Photo Credit: Joann Garguola

Lift the Dog Ban on New York’s Long Island Beaches!


Let People Bring Their Dogs to the Beach


Sign the Petition NOW!


The Long Island Dog Owners Group (LI-DOG) has launched a campaign and online petition to get access to New York State beaches on Long Island. Long Island is surrounded by hundreds of miles of beaches, but the vast majority of this public parkland is off-limits to people with dogs.

The New York State Office of Parks manages 14,000 acres of Long Island parks that have shoreline access. Yet, NYS prohibits ALL access to New York State beaches on Long Island to people with dogs! LI-DOG’s petition on asks NY Governor Andrew Cuomo and NYS elected officials to lift the ban on dogs on LI beaches.

Denying access to so much recreational space to dog owners who pay taxes that support this public parkland is unacceptable. For many people, walking, running and playing with their dogs outdoors is their main recreational activity. People with dogs have the right to enjoy public parks and beaches just like hikers, bikers, joggers or anyone else.

New York’s ban on dogs on NYS beaches impacts tens of thousands of Long Islanders. It is estimated that 457,000 Long Island families have dogs. Because of New York’s longstanding, outdated policy, these families can’t take their dogs to the beach for exercise and recreation. Veterinarians, trainers and animal behaviorists agree dogs need exercise and socialization for their health and well-being.

The pandemic highlights that access to public parkland is a basic right and need—whether you have a dog or not. During the pandemic, attendance at Long Island’s public parks and beaches soared as people sought safety from the virus and freedom from isolation at home in outdoor spaces. In January, Gov. Cuomo said in his State of the State message that “the ability to safely recreate outdoors will remain a critical complement to public health measures for months,” but Parks officials on LI have closed off thousands of acres of public land to people with dogs.

There is no reason New York State officials cannot find ways to accommodate people with dogs on its Long Island beaches. Parks systems around the country, including those on the East End of Long Island, have found ways to allow people with dogs to enjoy beaches. Long Island dog owners are just as responsible as dog owners in other areas of the country.

Let’s Be Clear: LI-DOG is not asking for access to NYS beaches where people swim and there are lifeguards during the summer. LI-DOG is asking for access to non-lifeguarded beaches and shoreline appropriate for people with dogs.

It’s time for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York State elected officials to lift the ban on dogs on Long Island beaches. Denying access to this major public recreational resource to taxpaying citizens is unacceptable.

The Office of Parks should work with LI-DOG to update its policies by designating appropriate beaches for people to take their dogs for exercise and recreation.

Let people bring their dogs to the beach!

What You Can Do NOW: Sign the Petition on to Lift the Dog Ban on New York’s Long Island Beaches! Show elected officials how much support there is for allowing people to bring their dogs to the beach.

Share the petition with your friends, family and other dog-loving Long Islanders. Share the link on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The hashtags for our campaign and petition are #DogFriendlyLIBeaches and #LIDogFriendlyBeaches. Feel free to add your own!

Once we reach our initial signature goal, we’ll go for more. The more signatures we get, especially from Long Islanders, the more likely we’ll get what we’re asking for—more access to beaches on Long Island!

Don’t forget, let people know WHY you’re signing the petition and what access to beaches means to you and your dog. Comments from individuals are a powerful way to strengthen our message!

We’ll provide updates on the petition, how we’re doing, and next steps soon. Feel free to get in touch with us at

Thank you for supporting our campaign and online petition!

08/06/2020 – Volunteer LI-DOG Website Assistants Wanted

ComputerDog volunteer Logo 

Volunteer LI-DOG Website Assistants Wanted!


Would you like to volunteer to help keep LI-DOG’s website as the go-to site for Long Island dog owners looking for fun places to go with their dogs? If yes, and you know the basics of the Windows, MAC or Linux operating systems and how to work with WordPress, we would like to hear from you!

We are looking to build a small team of volunteers who can assist our webmaster. A successful team member would also need a rudimentary knowledge of HTML, CSS, PHP and SEO techniques. In addition, the volunteer should be able to learn how to install and work with a virtual server like Wamp, Mamp or Lamp.

Our webmaster would be happy to help anyone who is interested in volunteering. If you are interested, or know someone who would like to help LI-DOG, email us at! Thanks!


picture of sick dog
Photo © Michael Pettigrew


The CDC and the American Veterinary Medical Association have published information concerning the effect of covid-19 on pets. Click on the links below to view these important documents.

AVMA on Covid 19 and Pets

SARS-CoV-2 in Animals

COVID-19 and Animals Frequently Asked Questions

Managing People With COVID-19 in Home Care Who Have Pets

If You Have COVID-19 and Animals

12/3/2019 – President’s 2019 Annual Report

2019 Another Very Good Year for LI-DOG, Says President

The following is a modified version of the President’s 2019 Report to the LI-DOG Board of Directors

We played a key role in getting on-leash access to Heckscher Park—an important, long-standing goal for Huntington dog owners—and we played an important role in helping get a new dog park built in Bayville in the Town of Oyster Bay.
In addition, we organized 12 very successful dog-friendly events that not only raised critical financial resources, but also continued our reputation for fun, well-managed events for dog owners and their pups. Our finances are in great shape, and we got good media coverage this year, especially in Newsday, which helps spread the word about who we are and what we do.
In both successful attempts to get more access to parks, LI-DOG provided key knowledge and resources to campaigns started by other dog owners. In the case of Heckscher Park, a petition to get access to the park was started by a Huntington dog owner who runs her own PR firm. She already was doing a great job getting signatures on the petition and media coverage of the campaign. LI-DOG was able to strengthen the campaign by using our email list and social media to raise awareness of the effort and get more signatures on the petition. In addition, because LI-DOG is a formal member of the Huntington Trails Committee, our communications to Town officials in favor of access had added credibility. The petition itself and the fact that it got over 2,000 signatures in a few short weeks was key, but we played an important role in organizing dog owners and making the case for access.
Similarly, when a dog owner from Bayville reached out to LI-DOG for help with her and her colleagues’ efforts to get a dog park there, we were able to step in and provide important resources to the effort. At the time she contacted us, the effort was facing pushback from Village officials on the environmental impact of the dog park. We were able to send over reams of documents showing that dog parks do not harm the environment. The organizers were already terrific advocates for the cause, but we were able to provide critical information when they needed it.
While LI-DOG did not start either of these two campaigns, the role we played was important. These campaigns represent a natural evolution of our role and our organization’s purpose. Because of our experience and resources, LI-DOG can provide the infrastructure on which other people’s campaigns for more access to parks can be built.
As far as what these two developments mean for the coming year, it means we should continue to make sure Long Island dog owners know we are available to help their efforts to get more access to parks and beaches. That means continuing to work to increase LI-DOG’s visibility in the media and among dog owners who are not already on our email list or our social media groups.
We also need to re-engage on our own campaign for more access to beaches. We have identified beaches at Gardiner Park in Suffolk County, Lido Beach West in Hempstead, and several New York State beaches as targets of opportunity. Some of these efforts may simply involve more phone calls and meetings with local officials, but the New York State campaign will likely require more work.
Our campaign for more access to beaches will need more engagement from all of us. It’s just too big an effort for one or two people to lead. It will require all of our organizing skills as well as more volunteers. Without those, this big goal of ours will not be met.
That being said, we should all be very proud of what LI-DOG has accomplished this year. Today, Long Island dog owners have more dog parks and more dog-friendly parks to enjoy than ever before. In addition to the dog park in Bayville, Suffolk County opened a new dog park in Gardiner Park and North Hempstead opened a dog park at Michael Tully Park. This situation is the result of more dog-friendly elected officials as well as years of our hard work and effort.
Before ending my remarks, I want to highlight the outstanding job our colleagues Marie Amsterdam and Joann Garguola have done with our events this year—more than 12, including 9 Pack Walks and 3 successful fundraisers. Their creativity, great organizational and communications skills, and their willingness to donate hours of their time have made our events not only popular with other dog owners, but also key to our ability to raise enough money to fulfill our mission. Thank you, Marie and Joann!
And, thank you to all of you [the LI-DOG Board of Directors] for continuing to contribute your time and resources to making 2019 another great year for LI-DOG!

Dog Friendly Long Island Towns

Dog Friendly Northport VillageNewsday Article: Dog-friendly Long Island Destinations

Those in the know have long considered Northport, Greenport and Cherry Grove to be dog friendly towns.  Now, in a recent article, Newsday has officially recognized their status and describes places to eat, play and shop in each town.  Read the Newsday article.