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.04/18/2024 – Critical Stage Now in LI-DOG Effort to Open NYS Parks   Recently updated !

 

No Dogs Allowed Sign

Critical Stage NOW in LI-DOG Effort to Open NYS Parks on Long Island to People with Dogs!


Call Your NYS Senator and Assemblymember TODAY. Urge Them to Support Legislation to Allow Dogs in All NYS Parks!

Time is of the essence! We only have a few weeks to build support for the legislation. Call NYS Senator Monica Martinez and Assemblyman Steve Stern TODAY and let them know you support their legislation to allow dogs in NYS parks on Long Island with reasonable restrictions. Then, call your NYS Senator and Assemblymember! It’ll only take a couple of minutes, but will give us the best chance of finally lifting widespread bans on dogs in LI’s NYS parks!  For contact information, check out Critical Stage Now in LI-DOG Effort to Open NYS Parks!

 


04/12/2024 – LI-DOG Effort to Open NYS Parks Now at Critical Stage   Recently updated !

 

No Dogs Allowed Sign

Photo Credit: Joann Garguola

Critical Stage NOW in LI-DOG Effort to Open Long Island’s New York State Parks to People with Dogs!

 

Call Sen. Monica Martinez and Assemb. Steve Stern TODAY and let them know you support their legislation to allow dogs in all NYS parks.

Last year, Sen. Martinez and Assemb. Stern heard primarily from opponents. This year, Sen. Martinez and Assemb. Stern need to hear from supporters like YOU!

The legislation has picked up two co-sponsors, but that’s not enough. We need more elected officials from Long Island to support this legislation!

 

Call Your NYS Senator and NYS Assemblymember TODAY and ask them to support S.4993B in the Senate and A.6244B in the Assembly.

Find Your NYS Senator    Find Your NYS Assemblymember

                         Time is of the essence. We only have a few weeks to build support for the legislation before the Legislature adjourns in early June!

NYS Senator Monica Martinez and NYS Assemblyman Steve Stern have introduced  legislation to allow dogs in ALL NYS parks, with reasonable restrictions. People with dogs are now denied access to more than 14,000 acres of NYS public parks on Long Island including all beaches. Dog owners pay taxes that support this public parkland and should be able to enjoy access to public parks just like everybody else.

Please call Sen. Martinez and Assemb. Stern TODAY and let them know you support their legislation to allow dogs in all NYS parks.

Call Sen. Martinez at: 518-455-2765 (in Albany) or 631-341-7111 (on Long Island).

Call Assemb. Stern at: 518-455-5732 (in Albany) or 631-271-8025 (on Long Island).

Say the following:

My name is [your first and last name] and I live in [your town]. I want to let Sen. Martinez/Assemb. Stern know that I strongly support allowing dogs in all NYS parks. I am a taxpayer and responsible dog owner and should be able to enjoy LI’s beautiful parks just like everyone else. Thank you so much for leading the effort to make this possible!

If you want to add more to your message, send the Senator and Assemblyman a follow up email! Sen. Martinez is at martinez@nysenate.gov and Assemb. Stern is at sterns@nyassembly.gov.

We still need more elected officials from Long Island to support this legislation.   

Call your NYS Senator TODAY and ask them to support S.4993B.   Next, call your NYS Assemblymember and ask them to support A.6244B.  It’ll only take a couple of minutes.

How to Find Your NYS Senator and Assemblymember. Click on these links: Find Your NYS Senator and Find Your NYS Assemblymember. Fill in your address on the screen. That will bring up a screen with your Senator or Assemblymember’s name, photo and a button that says Message the Senator or Contact. Click the button. That will bring up a screen with their phone numbers in Albany and on Long Island plus their email address. A quick phone call is the easiest. Call their Albany or Long Island office.

Say the following:

Hello! My name is [your first and last name] and I am your constituent. I live in [the name of your town]. I am calling to ask the Senator/Assemblymember to support S.4993B (in the Senate) and A.6244B (in the Assembly)—legislation that will allow dogs in all NYS parks with reasonable restrictions.

I am a taxpayer and responsible dog owner, but right now thousands of acres of NYS public parks on Long Island, including ALL beaches, are off-limits to me and my dog.

I can’t emphasize enough how important this issue is to me. Your support will be an important consideration when I vote this coming November.

Please support this legislation that will have a positive impact on my life and that of thousands of other Long Island dog owners and their canine companions. Thank you for your consideration.

 

Remember, be polite, and if you have more to say, follow up with an email!

Please  cc: LI-DOG at lidog_news@yahoo.com on any emails you send. We love seeing your great messages and that helps us know how we’re doing with our campaign.

Please note:

  • In response to feedback last year, the legislation has been revised so dogs are not allowed on swimming or sunbathing beaches, in sensitive wildlife areas, or in other areas typically set off limits to dogs.
  • Also, dog owners must clean up after their dogs and dogs must be kept on-leash, except in designated off-leash areas.
  • Even with these restrictions, there are thousands of acres of NYS public parkland, including non-swimming beaches, which are appropriate for people with dogs.

Again, time is of the essence! The Legislature adjourns in early June and a whole new Legislature takes office next year.  Just a few minutes of your time gives us the best chance to finally lift the widespread ban on dogs in NYS parks on LI!

Want to Do More? Sign up to become a volunteer organizer. Email us at lidog_news@yahoo.com with Organizer Help in the subject line and we’ll add you to our team working to get this legislation passed!

Thank you for your support!

 

 

 


LI-DOG Relaunches NYS Parks Campaign

No Dogs Allowed Sign

Opening Long Island’s New York State Parks to People with Dogs Tops LI-DOG’s 2024 Agenda!

With the New York Legislature back in session, LI-DOG is relaunching its campaign to get legislation passed that will allow dogs in all New York State parks. Right now, people with dogs are denied access to more than 14,000 acres of NYS public parks on Long Island, including all beaches. NYS Senator Monica Martinez and Assemblyman Steve Stern, sponsors of the legislation, have reiterated their commitment to getting their bills passed this year. We need YOUR help and time is of the essence! For more information about the campaign, go to Opening LI’s NYS Parks to People with Dogs Tops LI-DOG’s 2024 Agenda.


LI-Dog Relaunches NYS Parks Campaign

No Dogs Allowed Sign

Opening Long Island’s New York State Parks to People with Dogs Tops LI-DOG’s 2024 Agenda!

Group Seeks Letters of Support for the Legislation

With the New York Legislature back in session, LI-DOG is relaunching its campaign to get legislation passed that will allow dogs in all New York State parks. Right now, people with dogs are denied access to more than 14,000 acres of New York State public parks on Long Island, including all beaches. This is unacceptable. Dog owners pay taxes that support this public parkland and they have a right to enjoy it.

The sponsors of the legislation–Monica Martinez in the NYS Senate and Steven Stern in the Assembly–have reiterated their commitment to getting this legislation passed this year. Please let Sen. Martinez and Assemb. Stern know how much you appreciate their support for access to public parks by dog owners and their pups. It is extremely important that they hear from you!

Time is of the essence. The NYS Legislature is only in session until early June. We need to build support for the two bills that will make this happen–S.4993B in the Senate and A.6244 in the Assembly.

Our efforts now are focused on:

  • Getting letters/emails of support for the legislation from animal welfare and business organizations. Check out the terrific letter of support submitted by the American Kennel Club on behalf of their clubs here. As the AKC writes:

“Increasingly, pet owners are seeking opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities—and the health benefits that come from them—with their four-footed family members. Allowing dog owners to enjoy state parks with their dogs will promote responsible pet ownership while expanding opportunities for exercise and recreation.”

  • WHAT YOU CAN DO: If you have connections to business organizations such as local Chambers of Commerce, real estate firms, veterinary hospitals, or other local businesses or if you have connections with animal welfare organizations such as local rescue groups, email us ASAP at lidog_news@yahoo.com. We can help make the case for a letter.
  • We’re also looking to pick up co-sponsors for the legislation. Sen. Martinez’s bill now has two co-sponsors—NYS Senator Toby Ann Stavinsky from Queens County and Sen. Dean Murray from the Bayport/Yaphank area. Please thank Senators Stavinsky and Murray for their critical support for this legislation. It’ll only take a minute to call or email your thanks!
  • We’re putting together lists of other elected officials that can be contacted for their support. We’ll be back in touch with their names and contact information soon.
  • Please be aware that the legislation has been amended to address concerns that arose last year about dogs on swimming beaches. The legislation now specifically restricts dogs from bathing beaches and sunbathing areas as well as playgrounds, sensitive wildlife areas and other locations typically set off limits to dogs.
  • Even with these restrictions, there are hundreds of acres of NYS parks on Long Island that are appropriate for people with dogs to enjoy!

Please email us at lidog_news@yahoo.com and let us know if you can help reach out to local business and animal welfare organizations for Letters of Support. Thank you for your help!


.07/30/2023 – LI-DOG’s Pooch a Palooza Luau 2023

 

Dogs and People Enjoy Outdoor Fun at LI-DOG’s Pooch-a-Palooza Luau at The Pine Grove Inn!

For the first time, LI-DOG held its Pooch-a-Palooza Luau, a summer festival celebrating outdoor fun for our canine companions, at The Pine Grove Inn in E. Patchogue. The event, an important fundraiser for the all-volunteer nonprofit organization, featured music, games, raffles, brunch for people and their pups, dog-themed cocktails (for people only),  a craft booth and Tikki Bar Photo Booth. The event attracted more than 80 guests and volunteers. “We had a great time and we hope everyone who came with their dogs did, too,” said LI-DOG Events Chair Joann Garguola. To see the names of all our winners and get links to more photos, go to LI-DOG’s Pooch-a-Palooza Luau 2023.

 


07/30/2023 – LI-DOG’s Pooch a Palooza Luau 2023

 

DOGS AND PEOPLE ENJOY OUTDOOR FUN AT LI-DOG’S POOCH-A-PALOOZA LUAU AT THE PINE GROVE INN!

By Sam Desmond***

 

 

With the start of a new partnership with The Pine Grove Inn, the Long Island Dog Owners Group held their Pooch-a-Palooza Luau on Sun., July 30th on the banks of the Swan River in E. Patchogue.

One of the most well-attended events on LI-DOG’s calendar and an important fundraiser for the group, the Luau is a summer festival celebrating outdoor fun for our canine companions and the importance of dog-friendly venues.

This year, more than 60 people came with their dogs for an afternoon of games, raffles, and human and dog socializing. More than 20 volunteers helped LI-DOG run the event.

Numerous businesses and several individuals donated raffle baskets to help raise funds for LI-DOG’s ongoing work to open more public parkland in Nassau and Suffolk to our four-legged friends.

Donors included: Bark BoxBrutus Bone BrothChewyClovis Point WinesEarth BathGreat South Bay Brewery, Kitty Mulligans Irish Pub, Martial ArfsMy Human ”N” MePalominosPersonalize Your Pet, and The Ivy Kitchen and Bar. Plus, Alan Meschkow donated a custom pencil sketch of  the raffle winner’s dog and his wife Gail made a beautiful handknit sweater and hat set for a lucky pup and her pet parent. Gail Katz donated a basket of wine along with her beautiful hand-painted glasses.

The Pine Grove Inn generously donated their scenic outdoor patio and lawn for the event.

A special dog-friendly menu was curated for the event-goers’ canine palates with such items as grilled chicken and rice with carrots and green beans.

Pet parents were offered dog-themed cocktails like Beagle Mary’s, Tom Collies and Chi WaWa’s (margaritas, of course!).

“We are extremely grateful to the management and staff of The Pine Grove Inn for their generosity in donating their beautiful outdoor space for our fundraising event and for their enthusiastic and creative participation in making the event fun for our human and canine guests!” said LI-DOG president, Ginny Munger Kahn.

To get guests into the party spirit, DJ Mike Kaplow played music from the 50s, 60s and beyond.

A pet parent favorite of the event were the contests, which included the Biggest Lap Dog and Musical Sit games. The Biggest Lap Dog contest once again provided lots of entertainment as the pups climbed atop their hoomans, with some stopping mid-climb to check out the “man behind the curtain” (our DJ)! Prizes were given for 1st (Kimberly & Aspen), 2nd (Allan & Nate) and 3rd Place (Linda & Sollie).

Photo of three people with their dogs who won our Musical Sit contest

Winners of the Musical Sit Contest
Photo Credit: Joann Garguola

Musical Sit was also quite popular with more than a dozen dog and human contestants. The last dog to sit when the music stopped was eliminated. Prizes were awarded for 1st (Linda & Sollie—again!), 2nd (Jack & Tucker) and 3rd Place (Nira & Daisy).

Sixteen attendees won raffle baskets, which included items like a wine tasting at Clovis Point Vineyards in Jamesport, a basket of custom brews from Great South Bay Brewery, gift certificates to several Long Island restaurants, and dog toys, treats and other goodies.

Of course, for the influencer-doggie, there was the Instagram-ready Tikki Bar Photo Booth and for souvenirs of the day, a Paw Print Craft where people could create a print of their pup’s paw and then decorate it with craft items.

“We had a great time and we hope everyone who came with their dogs did, too,” said LI-DOG Events Chair Joann Garguola.

The event would not have been possible without the considerable help of our volunteers, she added, thanking the crew that included Allan, Annemarie, Diane, Donna, Gina, Heath, Judy, Lana, Laurie, Lawrence, Lynn Kay, Matt, Melanie, Nira, Raquel, Roseann, Sabina and Sagar for staffing the welcome desk, signing up contestants for the games, judging our games, and running the raffle baskets to our guests.

“Great job to everyone who helped,” said Joann. “We look forward to doing this again!”

To see more photos from our Luau, go to:

LI-DOG on Meetup

LI-DOG on Facebook

 

***Sam Desmond is Contributing Editor at Suffolk County News, Long Island Advance and several other newspapers. She can be reached at snd.scribe@gmail.com.

 

 


.07/07/2023 – LI-DOG Dog Water Fountain Opening in Heckscher Park

Photo Credit: Jackson Shrout

LI-DOG’s Dog Water Fountain Donation to Huntington’s Heckscher Park Celebrated on July 7th!

It was a hot and sunny day when Huntington Town Councilwoman Joan Cergol joined LI-DOG, other dog owners and their pups to celebrate the grand opening of a new dog water fountain donated by LI-DOG to Huntington’s Heckscher Park. The donation is part of an effort by LI-DOG to enhance the enjoyment of dog-friendly parks on Long Island by dog owners and their dogs. LI-DOG also made the donation in grateful acknowledgement of the Town of Huntington’s decision two years ago to allow on-leash dog walking in the town’s signature community park. To get details on the grand opening and LI-DOG’s donation, go to LI-DOG’s Dog Water Fountain Donation to Huntington’s Heckscher Park!


07/07/2023 – LI-DOG Dog Water Fountain Opening in Heckscher Park

 

LI-DOG’s Dog Water Fountain Donation to Huntington’s Heckscher Park Celebrated at Grand Opening on July 7th!

 

Photo Credit: Danielle Fliller

On a hot and beautiful July day, Huntington Town Councilwoman Joan Cergol and other Town officials joined LI-DOG, other dog owners and their pups to celebrate the grand opening of a new dog water fountain donated by LI-DOG to Huntington’s Heckscher Park!

LI-DOG has dedicated the dog water fountain to “the dogs and people who love Heckscher Park.”

The donation is part of an effort by LI-DOG to enhance the enjoyment of dog-friendly parks on Long Island by dog owners and their dogs. Two years ago, LI-DOG donated a park bench to the new dog run at dog-friendly Belmont Lake State Park in Babylon.

LI-DOG also made the donation in grateful acknowledgement of the Town of Huntington’s decision two years ago to allow on-leash dog walking in the town’s signature community park. That effort was led by Councilwoman Cergol who sponsored the resolution to allow on-leash dog walking in the park and oversaw the successful pilot program that led to the Town Board’s unanimous decision in Nov. 2020 to make Heckscher Park permanently dog-friendly. LI-DOG worked with Councilwoman Cergol to make sure dog owners were aware of the commonsense rules for walking dogs in the park such as keeping dogs on-leash and picking up after them.

The opening ceremony on July 7th was a great opportunity to thank Councilwoman Cergol personally for her leadership on this terrific accomplishment!

The stainless steel dog water fountain, which was made by Washington State-based Dog-On-It Parks, is located at the northwest corner of the Harry Chapin Rainbow Stage along the path. It features a slow-draining dog water bowl as well as a water faucet so people can fill their dogs’ own bowls with water.

On the water fountain is a silver plaque that reads:

Donated by LI-DOG (lidog.org)

For the Dogs and People Who Love Heckscher Park

The Town’s Dept. of General Services installed the dog water fountain and will maintain it. (It will be shut off during the winter.)

The day for the grand opening was sunny and hot. By the time the speeches were over and the water fountain was running, the dogs in attendance were eagerly drinking from the fountain—a good sign that it will be put to good use by people and their pups!

To see photos from the water fountain opening, go to the LI-DOG Dog Water Fountain Opening album on our Facebook Group.

 

 

 


.06/29/2023 – Legislation to Allow Dogs in NYS Parks On Hold

 

No Dogs Allowed Sign

Legislation to Allow Dogs in ALL NYS Parks Including Beaches On Hold

Legislation Remains Top Priority for Bills’ Sponsors

Please Continue to Share LI-DOG’s Petition to Lift the Dog Ban on NYS’s Long Island Beaches!

Unfortunately, the legislation introduced by NYS Senator Monica Martinez and Assemblyman Steve Stern allowing dogs in all New York State parks including beaches (with restrictions) did not succeed in the Legislative term ended in June. Apparently, it is not unusual for new legislation to be deferred to the next session. The legislation has been amended to address concerns that arose in their respective Parks Committees and we have been assured passing the bills continues to be a high priority for both Sen. Martinez and Assemb. Stern. Please continue to share our petition to Lift the Dog Ban on NYS’s LI Beaches with all your dog-loving NY friends and family! We’re confident with YOUR support and the support of Sen. Martinez and Assemb. Stern, we will lift the ban on dogs on New York State beaches on Long Island for good! For more information, read Legislation to Allow Dogs in NYS Parks On Hold.

 


06/29/2023 – Legislation to Allow Dogs in NYS Parks On Hold

 

No Dogs Allowed Sign

Photo Credit: Joann Garguola

Legislation to Allow Dogs in ALL NYS Parks Including Beaches on Hold

Legislation Remains Top Priority for Bills’ Sponsors

Please Continue to Share the Petition to Lift the Ban on Dogs on NYS Beaches on Long Island!

Unfortunately, the legislation introduced by NYS Senator Monica Martinez and Assemblyman Steve Stern allowing dogs in all New York State parks including beaches (with restrictions) did not succeed in the Legislative term that ended in June. Early on, we had been cautioned that it is not unusual for a new piece of legislation to be deferred to the next session of the Legislature.

We understand there was much discussion and concern regarding the bills in their respective Parks Committees and therefore, the bills were amended to address those concerns. For example, dogs are not allowed specifically on beaches where people swim and sunbathe. The overall intent of the legislation, however, remains clear: Dogs will be allowed in all NYS Parks.

While we are disappointed the legislation did not move further, we have been assured that passing this legislation continues to be a high priority for both Sen. Martinez and Assemb. Stern.

We want to thank everyone who emailed and called their NYS elected officials and members of the Parks Committees in support of the legislation, and we thank you in advance for your continued support as we push forward.

We also want to thank the almost 7,000 New Yorkers who have already signed our petition. The people who have signed come from all over New York State from Rochester to Riverhead! Please continue to share the petition to Lift the Ban on Dogs on NYS’s LI Beaches with all your dog-loving NY friends and family (if they have not already signed), so that we have thousands more signatures by the end of the year!

Many of LI-DOG’s most successful campaigns have taken two, three or even more years to complete. We are confident with the leadership and support of elected officials like Sen. Martinez and Assemb. Stern and with YOUR continued support and help, we will lift the ban on dogs on New York State beaches on Long Island for good!