Over 2,500 People Sign LI-DOG’s Petition to Lift the Dog Ban on New York State’s Long Island Beaches!
***Dropbox link at bottom of release with photos***
March 8, 2021, Huntington, NY – More than 2,500 people have signed a petition launched Jan. 29th by the Long Island Dog Owners Group (LI-DOG) to lift the ban on dogs on New York State’s Long Island beaches! The Lift the Dog Ban on NY’s Long Island Beaches petition on Change.org received more than 1,000 signatures over its first weekend and then doubled to over 2,000 signatures within 10 days of launch. The petition has also generated dozens of supporting comments from Long Islanders and other New Yorkers. (See Highlights of Comments below.)
The petition is the result of years of complaints from Long Island dog owners about lack of access to Long Island’s primary recreational resource. Long Island is surrounded by miles of public beaches, but the vast majority of this public land is off limits to people with dogs. The New York State Office of Parks, which manages 14,000 acres of Long Island parks that have shoreline access, prohibits ALL access to NYS beaches on Long Island to people with dogs.
The petition states that denying access to so much recreational space to dog owners who pay taxes, which support this public land, is unacceptable. People should be allowed to bring their dogs to designated dog-friendly beaches.
The petition makes clear that LI-DOG is not asking for access to big, well-known public beaches where there are lifeguards and people sunbathe and swim during the summer. Dog owners are asking for access to non-lifeguarded beaches and shoreline areas appropriate for people with dogs. LI-DOG President Ginny Munger Kahn noted that there are long stretches of beach beyond lifeguarded areas where people could walk their dogs on-leash, just as the National Park Service allows at Fire Island National Seashore from Labor Day until March 15th. Moreover, there are bayside and Sound beaches where people don’t swim that would be appropriate for people with dogs.
The petition asks New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York State elected officials to lift the dog ban on LI beaches and work with LI-DOG to designate appropriate beaches for people with dogs.
NY’s ban on dogs on NYS beaches impacts tens of thousands of Long Islanders. Estimates are that 457,000 Long Island families have dogs. Those numbers have likely increased substantially as approximately 12.6 million households nationwide took in pets from March to December last year, according to the American Pet Products Association.
The pandemic highlights that access to public parks and beaches is critical to the health and well-being of people and their pets. In his State-of-the-State address in January asking for $440 million for public parks, Gov. Cuomo noted, “the ability to safely recreate outdoors will remain a critical complement to public health measures for months.” However, New York State has closed off thousands of acres of public land to Long Islanders with dogs at this critical time.
It’s time for Gov. Cuomo and elected officials to lift the ban on dogs on Long Island beaches. Public officials should work with LI-DOG to designate appropriate beaches and shoreline areas for people to take their dogs for exercise and recreation.
LI-DOG’s petition has generated dozens of supportive comments from Long Islanders and other New Yorkers. Check out all the great comments below:
Margo K., Port Washington, “As a taxpayer and dog owner it is ridiculous that I can’t walk my dogs on most Long Island beaches. My taxes support lots of public lands I don’t use like golf courses, tennis courts, sports arenas, etc. My taxes support the health & maintenance of the beaches so I should be allowed to walk my on-leash dogs on the beaches. And it shouldn’t be a poop issue, as I always pick up after my dogs, unlike numerous people who leave trash.”
Linda M., North Babylon, “I live and pay taxes in an area with vast beaches, yet cannot bring my two well behaved dogs to the beach! That needs to change.”
Tricia R., Massapequa, “I would love to enjoy outdoor spaces with my dog on public lands I pay taxes on! It is so vital, now more than ever, to enjoy the freedom that outdoor spaces provide and to enjoy them with our pets that we see as family! Long Island is particularly an unfriendly dog region and yet nearly every household has a dog…These old policies and laws need to be updated!”
Eileen D., Long Beach, “Long Island is an island, surrounded by shoreline with beaches. There must be a way to share some of the NYS controlled beachfront with dog owners and their dogs. Other states do it so NYS can figure out how to do it too…Please help us enjoy our dogs at the beach legally, safely, and fairly for all concerned.”
Gail P., Centerport, “Dogs are family and we taxpayers should be allowed to bring them with us to quiet beaches.”
Michael R., Merrick, “With so much beach on the Long Island Sound and ocean sides there must be areas opened up for dog owners.”
Judy D., Holbrook, “…The image of dogs running on beaches, splashing in the waves, even catching a Frisbee are iconic to American culture, yet the reality is denied to so many Long Islanders. It’s time to change that.”
Honi R., Baldwin, “Dogs do so much to improve our mental and physical health. Spending some time on a beach with them is good for both mind and spirit. Dogs should be allowed certain hours of the day and definitely off season. They certainly keep the beach cleaner than a lot of humans.”
Melissa S., Smithtown, “My dogs are part of my family. We have been looking for dog friendly places to retire because Long Island is one of the worst places to be…We are beach lovers and would love to share these moments with them. The [f]act that I cannot walk my dogs on a beach that is EMPTY most of the year is really ridiculous.”
Bonnie A., NY, “I love taking my dog for a walk on the beach. I am a responsible dog owner and always clean up after my dog.”
Carol G., Hampton Bays, “Long Islanders are responsible pet owners and tax payers and should have the option to walk their dog on a beach. Dogs are an integral part of family life on Long Island.”
William R., Port Washington, “It’s estimated that there are 459,000 dog-owning households on Long Island, yet NY State prohibits ALL access to New York State beaches on Long Island to people with dogs. This is wrong and must be changed.”
John D., East Northport, “I live near the North Shore beaches and would love to bring my dogs with me when I walk along the sound.”
Barbara W., New Hyde Park, “Because it’s shameful that responsible dog owners with their dogs are not allowed!!”
Michelle H., Great River, “Responsible dog owners should have beach access”
Theresa S., Levittown, “I have 2 dogs that love the water and I would love to just take a nice walk on the beach with them. I always have poop bags with me and if everyone cleans up after their dogs there should not be an issue. Long Island seems to be the worst place in the country when it comes to places dogs can go.”
Richard V., Syosset, “Long overdue!”
Sherri P., Patchogue, “It’s the right thing to do!”
To see the petition, go to Lift the Dog Ban on NY’s Long Island Beaches on Change.org.
Dropbox link with photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/s4au7znf6rghsuf/AAAkk7ulWrwoQERFlHaMy_Kha?dl=0
Photo Credits: LI-DOG or Joann Garguola, LI-DOG
Friends of Long Island Dog Parks, which does business as The Long Island Dog Owners Group, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to increasing access to public parks and beaches for Long Island dog owners and their dogs. Since its founding in 1998, LI-DOG has worked with elected officials and parks officils to open 10 dog parks and dozens of dog-friendly parks and trails around Long Island. For more information, go to www.lidog.org.
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Lift the Dog Ban on New York’s Long Island Beaches!
Let People Bring Their Dogs to the Beach
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 Change.org 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 Change.org 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 email@example.com.
Thank you for supporting our campaign and online petition!
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 should be able to learn, with webmaster assistance, how to install and work with a virtual server like Wamp, Mamp or Lamp. This will allow the volunteer to run, experiment with and modify a copy of the lidog website on their own computer. In addition, the volunteer should have, or be willing to acquire, a rudimentary knowledge of HTML, CSS, PHP and SEO.
Our webmaster will assist any volunteer in becoming proficient in the various areas. If you are interested, or know someone who would like to help LI-DOG, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org! Thanks!
COVID-19: INFORMATION FOR PET OWNERS
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.
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!
Join NYS Senator Monica R. Martinez and the Suffolk County SPCA for a Valentine’s Day Dog Party
Friday February 14, 2020, 11:45 AM
IBEW Local 25, 370 Motor Pkwy, Hauppauge, NY
Long Island’s first celebration of Doggietine Day. Free pet luncheon, free treats and more. For further details go to Doggietine Day
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.