Dix Hills Park Trail
Photo Credit: Irene Rabinowitz
July 11th Public Hearing on Proposal to Open Virtually All Huntington Parks to On-Leash Dog-Walking Goes Well
Town Board Vote May Come Tues., Aug. 15th
Please Continue to Show Your Support!
The Public Hearing on Tues., July 11th on a proposal to amend Huntington Town Code to allow on-leash dog walking in virtually all Town parks went very well. There were eight speakers at the public hearing including LI-DOG President Ginny Munger Kahn and six of those speakers spoke in favor of the resolution. Dog owners also have sent emails to the Town Board in support of the resolution. Thank you to everyone who attended the public hearing, spoke in favor of the proposal, and has sent emails on this change in the Town Code that will benefit so many people and dogs! (Read all about the Town’s proposal at Huntington Proposes Opening Almost All Town Parks to On-Leash Dogs.)
In LI-DOG’s statement, we noted the proposed change will allow more people to enjoy the Town’s public parks. Not only is this an important quality of life issue, but increasing park use makes our parks safer. Providing more access to parks also incents more people to get out and walk their dogs, which is good not only for dogs’ health, but for people’s health, too. “Walking your dog in a beautiful park is one of life’s great pleasures,” said Ginny. “We are grateful to the Huntington Town Board and the Huntington Greenway Trails Committee (on which LI-DOG serves) for recommending this change that will benefit so many Huntington residents.” (To read LI-DOG’s statement, go to Support Local Law Adopting Uniform Park Standards for Leashed Dogs in Huntington Town Parks.)
Among other speakers in support of the change was Mike Kaplow, president of the Siberian Husky Club of Greater New York. Mike, who was accompanied at the meeting by his service dog Lola, urged the Town Board to pass this “canine-loving legacy legislation.” He noted that in his experience he has found the vast majority of both dogs and their human companions are well behaved and responsible and he invited any naysayers to join him and Lola for a walk in the park including an LI-DOG Pack Walk. “You will see some of the best behaved dogs and most responsible human companions on our Island,” he said. (To read Mike Kaplow’s statement, go to Huntington’s Expansion of Dog Walking Areas.)
The main exception to the proposed new policy is Heckscher Park in Huntington Village. Supporters of the Town Code change including LI-DOG urged the Town Board in the future to lift the restriction on leashed dogs in Heckscher Park. ”Access to Heckscher Park is the most common request we get from Huntington dog owners and we believe Heckscher would benefit greatly from the presence of leashed dogs in terms of deterring the geese that foul the lawns and paths there, “said Ginny. “We are hopeful that once this new policy is in place and has proved successful, we can revisit this issue with the Town.”
In an interview with The Long Islander, Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone said the Town would be monitoring the parks closely to make sure people are cleaning up after their dogs and keeping their dogs on-leash. If the policy change is successful, he said, town officials will consider expanding the policy to more areas in the future. (Read The Long Islander article Canine-Loving Change Mulled by Board.)
Newsday has also covered the story including LI-DOG’s support for the proposed change. Read the Newsday story Have a Dog and a Leash? Huntington May Open More Parks for Use.
LI-DOG is excited about the proposed change in the Town Code. Not only does the proposed change benefit many dog owners and their dogs, but it sets a great precedent for other Towns on Long Island that still ban dog owners and their dogs from public parks.
If you haven’t already done so, and you’re a Huntington resident, please email or call Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone—the sponsor of this resolution—and Huntington Town Board members to thank them and let them know what this means to you and your dog! Don’t forget to cc: firstname.lastname@example.org so we can see your emails, too.
Supervisor Frank Petrone, email fpetrone@HuntingtonNY.gov or call 631-351-3030
Councilman Mark Cuthbertson, email mcuthbertson@HuntingtonNY.gov or call 631-351-3172
Councilwoman Susan Berland, email sberland@HuntingtonNY.gov or call 631-351-3173
Councilman Eugene Cook, email ecook@HuntingtonNY.gov or call 631-351-3174
Councilwoman Tracey Edwards, email tedwards@HuntingtonNY.gov or call 631-351-3175
Make sure to send a copy of your email to Huntington Town Clerk Jo-Ann Raia at jraia@HuntingtonNY.gov, so that your message is entered into the public record in support of the resolution.
As soon as we find out when the Town Board will vote on this important resolution we will let everyone know.
Thank you for your support!