Latest News Archive

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



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



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!

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 and the Village Board at 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

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.



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 with suggestions that will help LI-DOG contribute to the Board’s work.

Thank you!


04/06/2021 – 5000 Signatures on our Petition



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!

03/19/2021 – Over 4300 Signatures Great Media Coverage


No Dogs Allowed Sign

Photo Credit: Joann Garguola


Over 4,300 Signatures! Great Media Coverage!


MAR 19, 2021 —
Thanks again everyone for coming to our aid and signing the petition! We have over 4,300 signatures now. Since submitting a press release on March 8, our story has been told on 880 News Radio, CBS News, News12 and Newsday. We are getting a lot of support, but we still need more! Please continue sharing with your New York neighbors and friends. Your furry kids will thank you!

Get LI-DOG’s  Lift the Dog Ban Petition Now!


03/03/2021 – Over 2,500 People Sign LI-DOG Beach Petition PR


No Dogs Allowed Sign

Photo Credit: Joann Garguola


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*** 


Get the Petition


Get the LI-DOG Beach Petition Press Release.pdf


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 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

Dropbox link with photos:

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 officials to open 10 dog parks and dozens of dog-friendly parks and trails around Long Island. For more information, go to

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