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Why CharlestownDogs?

Charlestown's dog population has grown dramatically in the last few years, and it's no wonder-Charlestown is a great place to have a dog! But with this increase in the dog population comes an increased need for owners to practice responsible behaviors and ensure that their dogs do as well. Unfortunately there are active complaints in the Mayor's office about disruptive barking, ignored poop, and unleashed jumping. Additionally, the toll that dog play takes on landscaped park areas is no secret, and is getting our beloved dogs a bad reputation among neighbors and various City organizations. 

Some may be surprised to know that there are virtually no public off-leash areas for owners to exercise their dogs in Charlestown. Owners are forced to utilize park spaces for dog play at their own (and their dogs') risk. While enforcement in some areas has been lax, members are finding an increase in patrols by DCR, Animal Control Officers, and Park Rangers in the popular spots.


Fortunately CharlestownDogs is working to increase awareness of this need for sanctioned off-leash spaces, as well as other resources for dog owners including waste bag dispensers and water fountains. We also hold regular efforts to clean up the neighborhood and repair damaged turf in parks around town. It's important to have our members' cooperation in ensuring that we, and our dogs, are good neighbors to everyone in Charlestown. If we can take responsibility for our dogs collectively, we will earn support from the entire community AND have an easier time getting our long-term plans approved for better dog facilities and recreation areas in town. 

Practicing responsible ownership is easy!

Just remember these simple guidelines


Be considerate about where you allow your dog to relieve itself, and always pick up the poop!


Restrain barking in residential areas.


Train your dog not to jump up onto people


Prevent your dog from digging holes on public land

Our Mission
  • Advocating for the rights and interests of Charlestown dog owners

  • Promoting responsible dog behavior and ownership practices, emphasizing respect for our neighbors and the community

  • Making a positive impact on the neighborhood for ALL residents

  • Providing social and recreational opportunities for owners and their dogs

  • Connecting members with additional resources and events in the area

  • Working to expand recreational venues for dogs on- and off-leash in Boston, enabling responsible dog owners to exercise and socialize their dogs

Meet The Leadership Team

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Nikki Nutter

Nikki serves as the president of CharlestownDogs assuming this position in January 2023. She has been active with Charlestown's dogs for many years. Nikki has two dogs of her own after years of fostering.

Chris Lovell

Chris has lived in Charlestown with his wife Julie and dog Izzy since 2013. He was raised in Newton and lived in the greater Boston area his entire life. He founded CharlestownDogs in 2009 with Kristen Lanni (and Dexter) intending to improve our dog community and learn how to coexist with all citizens in Charlestown. So far, so good.

Annie Elfar

Annie and her husband Austin moved to Charlestown in 2019 with their spirited goldendoodle, Wilbur. A longtime resident of Boston, Annie has been an active member of the dog community for nearly a decade. She serves as Secretary for CharlestownDogs, helping to keep our group focused and effective. She does a great job. No small task.   

Arthur Colpack

Arthur is a founding member of CharlestownDogs. Arthur is a 40 year resident of Charlestown. He was joined by Kona, a beautiful muti-mix of unknown origins, in 2014. Arthur and Kona can be seen in all parts of Charlestown. Arthur is a legendary advocate for Charlestown and our dogs!

Rachel Birchler

Rachel is a 4 year member of CharlestownDogs Leadership. She and Maisy are seen often at the Monument and patrolling the streets of Charlestown.




Stephanie Downs

Stephanie and Bryan moved to Charlestown in 2020 and it quickly became their favorite place. Shortly thereafter they added George, a golden retriever to the family, who has been keeping them busy since! 


Erik Gauthier

Erik serves as the Treasurer of CharlestownDogs. He and Jordan manage the busy life of a new baby, active jobs and their hound.




Kelsey Yevak

We were thrilled to have Kelsey join our Leadership team in 2021. She is helping with our communications outreach and events all while planning a wedding and an active pharmaceutical job. You will see Kelsey and Isla roaming our town.


Colleen Cole

Colleen joined CharlestownDogs Leadership in the fall of 2022. She runs NewPupsOnTheBlock, a dog walking and management business based in Charlestown. Colleen is helping with our events as well as planning some urban dog training programs.

Alison McArdle

Alison has been a strong supporter of CharlestownDogs for many years. As an attorney with expertise in the public sector, Alison will and has helped our dog owning community connect with important government resources.

Abby Gould

Balancing life with a new born and professional responsibilities, Abby joins our board to help with many local dog initiatives. She has direct experience working directly with various level of government which will certainly serve us well as we improve dog life in Charlestown.

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