On April 29, Suffolk County legislator Allan Binder (R-Huntington) re-introduced his bill that would gut a law designed to allow dog parks in Suffolk County.  Among other requirements, the bill (IR 1346-2003) would require Suffolk dog owners to form “user groups” that would have to:

  • Maintain dog parks at their sole cost and expense.
  • Clean up the parks and make sure they don’t threaten the environment.
  • Foot the county’s bills for liability insurance in order to use the dog parks. The insurance would have to be purchased “in such amounts” as determined by the county and its “sole cost and expense” would be born by dog owners.

These requirements would cost thousands of dollars a year and would essentially kill any existing or proposed dog parks.  The measure also would ban dog parks within one-quarter mile of a waterway. This would close down Coindre Hall in Huntington, the biggest and best established dog park area in Suffolk County, and it would put most areas of Suffolk County parkland off-limits to dog owners for good.

But, the most unusual aspect of Leg. Binder’s bill is the constant reference to cat runs throughout the document. The bill is actually titled, A Local Law Establishing Dog and Cat Run Policy for County Parks. At one point, the bill states, “no cats shall be permitted off leash outside of an authorized cat run area”(?!).

As H-DOG spokesperson Barbara Buscareno told the County Legislature at the bill’s public hearing on May 13th, this bill “makes a mockery of both the needs of dog owners and possible solutions. Working to make LI a better place should be the direction of this legislature, not throwing up road blocks to greatly needed improvements.”

Click here to read comments by another H-DOG supporter who roundly criticized Leg. Binder’s bill before the Legislature.

The bottom line is that Leg. Binder’s bill is blatantly discriminatory, burdensome and onerous. Dog owners, especially those in Leg. Binder’s 16th district, which covers Dix Hills, Greenlawn and Elwood, need to let Leg. Binder know they will not tolerate his anti-dog owner agenda.

Contact information for Leg. Binder: telephone 854-5100; e-mail

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