President Tells Annual Meeting

New Dog Parks; Great Events and Support Make This One of LI-DOG’s Best Years Ever, President Tells Annual Meeting

Urges Dog Owners to Commit to Helping LI-DOG Get New Access to Parks and Beaches

In the 14 years of LI-DOG’s existence, I don’t think there’s any doubt that this year has been one of our most successful ever in terms of increasing access to parks for dog owners, said LI-DOG President Ginny Munger Kahn at the organization’s Annual Membership Meeting on May 16th in E. Meadow. Ginny pointed to four key developments:

  • The opening in August 2011 of the Cherry Ave. Dog Park in W. Sayville – the sixth dog park LI-DOG has worked on with elected officials in Suffolk County
  • The opening of the Village of Valley Stream Dog Park in May 2012, a project on which LI-DOG Board Member Rich Infield played a key role
  • The anticipated opening on June 3rd of Oyster Bay’s first-ever dog park in Massapequa, which LI-DOG Board member Peggy Heijmen shepherded along
  • And, the expected opening later this year of the Eisenhower Dog Park, which Board Member Chris Laubis has worked on for five years.

In past years, the Suffolk team including Barbara Buscareno, Ed and Arlyne McMullin and Mike Marcotte has made it happen. This year, LI-DOG’s success is the result of the commitment of LI-DOG’s Nassau team—Rich, Chris and Peggy.

Of course, LI-DOG has also faced disappointment. After gathering an incredible 1,000 signatures on petitions asking for a dog park in the Allen Park expansion in Farmingdale, LI-DOG was informed in May that no dog park would be built in the expansion area. This is very disappointing given the tremendous support demonstrated for such a facility and the great effort that Farmingdale dog owners Brendan Mahoney, Rob Frein and other Oyster Bay residents put into the campaign, said Ginny. However, LI-DOG is confident that by continuing to work constructively with the Town of Oyster Bay, we will get more access to parks, more dog parks, and off-season access to beaches in the town, she said.

Events are key to raising money for the organization and to raising awareness of LI-DOG’s cause in the dog owner community. Two events early in 2012 accomplished both those goals—a President’s Day Pints & Paws that raised more money than ever and the first St. Patrick’s Day Goes to the Dogs event that got great publicity and a great turnout. LI-DOG’s own Anais Leon-Kingsley and Lou Montan were responsible for making these events so successful.

Ginny also noted that the St. Patrick’s Day event was made possible by Fido Fitness Club ( in Woodmere, which donated their facility and all proceeds to LI-DOG for the event.

Other key corporate and business sponsors of LI-DOG in 2011-2012 include:

  • Viewpoint Photography ( in Huntington, which sponsors a Holiday Pooch Shoot for LI-DOG’s benefit and was once again the organization’s single largest contributor;
  • Canine Fence Co. ( of Wilton, Conn., which sponsors LI-DOG’s site, which is critical to our events; and
  • Linda D’Avino of Custom D’Signs (516-799-7446) in Massapequa, who recently created and donated two beautiful new LI-DOG banners to the organization.

Separately, Ginny also thanked the following three professionals for donating their skills to LI-DOG over the past year: Robert Farrell, insurance broker with The B&G Group in Plainview, for dedicating hours of his time to finding underwriters for LI-DOG’s Pints & Paws and Doggie Nights events; Lynn Kiraly, LI-DOG Treasurer, CPA and adjunct professor of accounting at SUNY-Old Westbury for donating her talents to managing LI-DOG’s finances and providing us with advice as a nonprofit; and Mike Marcotte, LI-DOG’s webmaster and owner of MDM WEB DESIGN ( in Vermont, for managing LI-DOG’s website and keeping us number one in searches for LI dog parks. All three of these professionals are smart, knowledgeable and some of the nicest people you could work with, said Ginny. Thank you, all!As far as goals for the coming year, the primary goal in Nassau County is getting the dog park in Eisenhower Park built and opened. Pet Supplies Plus is sponsoring the park and working with Nassau County to develop it. “This public/private approach should be a model for other dog parks,” said Ginny. LI-DOG will also work with the Town of Oyster Bay to gain access to a beach off-season. In Suffolk County, LI-DOG will build on the efforts of Irene Rabinowitz and Central Suffolk Paws to get a long-promised second dog park built in the Town of Brookhaven. Finally, LI-DOG will begin a concerted effort to get on-leash access to Town and/or Nassau County parks. “This is a basic recreational activity in most communities—walking with your dog on leash in a park,” said Ginny. “It’s time to bring parks in Nassau and Suffolk counties into the 21st century,” she said.

LI-DOG has been effective, but in order to add new campaigns and continue to expand our organization, LI-DOG needs additional dog owners to step up and commit their time to our cause, said Ginny. Specifically, LI-DOG needs help with:

  • Events—people who can attend dog-related events and staff our table;
  • Campaigns—people who can take petitions and flyers to dog parks and pet-related businesses; and
  • Communications—people who can write for the website, make up flyers and post on FB and

“By helping LI-DOG with its campaigns and events, you can make a difference in the life not only of your dog but the lives of thousands of other dogs on Long Island,” said Ginny. “I urge you to help us make this happen.”

Before the Annual Meeting concluded, LI-DOG members who are eligible to vote (attendance at a minimum of 3 meetings, volunteering a minimum of 6 hours, or a minimum $50 contribution) approved 11 nominees to the LI-DOG Board of Directors for the May 2012-May 2013 year.

Share via