Montgomery County dog owners soon might be the ones barking.
Visitors to the county's dog parks will have to pay an annual fee to use the five parks starting Aug. 1, said officials with the county Department of Parks.
The fee is $40 for the first dog and $5 for each additional dog for county residents. Non-county residents will have to pay $48 for the first dog and $6 for each additional.
Once the fee is paid, permit owners will receive a colored dog tag that has to be visible on the dog's collar while using the park. The owner can use any of the parks in the county.
Montgomery's dog parks Black Hill Regional Park, Boyds
Ridge Road Recreational Park, Germantown
Wheaton Regional Park
Cabin John Regional Park, Bethesda
Olney Manor Park
The fees are expected to generate about $40,000 this fiscal year, said county Parks Department spokeswoman Kelli Holsendolph. She said the money will go into the Montgomery Parks Department general fund, with money from that fund used to pay for maintenance of the dog parks. After Aug. 1, park police may issue fines, up to $50, to owners without permits.
Holsendolph said the park police's current emphasis is just to spread the word.
"Right now, our park police are focused on educating the public of the new permit requirement," she said.
Permits issued between now and December 2011 will be valid through December 2011. Starting January 2012, the permits can be renewed annually in January.
Montgomery Parks is under the Maryland-National Park and Planning Commission, which is overseen jointly by Montgomery and Prince George's counties.
For more information and how to obtain a permit, visit parkpermits.org