LI-DOG – Who We Are
The Long Island Dog Owners Group (LI-DOG) is a non-profit organization that works to create dog parks and increase access to public parkland and beaches for Long Island dog owners and their dogs so they can enjoy Long Island’s beautiful parks and beaches just like every other family on Long Island.
LI-DOG has organized dog owners and worked with elected officials and Parks officials since 1998 to create 10 dog parks and dozens of new on-leash dog walking trails on Long Island parkland. Among the off-leash areas LI-DOG has helped create are the Blydenburgh, Cherry Avenue, Huntington, Robinson Duck Farm, Selden and West Hills Dog Parks in Suffolk County plus the Eisenhower, Town of Oyster Bay at Massapequa, and Village of Valley Stream dog parks in Nassau County. In addition, LI-DOG worked with the Suffolk Parks Dept. to establish the off-leash beach at Mud Creek County Park in E. Patchogue.
More recently, LI-DOG has helped open new on-leash dog walking trails in Nassau County and Town of Huntington parks where walking leashed dogs was previously banned. These on-leash trails can be found in Eisenhower Park, Christopher Morley Park, Mill Pond Park and Massapequa Preserve in Nassau County. The Town of Huntington opened virtually all Town parks to leashed dogs in August 2017, as a result of the recommendation of the Huntington Greenway Trails Committee on which LI-DOG serves. Dog-friendly parks in Huntington now include Centerport Park, Dix Hills Park, Gardiner Farm Park, Sunshine Acres, Twin Ponds North and Jeffrey Wenig Park, among others. (Read more about these great steps forward for dog owners as well as the latest on LI-DOG’s current efforts by going to News.)
LI-DOG also organizes and participates in dog-friendly events to raise money and awareness of our cause. Among LI-DOG’s most popular events are its signature LI-DOG Pack WalksTM—guided group on-leash dog walks in dog-friendly parks around Long Island. The popularity of LI-DOG Pack WalksTM—they regularly attract dozens of dog owners and their dogs–highlights how much people want and enjoy walking their dogs in public parks. (To see upcoming dog-friendly events, go to our Events page.)
For years, veterinarians, trainers, and animal behaviorists have known that exercise and socialization are key to the health and well-being of dogs. “A tired dog is a good dog” is not an empty phrase. Many dog owners report seeing their dogs’ behavior change for the better when they get adequate exercise. Exercise is also important for people’s health. In fact, there is considerable evidence that people who own dogs are more active physically than the general population. Given the nation’s problems with obesity and inactivity, public officials should do everything in their power to encourage people to get out and exercise with their dogs, for their health and that of their dogs, by providing access to safe and attractive recreational space.
Yet, there are still many parks on Long Island where dog owners cannot walk their dogs, even on-leash, and most beaches remain off limits to Long Island dog owners even during the off season. This is not right! Dog owners pay taxes that support public parks, just like everybody else, yet they can’t use them. Dog owners represent a large proportion of the population. Fifty percent of American households own at least one dog, according to the American Pet Products Association . That’s 471,178 families with dogs on Long Island. It’s time the needs of these families were addressed.
With our supporters continuing to grow in numbers and public officials increasingly aware of the benefits of dog ownership, we are confident LI-DOG can continue to expand dog-friendly parks and beaches on Long Island. But, we can’t do it alone. We need YOUR help. Join LI-DOG today! Together, we can improve the lives of thousands of dogs and the people who love them!