expiration dates at registration, and pass holders at the time of their first day-pass purchase. Any and all dogs walked in the Cemetery must be spayed or neutered; no exceptions will be made to this policy, including for puppies that have not yet reached spay-neuter age. Members and pass holders agree to provide proof of current vaccinations and spay-neuter status to HCC staff or the K9 Committee upon request.
- Cemetery closure to all dogs. The Cemetery is closed to dog walking between 11 a.m. and 3 m. every Saturday and on specific holidays, including Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Dog walking is prohibited during ALL burials and services. The Cemetery will also be closed at other times for special events, as announced in advance to the K9 Corps. Notifications of periodic closures for burials and events are sent via email to all members/walkers; posted on Twitter, Facebook, and CemeteryDogs.org; and signage indicating closure is placed at the HCC main gate. It is the walker’s responsibility to confirm that the Cemetery is open to dogs before visiting. To maintain the integrity of non-dog walking events, the owner of any dog found to be on the Cemetery grounds during closure hours will have their membership/day-pass privileges immediately revoked.
- Respect for HCC visitors and other dog walkers. Even during non-closure hours, dogs must be kept away from individuals visiting grave sites, as well as any burial services, ceremonies, group tours, grounds maintenance crews, and all other non-dog walking visitors and All dog walkers are expected to show respect to their fellow walkers. Any individual who engages in abusive, hostile, or other inappropriate behavior that potentially endangers the safety and well-being of others may be permanently banned from entering the Cemetery.
- Respect for HCC grounds. All members/walkers must be respectful of the Cemetery monuments and grave markers. Because of the risk of damage and/or injury, do not sit or lean on the gravestones. Dogs, children, and others must not climb on the grassy areas covering the family vaults. Out of concern for the monuments and grounds, the use of balls, Frisbees, or dog toys of any kind is not permitted in the Cemetery.
- Cleaning up after dogs. Regardless of the weather or time of day or year, members/walkers must clean up after all dogs at all times, disposing of waste properly. If you see waste, please pick it up even if it was not left by your dog. Please bring a flashlight if you come after dark.
- Leashing dogs for entry/exit. ALL dogs must be on leash while entering and exiting the gates. Signs are posted to indicate where it is permissible to unleash your dog. Members/walkers are also encouraged to “keep it moving” around the gates and other high-traffic areas in order to avoid critical masses of dogs, which can bring on aggressive behavior.
- Applicability of rules to professional dog walkers. Professional dog walkers must register with the Cemetery on an annual basis – providing any updates to contact and client information as needed – and complete the Acceptance of Rules/Waiver and Release of Liability. It is the responsibility of the K9 Corps member to ensure their dog walker is aware of this new requirement. Professional dog walkers must adhere to all K9 Corps rules, including the limitation on walking no more than three member dogs at a time (non- member dogs are not permitted). If this policy is violated, both the walker and owner will receive a warning and, should a future violation occur, both walker and owner will be banned from dog walking in the Cemetery.
- Applicability of rules to day-pass holders. As stated, individuals purchasing a one-day pass ($10 per dog) must adhere to all K9 Corps rules and regulations. Those found to be in violation will have their day-pass privileges permanently revoked and, per the decision of the K9 Committee, may be prohibited from obtaining future K9 Corps membership.
- Aggressive dogs and handling of incidents. Each and every incident of aggressive dog behavior that walkers are involved in or witness must be reported via an Incident Report (web form at cemeterydogs.org or hard copy available in HCC office). All walkers must strongly discourage rough or aggressive play by their dogs. Should an aggressive dog incident occur, the following apply:
- Apologies for aggressive behavior are expected.
- A report must be submitted to make HCC staff and the K9 Committee aware of each incident caused by an aggressive dog. These reports are reviewed by the K9 Committee, in consultation with HCC staff. The K9 Committee will rule at its regular meetings on any action(s) necessary to enforce the K9 Corps rules.
- If appropriate, parties are encouraged to resolve minor incidents among An incident report should still be submitted.
- Payment of any vet bills by the owner(s) of the aggressive dog(s) is mandatory.
- Dogs that engage in repeated instances of aggressive behavior may be required to be leashed or muzzled while on the Cemetery grounds.
- Dogs that are deemed a danger (to humans, animals, or otherwise) by HCC and/or the K9 Committee will be banned from the Cemetery grounds for life.
- Membership terms and conditions. The 2018 K9 Corps membership term is March 1, 2018 through February 28, 2019. No more than 770 member dog permits/tags will be issued for this term, and only dogs that have been issued member tags are permitted to walk in the Cemetery. All dogs included in an individual K9 Corps membership must reside in the home of the member. Memberships are non-refundable and non-transferable.