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11/19/2020 – Heckscher Park Vote Nov. 19th!

Vote to Allow Leashed Dogs in Heckscher Park For Good Set for Thurs., Nov. 19th!

 

Vote Comes On the Heels of an Almost Year-long Successful Pilot Program

Moose by the Pond in Heckscher Park Photo Credit: Johanna King

A resolution to finally add Heckscher Park to Huntington’s townwide dog-friendly parks policy is up for a vote by the Huntington Town Board on Thurs., Nov. 19th! The vote, which will take place at a virtual meeting starting at 2 p.m., comes almost a year after the successful launch and operation of a pilot program in Huntington’s premiere community park.

The resolution to add Heckscher Park to the town’s dog-friendly parks policy is sponsored by Councilwoman Joan Cergol. Councilwoman Cergol has championed allowing leashed dogs in Heckscher Park ever since an online petition asking for on-leash access to the park quickly gathered more than 2,500 signatures last fall.  In October 2019, Councilwoman Cergol introduced and the Town Board approved a resolution to allow leashed dogs in Heckscher Park on a pilot program basis.

At the Nov. 4th Public Hearing on this latest resolution–which went smoothly with no one speaking in opposition–LI-DOG President Ginny Munger Kahn noted that not only has the pilot program operated successfully through all four seasons of the year now, “but the policy of allowing leashed dogs in Heckscher Park has gained broad support among dog owners and the community. Even people who were initially uncomfortable about allowing on-leash dogs in Heckscher Park, “ she said, “now support making the policy permanent as dog owners are following the rules and the pilot program has been responsive to any issues raised by local residents.”

In a key development, the proposal to allow leashed dogs in Heckscher Park for good has gained the unanimous support of the Huntington Greenway Trails Committee on which LI-DOG serves and which in 2017 recommended that the Town open virtually all its parks to on-leash dog walking.  At the time, the Trails Committee recommended exempting Heckscher Park from the broad policy because of concerns about overcrowding in the park. Now, however, as the Chair of the Committee noted in an email to the Town Board, “The Huntington Greenway Trails Committee…unanimously agree[s] that the on-leash dog walking program at Heckscher Park has been extremely successful [and] supports…a change in the town code to allow on-leash dog walking in Heckscher Park.”

In its email to the Town Board Urging Support for Adding Heckscher to its Dog Friendly Parks Policy, LI-DOG noted that much of the credit for the success of the pilot program should go to the Oversight Committee formed by Councilwoman Cergol late last year, which includes volunteer Park Ambassadors (dog owners who volunteered to help public education efforts in the park), representatives from organizations like the Citizens Advisory Committee for Persons with Disabilities and representatives from Huntington’s Dept. of  Public Safety and the Division of Animal Control. The Committee was responsible for monitoring the pilot program and making adjustments based on input from the community.

Whenever issues were brought to the attention of Councilwoman Cergol and the committee, Park Ambassadors would step up public education efforts in the park to make sure everyone knew what the new rules were. Thank you so much to all the Park Ambassadors who committed their time to making sure the pilot program was successful!

The results of these efforts and the effects of the pilot program on Heckscher Park are summarized in the final Park Ambassadors Report submitted by Karen Thomas, creator of the petition that made the pilot program possible, and LI-DOG. Among the key findings:

  • Dog owners have been responsible about picking up after their dogs and dog waste is not a problem.
  • Off-leash dogs are a rare occurrence.
  • The dog population is consistently low—usually under 6 dogs throughout the park at any one time.
  • There have been no complaints in recent months about dog owners failing to yield to others on the paths.
  • Complaints about dogs on benches were addressed by updating the rules prohibiting dogs on benches.
  • Goose droppings on the paths have been reduced because of the presence of leashed dogs.
  • Park ambassadors continue to receive very positive feedback from dog owners about how happy and grateful they are to enjoy Heckscher Park with their canine companions. As Park Ambassador Johanna King put it, “In addition to meeting neighbors and making new friends, I’ve become healthier and created an amazing routine with my dog (that’s Moose in the photo above). For the first time since moving to Huntington, I feel a sense of belonging here.”

The bottom line is that the on-leash dog walking program in Heckscher Park has been a success and Heckscher Park should be added to the town’s broad dog-friendly parks policy, the report’s authors conclude.

Dog owners need to be aware that restrictions on dogs, both leashed and unleashed, remain in place for specific areas of town parks. Among these are:

  • All playgrounds
  • Picnic areas
  • Park benches
  • Active recreation areas such as tennis courts and sports fields
  • All town camp or licensed education areas
  • Beaches, except for paved areas and boardwalks, and
  • The temporarily fenced area around Heckscher Park’s Harry Chapin Rainbow Stage during performances. This last restriction has been added to the proposed change in the Town Code as a result of the licensing agreement the Town has with the Huntington Arts Council. Dog owners are still allowed to bring leashed dogs outside the temporary fencing.

How You Can Help:  If you have not already done so, please email the Town Board and urge the Board to add Heckscher Park to Huntington’s townwide dog-friendly parks policy! Even if you don’t own dog, let them know how great it is to see people walking their leashed dogs in the park! At this point, simply send your email to Town Clerk Andrew Raia at araia@huntingtonny.gov. His office will distribute all communication they receive to the Town Board members.

Thank you for your support!

 

 

 

 

 


.10/26/2020 – Public Hearing Leashed Dogs in Heckscher Park Nov. 4th

Public Hearing on Proposal to Allow Leashed Dogs in Heckscher Park For Good Set for Nov. 4th!

A public hearing to consider adding Heckscher Park to Huntington’s townwide dog-friendly parks policy will be held on Wed., Nov. 4th starting at 7 p.m. The resolution introduced by Councilwoman Joan Cergol builds on a successful almost-year-long pilot program in the park. Please email or call Huntington Town Board members TODAY and urge them to support the resolution to allow on-leash dogs in Heckscher Park for good! For details and links to contact Town Board members, go to Public Hearing Nov. 4th on Proposal to Allow Leashed Dogs in Heckscher Park For Good!

 


10/26/2020 – Public Hearing Leashed Dogs in Heckscher Park Nov. 4th

 

Photo Credit: Johanna King

Public Hearing Nov. 4th on Proposal to Allow Leashed Dogs in Heckscher Park For Good!

Please Email or Call the Town Board TODAY in Support of Turning the Heckscher Park Pilot Program into a Permanent Part of Huntington’s Dog-Friendly Parks Policy!

 

A public hearing to consider adding Heckscher Park to Huntington’s townwide dog-friendly parks policy will be held on Wed., Nov. 4th starting at 7 p.m. on Zoom. The resolution introduced by Councilwoman Joan Cergol and seconded by Councilman Eugene Cook builds on a pilot program to allow leashed dogs in Heckscher Park that has been in place since Jan. 1st and has now operated successfully through all four seasons of the year.

LI-DOG is asking dog owners to please email or call the members of the Huntington Town Board TODAY (contact information below), let them know how you feel about being able to walk your dog on-leash in Heckscher Park, and urge them to add Heckscher Park to Huntington’s townwide dog-friendly parks policy! Even if you or your family members don’t own a dog right now, let the Town Board know how great it is to see pups in the park.  (Read LI-DOG’s Email to Town Board Support Adding Heckscher to Dog Friendly Parks Policy.)

People are also invited to speak at the Public Hearing by Zoom. To sign up to speak, go to Agenda Huntington Town Board Meeting Nov. 4, 2020. The link to sign up to speak is at the VERY TOP of the agenda. For more information, go to Town Board Meeting Online Public Hearing Process.

Please Note:  It is extremely important that the Town Board hear from our supporters to counteract any possible opposition to the resolution!

The resolution states that when the Town Board adopted uniform park standards to allow on-leash dog walking in Town parks in 2017, it exempted Heckscher Park from the town’s dog-friendly parks policy. In late 2019, however, after an online petition gathered more than 2,500 signatures asking for access to the park, the Town Board approved Councilwoman Cergol’s resolution to allow on-leash dog walking on a pilot program basis. Now, after almost a year during which the pilot program has been monitored by an Oversight Committee chaired by Councilwoman Cergol, which includes representatives from Huntington’s Dept. of  Public Safety, the Division of Animal Control, LI-DOG, volunteer Park Ambassadors, and the Citizens Advisory Committee for Persons with Disabilities, and adjustments have been made to the pilot program in response to any issues raised by the community, the committee recommends that the Town Board permanently allow on-leash dogs in Heckscher Park.

A final report on the pilot program submitted by Karen Thomas, creator of the petition that made the pilot program possible, and LI-DOG on behalf of the volunteer Park Ambassadors summarizes the pilot program’s results. Among the key findings:

  • Dog waste is not a problem. Dog owners have been responsible about picking up after their dogs.
  • The dog population is consistently low—usually under 6 dogs throughout the park at any one time.
  • Off-leash dogs are a rare occurrence.
  • There have been no complaints lately about dog owners failing to yield to others on the paths.
  • Complaints about dogs on benches have been resolved by updating the rules to include a new rule that dogs are not allowed on park benches.
  • Goose droppings on the paths have been reduced because of the presence of leashed dogs.
  • New Signs stating No Dogs Allowed in the Playground have been installed to help clarify the rules.
  • Plantings and flowers throughout the park remain vibrant indicating no ill effects from the presence of dogs.
  • Park ambassadors continue to receive very positive feedback from dog owners about how happy and grateful they are they can enjoy Heckscher Park with their canine companions.
  • Even people who initially expressed reservations about allowing leashed dogs in Heckscher Park now support extending the policy as dog owners are following the rules.

The bottom line, according to the Park Ambassadors’ Report, is that the leashed dog pilot program has been successful and should be made a permanent part of Huntington’s townwide dog-friendly parks policy.

Dog owners need to remember restrictions on dogs, both leashed and unleashed, remain in place for specific areas of town parks. Among these are:

  • All playgrounds
  • Picnic areas
  • Park benches
  • Active recreation areas such as tennis courts and sports fields
  • All town camp or licensed education areas
  • Beaches, except for paved areas and boardwalks, and
  • The temporarily fenced area around Heckscher Park’s Harry Chapin Rainbow Stage during performances. This last restriction has been added to the proposed change in the Town Code as a result of the licensing agreement the Town has with the Huntington Arts Council. Dog owners are still allowed to bring leashed dogs outside the temporary fencing.

How You Can Help: The Park Ambassadors’ Report includes great testimonials from people who love being able to walk their dogs and see dogs in the park; but we need more testimonials. (To see what people wrote in the July Park Ambassadors Report, go to Testimonials from Parkgoers.) If you think walking your leashed dogs in Heckscher Park is great and want the policy to become permanent, send a two or three-sentence testimonial  ASAP to lidog_news@yahoo.com.

NOW, please help make the leashed dog pilot program in Heckscher Park a permanent part of Huntington’s townwide dog-friendly parks policy! Email or call the Members of the Huntington Town Board below TODAY!

Don’t forget to send a copy to Town Clerk Andrew Raia at araia@huntingtonny.gov as well to make sure your email becomes part of the public record. 

Hon. Chad A. Lupinacci, Supervisor, Town Hall, 100 Main Street, Huntington, NY 11743 Phone (631) 351-3030, Email clupinacci@huntingtonny.gov

Hon. Joan Cergol, Councilwoman, Town Hall, 100 Main Street, Huntington, NY 11743 Phone (631) 351-3173, Email JCergol@huntingtonny.gov  (Remember to thank Councilwoman Cergol for all her work on behalf of dog owners!)

Hon. Mark Cuthbertson, Councilman, Town Hall,  100 Main Street, Huntington, NY 11743 Phone (631) 351-3172, Email MCuthbertson@HuntingtonNY.gov

Hon. Edmund J.M. Smyth, Councilman, Town Hall, 100 Main Street, Huntington, NY 11743 Phone (631) 351-3175, Email ESmyth@HuntingtonNY.gov

Hon. Eugene Cook, Councilman, Town Hall, 100 Main Street, Huntington, NY 11743 Phone (631) 351-3174, Email ECook@HuntingtonNY.gov (Let Councilman Cook know how much you appreciate his support for the resolution!)

 

Thank you for your support!


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 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 admin@lidog.org! Thanks!


.07/30/2020 – Heckscher Park Leashed Dog Pilot Extended Thru 2020

 

Heckscher Park Leashed Dog Pilot Program Extended Thru 2020!

In a decision that allows people to walk their dogs on-leash in Heckscher Park through the end of the year, the Huntington Town Board voted unanimously on July 21st to extend the Heckscher Park Leashed Dog Pilot Program through Dec. 2020. Thank you to everyone who sent emails and called the Town Board in support of the program! To get the details, go to Heckscher Park Leashed Dog Pilot Program Extended Thru 2020! 

 


07/30/2020 – Heckscher Park Leashed Dog Pilot Extended Thru 2020

 

Allison Tuch Palmer and Her Pups Photo Credit: Sue Toomey Johnson

Heckscher Park Leashed Dog Pilot Program Extended Through Year End 2020!

Thanks to everyone who emailed and called in support of leashed dogs in Heckscher Park!

 

In a decision that allows people to walk their dogs on-leash in Heckscher Park through the end of the year, the Huntington Town Board voted unanimously July 21st to extend the Heckscher Park Leashed Dog Pilot Program through Dec. 2020. The decision came on a resolution introduced by Councilwoman Joan Cergol who has championed the pilot program and was co-sponsored by Councilman Eugene Cook. Thank you, Councilwoman Cergol and all your colleagues on the Huntington Town Board, for supporting the pilot program! (If you’d like to thank the Town Board, see contact information below.)

Thank you, also, to our colleague Karen Thomas who started the petition that made the pilot program possible and now leads the volunteer Park Ambassadors who spread the word about the plot program in the park and the rules designed to make sure the program continues to be successful. Thank you Park Ambassadors: Michelle Troiano Dodd, Wendy Tullo (who also spoke at the Town Board meeting by Zoom), Sharyn Julino, Laurence Foray, Erich Preis, Elizabeth Madden, Loary Milanese Gunn and Michelle Factor Noonan!

In addition, thank you to all our fellow dog owners and Huntington residents who emailed and called the Town Board in support of leashed dogs in Heckscher Park. We were told the Town Board received “numerous emails” in support of the pilot program. Thank you, all!!

Councilwoman Cergol’s resolution was accompanied by a Report from the Park Ambassadors, which made the following key points:

  • Dog owners are following the rules by picking up after their dogs and keeping them on-leash.
  • The daily dog population is low—typically under 10 dogs throughout the park at any time—and is expected to remain low during the hot summer months and while COVID-19 restrictions remain in place and large scale events are not permitted.
  • The paths are cleaner as goose droppings have been reduced due to the presence of dogs.
  • Most non-dog owners seem happy with dogs in the park and any earlier trepidation has evolved into acceptance of the program.
    •  Key to that development has been the responsiveness of an Oversight Committee convened by Councilwoman Cergol and her staff which includes representatives from LI-DOG, volunteer Park Ambassadors, the Town’s Public Safety and Animal Control division, and representatives from the Citizens Advisory Committee for Persons with Disabilities. The members of the Oversight Committee have been responsive to any and all issues raised by the community and will continue to closely monitor the pilot program, the resolution noted. “Councilwoman Cergol has done a terrific job responding to any issues that might interfere with the success of the pilot program,” LI-DOG President Ginny Munger Kahn noted.

The report also includes half a dozen testimonials from park goers in support of allowing leashed dogs in Heckscher Park. To read these great comments, go to Testimonials from Parkgoers.

Finally, the Park Ambassadors Report includes the recommendation that the one-way signs around the pond, which were put in place to facilitate social distancing, be reversed so that they reflect the direction people typically walk—counterclockwise starting at Madison Street. The one-ways signs and continuing efforts by Park Ambassadors to encourage people not to congregate on the paths should result in better compliance with social distancing guidelines, noted LI-DOG in an Email to the Town Board Support Resolution thru Year End.

LI-DOG is asking all dog owners to please remember to yield to other park goers on the paths, as specified in the  Rules for Heckscher Dog Pilot Program, and to avoid congregating on the path so that others may pass safely. Thank you for your help!

If you haven’t already thanked the members of the Huntington Town Board for their support for the leashed dog pilot program, email or call them today!

Huntington Town Board Member Contacts:

Hon. Chad A. Lupinacci, Supervisor, Town Hall, 100 Main Street, Huntington, NY 11743 Phone: (631) 351-3030 clupinacci@huntingtonny.gov

Hon. Joan Cergol, Councilwoman, Town Hall, 100 Main Street, Huntington, NY 11743 Phone: (631) 351-3173 JCergol@huntingtonny.gov (Thank Councilwoman Cergol for all her work on behalf of dog owners!)

Hon. Eugene Cook, Councilman, Town Hall, 100 Main Street, Huntington, NY 11743 Phone: (631) 351-3174 ECook@HuntingtonNY.gov

Hon. Mark Cuthbertson, Councilman, Town Hall, 100 Main Street, Huntington, NY 11743 Phone: (631) 351-3172 MCuthbertson@HuntingtonNY.gov

Hon. Edmund J.M. Smyth, Councilman, Town Hall, 100 Main Street, Huntington, NY 11743 Phone: (631) 351-3175 ESmyth@HuntingtonNY.gov

 

Thank you for your support!


.07/08/2020 – Heckscher Park Leashed Dog Pilot Program Up for Vote!

Heckscher Park Leashed Dog Pilot Program Extension Up for Vote July 21st!

After more than six months of successful operation, the pilot program allowing leashed dogs in Huntington’s Heckscher Park is up for renewal at the Tues., July 21st virtual Huntington Town Board meeting. This time, the Town Board will vote on extending the pilot program another five months through the end of the year! Please support on-leash dog walking in Heckscher Park by emailing or calling the members of the Huntington Town Board today. For contact information and details, go to Heckscher Park Leashed Dog Pilot Program Up for a Vote! 

 


07/08/2020 – Heckscher Park Leashed Dog Pilot Program Up for Vote!

 

Allison Tuch Palmer with Andi and AJay Photo Credit: Sue Toomey Johnson

Heckscher Park Leashed Dog Pilot Program Extension Up for Vote July 21st!

 

Please Support the Resolution to Renew the Pilot Program Thru Year End 2020

After more than six months of successful operation, the pilot program allowing leashed dogs in Huntington’ s Heckscher Park is up for renewal at the Tues., July 21st Huntington Town Board Meeting. At the meeting, which will be held virtually at 7 p.m. and allow public comments, the Town Board will vote on extending the pilot program for five more months through the end of 2020. Until now, the renewals have run for three months or less.

The resolution to extend the pilot program is being introduced by Councilwoman Joan Cergol who has led the effort to allow leashed dogs in Heckscher Park on the Town Board. The resolution notes that the pilot program has already been renewed by the Town Board three times and that an oversight committee consisting of Town representatives, LI-DOG, volunteer Park Ambassadors, and other organizations has been responsive to any and all issues raised by the community. The members of the oversight committee support extending the pilot program through the end of the year, notes an accompanying report. (Read LI-DOG’s Email to Town Board Support Resolution thru YearEnd.)

Dog owners are happy and grateful to be able to enjoy Heckscher Park with their four-legged companions, added LI-DOG and colleague Karen Thomas, leader of the Park Ambassadors who hand out flyers and spread the word about the pilot program to other dog owners. Among their key points:

  • The pilot program has been running smoothly over each of its renewal periods.
  • Dog owners are following the rules including picking up after their dogs and keeping them on-leash. (Get the Card Flyer with Rules.)
  • The paths are cleaner as goose droppings have been reduced due to the presence of dogs.
  •  The daily dog population is low—typically under 10 dogs throughout the park at any time—and is expected to remain low during the hot summer months and while COVID-19 restrictions remain in place and large scale events are not permitted.
  • Any concerns raised by town residents will continue to be addressed by the oversight committee.

The report also includes half a dozen testimonials from parkgoers expressing their support for the pilot program. To see photos and read their terrific comments, go to Parkgoer Testimonials.

Want to add your voice to those who support leashed dogs in Heckscher Park? Email or call Huntington Town Board members today and let them know how YOU feel about being able to walk your dog on-leash in Huntington’s beautiful Heckscher Park! (See contact information below.)

The report also recommends that the one-way signs around the pond, which were put in place to facilitate social distancing, be reversed so that they reflect the direction people typically walk—counterclockwise starting at Madison Street.

As always, please remember to yield to other park goers on the path, as specified in the Rules for the Pilot Program, and avoid congregating on the path so others may pass safely.

What You Can Do: The pilot program is working well, but it’s very important Town Board members hear from those who support its extension. Let the Huntington Town Board know what it means to YOU to be able to enjoy Heckscher Park with your dog! Email or call the Huntington Town Board TODAY and urge them to support the extension of the Heckscher Park Leashed Dog Pilot Program!

Huntington Town Board Member Contacts:

Hon. Chad A. Lupinacci, Supervisor, Town Hall, 100 Main Street, Huntington, NY 11743 Phone: (631) 351-3030 clupinacci@huntingtonny.gov

Hon. Joan Cergol, Councilwoman, Town Hall, 100 Main Street, Huntington, NY 11743 Phone: (631) 351-3173 JCergol@huntingtonny.gov (Remember to thank Councilwoman Cergol for all her work on behalf of dog owners!)

Hon. Mark Cuthbertson, Councilman, Town Hall, 100 Main Street, Huntington, NY 11743 Phone: (631) 351-3172 MCuthbertson@HuntingtonNY.gov

Hon. Edmund J.M. Smyth, Councilman, Town Hall, 100 Main Street, Huntington, NY 11743 Phone: (631) 351-3175 ESmyth@HuntingtonNY.gov

Hon. Eugene Cook, Councilman, Town Hall, 100 Main Street, Huntington, NY 11743 Phone: (631) 351-3174 ECook@HuntingtonNY.gov

Thank you for your support!


.03/16/2020 – COVID-19: INFORMATION FOR PET OWNERS


picture of sick dog
Photo © Michael Pettigrew

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.

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