Latest News Archive


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.

 

 


05/09/2023 – LI-DOG Set to Donate Dog Water Fountain at Heckscher Park

 

Huntington’s Heckscher Park to Get Dog Water Fountain Donated by LI-DOG!

 

In grateful acknowledgement of the Town’s decision two years ago to make Heckscher Park dog-friendly and in an ongoing effort to enhance the enjoyment of dog-friendly parks on Long Island, LI-DOG is set to donate a dog water fountain for the dogs and people who enjoy Huntington’s Heckscher Park.

LI-DOG is working on the project with Huntington Councilwoman Joan Cergol, who sponsored the resolution to allow dogs in Heckscher Park and oversaw a successful pilot program that resulted in the Town Board’s unanimous decision in Nov. 2020, to permanently allow on-leash dog walking in Huntington’s main community park.

The stainless steel water fountain, which is made by Washington-based Dog-On-It-Parks, features a dog water bowl designed to drain slowly so dogs have a chance to drink as well as a water faucet so people can fill their dogs’ own bowls with water.

The water fountain is expected to arrive in late May. The Town’s Dept. of General Services will install the fountain and maintain it.

A resolution to accept LI-DOG’s donation will be introduced at the Town Board’s May 9th meeting at 2 p.m. Anyone who’d like to join us at the meeting to accept our donation is welcome to come!

LI-DOG will also work with Councilwoman Cergol to schedule an official opening of the dog water fountain once it’s installed in the next few weeks.

We hope you’ll be able to join us!


04/24/2023 – NYS Legislation To Allow Dogs on Beaches

 

No Dogs Allowed Sign

Photo Credit: Joann Garguola

Legislation Introduced to Allow Dogs in ALL New York State Parks including Beaches!

 

Contact Your NYS Senator and Assemblymember NOW to Support/Co-Sponsor S.4993 in the Senate and A.6244 in the Assembly!

 

Find Your NYS Senator    Find Your NYS Assemblymember

 

Check out recent media coverage:

Newsday, Dog Ban on Long Island’s State Beaches Could be Lifted Under Proposed Legislation

CBS NewsNY, Legislation Moving Through Albany to Allow Dogs to have State Park Beach Access

In a big step towards lifting the ban on dogs on New York State beaches on Long Island, New York State Senator Monica Martinez, the former Deputy LI Regional Director of NYS Parks and now NYS Senator from Brentwood, has introduced S.4993–a bill to allow dogs in ALL NY State Parks, including beaches! New York Assemblyman Steve Stern from Dix Hills, who has worked with LI-DOG since 2021 to lift the ban on dogs on NYS LI beaches, swiftly followed suit by introducing A.6244 in the NYS Assembly.

Specifically, the bill says:  “Dogs shall be allowed in all New York State Parks…including but not limited to trails and beaches.”

The next few weeks are critical to getting this legislation passed in both the Senate and Assembly. Email or call your NYS Senator and NYS Assemblymember today!

The New York State Office of Parks manages 14,000 acres of Long Island parks with shoreline access yet prohibits ALL access to beaches on Long Island to people with dogs. Denying access to so much recreational space to dog owners who pay taxes that support this public parkland is unacceptable.

New Yorkers want change. LI-DOG launched a petition to Lift the Dog Ban on New York’s Long Island Beaches in 2021. The petition has more than 6,700 signers, but we need more! If you haven’t already signed our petition, sign it today!

It is important to note the bill protects sensitive wildlife areas and gives the Parks Commissioner the authority to restrict access to swimming beaches, playgrounds and other areas typically set off-limits to dogs. In other words, the Commissioner still has the power to restrict dogs from beaches where people sunbathe and swim. However, NYS parks cover thousands of acres of shoreline and trails that are appropriate for people with dogs.

The law requires:

  • Owners to pick up after their dogs and properly dispose of waste.
  • New York State parks to install clean up stations including garbage cans and biodegradable waste bags.
  • All dogs be under the control of their owners and that they be leashed at all times, unless a state park designates a specific unleashed area (such as the new dog run at Belmont Lake State Park).

In addition, as is common throughout New York State, dog owners are responsible for any damage or harm caused by their dogs. To read the bill, go NYS Legislative Information. Type in: S04993, that’s S, zero, 4993.

NY State elected officials must work to lift the ban on dogs on Long Island beaches. Denying access to this major public recreational resource to so many people who own dogs and pay taxes that support this public land is unacceptable. Let New Yorkers bring their dogs to the beach!

What You Can Do: Email or Call Your NYS Senator and NYS Assemblymember TODAY!

Key points to communicate to elected officials:

  • Please co-sponsor S.4993 (for your Senator) and A.6244 (for your Assemblymember), which will allow dogs in ALL NYS parks including beaches.
  • People with dogs support public parks through their taxes, but are banned from all beaches in NYS public parks on LI.
  • Access to public parks is a basic right and need. It’s not right to cut off access to so much public land to so many people.
  • The bill protects endangered wildlife and the power of the Parks Commissioner to restrict dogs from bathing beaches, playgrounds and other areas typically set off-limits to dogs.
  • Support for this common-sense bill will make a big positive change in the quality of life of thousands of New Yorkers.
  • It’s time for New York State to catch up with other areas around the country from Maine to Florida and Washington State to California that have found ways to accommodate people with dogs on their beaches!

Make sure to let all your dog-loving friends and family in New York State know about the bill and ask them to contact their NYS Senator and their NYS Assemblymember to co-sponsor and support S.4993 in the Senate and A.6244 in the Assembly.

In addition, if you haven’t already signed our petition to Lift the Ban on Dogs on New York State Beaches on Long Island, sign it NOW and urge all your dog-loving friends and family in New York to sign, too! Don’t forget to leave a comment. Comments from people are a powerful way to strengthen our message to elected officials.

Also, make sure to share our posts on social media including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with the hashtags #DogFriendlyLIBeaches, #LIDogFriendlyBeaches, and #timeforaccess.

Remember: The next few weeks are critical. Email or Call Your NYS Senator and your NYS Assemblymember TODAY!

 


03/31/2022 – Bark Silencer Found at George Street Dog Park

 

Bark Silencer Found Facing into Dog Park in Babylon Village

On March 14th, dog owners discovered two devices nailed into trees facing the George Street Dog Park in Babylon Village. The devices were taken to a nearby electronics store and found to be a Good Life Max Dog Silencer and accessory. The Silencer emits an ultrasonic, high-pitched sound designed to stop dogs from barking.

The installation of the bark silencer continues a pattern of harassment and intimidation of people—and now dogs—who use the Village’s dog park at the end of George Street. Over the last several months, there have been reports of threats and obscenities yelled at park-goers and theft of community property in the dog park.

In January, the Village Board voted to close the George Street Dog Park because of complaints about noise from a nearby condominium complex. The Village intends to expand another dog park located about a mile away on Locust Avenue. The Locust Avenue dog run, however, is located in an isolated area, not visible from the street, and a few feet away from LIRR tracks that are elevated at least 20 feet above the dog run.

Dog owners have rallied to save the George Street Dog Park by creating a petition with more than 400 signatures on it. In addition, they have proposed moving the dog park further into the 4.5-acre property so it’s a respectful distance from the complex and adding noise-buffering solid fencing and landscaping. Unfortunately, the Mayor and Village Board have so far rejected dog owners’ pleas for a compromise that meets their needs as well as the broader community.

What You Can Do: 
It’s important that the Mayor and Village Board take steps to stop the harassment of legal park-goers before the situation escalates further. Email the Mayor at mayor@villageofbabylonny.gov and the Village Board at info@villageofbabylonny.gov and ask them to make clear that harassment and intimidation of park-goers is not acceptable in any public park, including the George Street Dog Park.
Then, ask the Mayor and Village Board to listen to the pleas of dog owners and sit down in a good faith effort to come up with a compromise that will work for everybody.

For more information about the George Street Dog Park and the effort to save it, go to Kelly in Babylon or check out the George Street Dog Park Group on Facebook.

To sign the petition and share the petition with other Babylon Village dog owners, go to the Petition to Save the George Street Dog Park.

The dog owners and the dogs of the George Street Dog Park thank you! 

 

 

 


03/07/2022 – Save the George Street Dog Park

 

Sign the Petition to Save the George Street Dog Park!

 

Dog owners are asking all Town of Babylon and Babylon Village dog owners to help save the George Street Dog Park

On January 19th, without a formal public hearing, Babylon Village’s Board of Trustees voted to close the George Street Dog Park. The dog park has been in its current location—on a large field in Hawleys Lake Park at the end of George Street—since 2012. It is now slated to close this spring. The Village plans to expand and improve its existing dog run on Locust Avenue, which is located about a mile away, before the George Street dog park is closed, according to the Mayor.

The Board’s decision came after several residents from the Whalers Cove Condominium complex, which is located along Route 231, across a driveway from the dog park, complained at a Dec. 14th Board meeting about barking dogs that were affecting their quality of life. Several urged the Village Board to move the dog park someplace else.

Within days of the decision to close the park, dog owners led by local resident Kelly Morenus created a petition to Save the George Street Dog Park. Sign the George Street Park Petition now! 

Dog owners contend that complaints about dogs barking are overblown, noting that the park is closed at dusk and does not open again until the morning and that the park is often empty.

Moreover, they say, closing the dog park will seriously affect THEIR quality life by taking away a vital recreational resource and breaking up the community of people that has grown around the dog park. “As someone who does not have children and did not know many of my fellow community members, this dog park has been essential in helping me feel like I belong here,” said Morenus, who moved to the Village 5 years ago. “Now there is a little family of us,” she said. “Our dogs became friends, so we became friends…It seems unconscionable to vote to close down one of the few places that actually fosters this sense of community.”

In an effort to find a solution that would work for both dog owners and condo residents, Morenus and her colleagues presented a proposal to the Village Board on Feb. 8th that would move the dog park further into the 4.5-acre park, away from the condo complex, and install solid fencing, landscaping, and other features to buffer any noise. Within 24 hours of receiving the proposal, however, the Village Mayor rejected it, saying the decision was final.

Despite the Village Board’s current position, Morenus and her colleagues remain committed to coming up with a solution that the Village Board will accept and that will meet the needs of the dog owner community. Morenus and her colleagues note that while improving the Locust Avenue dog run is welcome, that dog run, which is located near LIRR tracks, raises safety and accessibility concerns. “The George Street Dog Park is a beloved community asset,” Morenus noted. Its loss would be “devastating.”

What You Can Do: If you are a Town of Babylon or Babylon Village resident and would like to help save the George Street Dog Park for the dog owner community, please:

1) Sign the petition to Save the George Street Dog Park NOW! Once you’ve signed, SHARE the petition with all your dog-friendly friends and family in Babylon. The petition already has more than 300 signatures, but it needs more!

2) Come to the Tues., March 8th Village Board meeting at Village Hall, 153 W. Main Street, Babylon 11702. Make sure the Mayor and the Board SEE how many people want to save the dog park!

3) Call or email the Mayor’s office at 631-669-1212 or mayor@villageofbabylonny.gov.

a. Let the Mayor and Village Board know you support a solution that works for everybody–dog owners and condo residents alike. The Village’s current plan never got input from the people who actually use the park. Dog owners are voters and taxpayers, too, and their interests deserve just as much consideration as other Village residents.

b. Urge the Mayor and Village Board not to break up the community that has grown up around the George Street dog park. Closing the dog park and moving its operations to another dog park will seriously damage their community.

4) Keep up with the latest developments in this effort to save the George Street Dog Park by going to KellyinBabylon. The website is full of useful information about what’s happening and what you can do to help!

Thank you for your support!

 


11/17/2021 – LI DOG Prez Steps Down from Coindre Hall Advisory Board

LI-DOG President Steps Down from Coindre Hall Advisory Board

LI-DOG President Ginny Munger Kahn has ended her service on the Coindre Hall Advisory Board. The Board was created last year to provide recommendations to the Suffolk County Legislature for revitalizing Coindre Hall, a 30-acre Suffolk County Park and former Gold Coast estate that faces onto Huntington Harbor.

Ginny said she was glad to serve on the Board, given the important role the park has played in the lives of many Suffolk County and Huntington dog owners as well as the need to make sure the interests of dog owners at the park were represented on the Board.

However, given the results of the recent elections in which a new legislator for the 18th District will take office in January, Ginny resigned in order to provide the incoming legislator with the opportunity to appoint her own representatives.

At the same time, Ginny noted that based on comments made by the public at recent meetings and in communications to her and others, it is clear that people are looking for Board members who are closely tied to the neighboring community. While Ginny remains a Huntington resident, she moved from the neighborhood a while ago and now frequents other Suffolk County parks with her dogs. She noted in her letter of resignation that she is confident dog owners at Coindre Hall will find another good representative for the Board.

 

 


09/16/2021 – LI Beach Petition Reaches 6000 Signatures!   Recently updated !

No Dogs Allowed Sign

Photo Credit: Joann Garguola

PETITION UPDATE

 

LI-DOG Beach Petition Reaches 6,000 Signatures!

 

NYS Expected to Come Back with Proposal Soon

Yayyy!! We hit 6,000 signatures on our Petition to Lift the Dog Ban on New York State Beaches. Thank you SO much to everyone who has signed and shared our petition. 6,000 people is A LOT of people asking for change! The Comments people have left about why they’re signing have been great. As one former NYS Parks employee wrote, “I know that a large majority of dog owners are responsible and should have access to our beautiful beaches here on Long Island!”

Since we met with the NYS Office of Parks and Assemblyman Steve Stern in early June, we remain optimistic that our petition will result in a positive step forward by the Office of Parks. In fact, we expect that the Office of Parks will come back to us with a proposal soon. We will be sure to let everyone know as soon as we have more information!

In the meantime, thanks to everyone who is helping to spread the word about our petition and our efforts to lift the ban on dogs on NYS beaches.

Please keep sharing our petition to Lift the Dog Ban on NYS Long Island Beaches!  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


08/16/2021 – LI-DOG Named to Coindre Hall Advisory Board

 

LI-DOG Named to New Coindre Hall Advisory Board

Board Charged with Revitalizing Unique and Beautiful Suffolk Park

 

LI-DOG is pleased to announce that it has been named to a new Coindre Hall Advisory Board. The Board is charged with providing recommendations to the Suffolk County Legislature for revitalizing this unique and beautiful Suffolk County Park. The park, a former Gold Coast estate in Huntington with rolling hills that provide views of Huntington Harbor, has long attracted people with dogs. Over the last 10 years, however, the park has fallen into disrepair as a result of Suffolk County’s serious financial problems.

The County has now allocated $1.5 million out of its Capital budget to refurbish the park beginning with the seawall and the boathouse, but the park needs additional financial resources and creative ideas for revitalizing the property.

LI-DOG, which has a long history of advocating for dog owners at Coindre Hall, is pleased to have been asked to serve on the Board by Suffolk Leg. William Spencer, along with others who have a stake in the park including neighbors, boaters, baymen, environmentalists, community organizers, the Town of Huntington, and the Suffolk Parks and Public Works departments.

A webpage has been set up for the Coindre Hall Advisory Board on the Suffolk County Legislature’s website. For updates on the Board’s work including information on upcoming meeting dates, agendas, and the minutes of past meetings plus links to resolutions establishing the board and brief biographies on the members of the Board, go to Coindre Hall Advisory Board. An email link is being created to take suggestions from the public about revitalizing the park.

In the meantime, dog owners who frequent Coindre Hall should feel free to reach out to us at lidog_news@yahoo.com with suggestions that will help LI-DOG contribute to the Board’s work.

Thank you!

 


04/06/2021 – 5000 Signatures on our Petition

 

PETITION UPDATE

5,000 Signatures on our Petition!

 

APR 5, 2021 — Thanks SO much to everyone who has signed LI-DOG’s petition to Lift the Dog Ban on New York State’s Long Island beaches! On Sunday April 4th, we topped a major milestone–5,000 signatures on our petition! Five thousand signatures is A LOT of people.

This strong show of support will now allow us to move our efforts to the next level–engaging New York State officials in our campaign! We’ll let everyone know as soon as we have new developments on this front.

We also want to thank all the reporters who picked up on our efforts and helped tell our story. Thank you to 880 News Radio, CBS2 News, Newsday, News12 LI, Suffolk News, and the Patch, among others!

In the meantime, please keep sharing our petition with all your dog-loving New York friends and family. Thanks again to the thousands of you who have signed our petition and helped move our campaign forward!