Kips Bay residents ask for temporary dog run

At a Community Board 6 meeting, delays on getting the funding for the dog run for Bellevue South Park were explained. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Dog owners in Kips Bay are pushing the Parks Department to consider a temporary solution for the lack of a dog run in Bellevue South Park. Members of multiple neighborhood groups made their case at a recent Parks Committee meeting of Community Board 6, arguing that a temporary run near the basketball courts would give residents an immediate place to play with Fido instead of having to wait at least five years while the Parks Department completes additional renovations on the park.

Kips Bay Neighborhood Association member Karen Lee said at the meeting that there is an area north of the basketball courts that is already fenced in and the group has submitted an application for a grant for $280,000 from Borough President Gale Brewer’s office to make changes to the space, such as an access ramp, a nonskid surface and automatic openers for the entrance gates. Lee said that the funding is mainly necessary to make the space accessible for residents with disabilities, which she said is one of the main motivations for pushing for the dog run in the first place.

“Dog runs in the city aren’t ADA compliant,” she explained prior to the meeting. “This would be the first dog run in the city that is ADA compliant. Hospital row is right there and there’s a huge community of disabled people in this neighborhood who already use this park.”

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Dog bites dog in Stuyvesant Town, owner files suit

Dog owners Liza Grier (left) and Siddharth Dube spoke about their experiences of dog-on-dog violence at a Stuyvesant town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association meeting on Saturday. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Dog owners Liza Grier (left) and Siddharth Dube spoke about their experiences of dog-on-dog violence at a Stuyvesant town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association meeting on Saturday. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

In July, Town & Village reported on a Stuyvesant Town pooch who was badly injured after getting mauled by another dog in the complex. Though the 13-year-old Portuguese water dog named Lorca has since recovered from the dog bite, his owner Siddharth Dube has sued the owners of the other dog.

According to the suit, he’s hoping to recover $7,500 in vet bills as well as $2,600 income he lost out on while caring for Lorca and other related expenses.

It was on June 27 when Dube said Lorca was bitten by the other dog, on his upper left leg, the wound later requiring surgery. He had been walking Lorca near the Oval when a woman passed by him with her own dog and a baby in a carriage. Dube was talking on his phone until he turned around after hearing Lorca howl in pain. Both owners tried to reel in their dogs on their leashes, but weren’t successful in getting the other dog’s jaws off Lorca until Dube kicked him off, he previously told T&V.

The suit also notes that he had to forcibly remove the dog, which he described as a brown puggle. Dube quickly took his own pet home, where Lorca appeared to be shaken but otherwise okay. However, Dube later found him looking lifeless in the living room and called the vet who advised Dube to bring in Lorca immediately for surgery.

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Whole Health holds dog adoption event

Guests at the adoption event (Photos by Maya Rader)

Guests at the adoption event (Photos by Maya Rader)

By Maya Rader

Whole Health Veterinary Hospital usually isn’t open on Sundays, but on Sunday, July 24, it unlocked its doors from 1-4 p.m. for a dog adoption event.

The event at the First Avenue health clinic was facilitated by Waggytail Rescue, an organization that finds homes for dogs (and occasionally cats) in need.

Throughout the day, people came to the clinic to visit the rescued dogs available for adoption. If someone wanted to adopt, they filled out an application and then left for a couple hours to think about their decision. If adopting seemed like too big of a commitment, they also had the option of fostering instead.

One person who became a foster parent at the event was David Chambers, who explained, “I can’t have a dog because I work too much.” Another fosterer, Yasmin Fodil, explained, “I wanted to adopt a dog and thought (fostering) was a good first step.”

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Canines who care: Therapy dogs from PCV fixtures at local hospitals

Christy Brown at home with Lacey and Rudy (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Christy Brown at home with Lacey and Rudy (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

In Town & Village’s first ever Dog Days of Summer issue four years ago, we profiled the dog therapy duo Christy Brown and her Maltese pooch Lacey, who together brightened the days of patients undergoing treatment at the Hospital for Joint Diseases.

Recently, however, team Brown became a power pooch trio thanks to the addition of another Maltese, Rudy — and he’s actually developed a following of people who request to see him.

“It’s a very rewarding experience,” said Brown, a resident of Peter Cooper Village. “Patients look forward to seeing the dogs.”

Thanks to both dogs being pint-sized (Lacey’s six and a half pounds while Rudy’s four and a half) even patients who’ve recently undergone surgery can hold and enjoy them.

The holding and petting is important in dog therapy, which, Brown noted, can help to alleviate conditions such as high blood pressure, depression, anxiety and even pain.

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MY DOG SAVED MY LIFE

Cheryl Krist with her husband Joseph and disability dog Bocci, pictured at a Dog Days event in Stuyvesant Town in April Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Cheryl Krist with her husband Joseph and disability dog Bocci, pictured at a Dog Days event in Stuyvesant Town in April (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

For Stuyvesant Town resident Cheryl Krist, having a dog has literally been a lifesaver. She got her disability dog, Bocci, eight years ago, in response to a neurological condition that causes her to get tremors. The shaking, which can happen any time, make her unsteady on her feet so she walks with the aid of a cane.

While Krist said the 40-pound brittany pooch has protected her more than once, one major incident was when he saved her from being hit by a car. This was a year and a half ago on a rural road in Pennsylvania, where Krist owns a home.

She had been walking along a road where there were a lot of ferns on one side, and because of all the plants she didn’t notice that there was also a wild turkey inside. As she walked past, the turkey, apparently startled, flew up towards Krist.

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Dog poop complaints decline in ST: study

A dog waste bag dispenser at a Stuyvesant Town playground during a Dog Days event (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

A dog waste bag dispenser at a Stuyvesant Town playground during a Dog Days event (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A new study from apartment listing company RentHop has found that Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village residents have seemingly become much more diligent in their pooper scooper duties in the last five years. The company examined the number of 311 complaints submitted about dog waste on the sidewalk and found that the neighborhood had seven complaints in 2010 alone but only one in every year since then except 2015, in which there were zero. RentHop data scientist Shane Leese said that the numbers for the neighborhood are lower than most of the other areas around it.

Although Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village and the surrounding neighborhoods saw big decreases in the number of complaints, other Manhattan neighborhoods saw increases, as high as 180 percent on the Upper West Side.

Leese said that both Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village and the Flatiron neighborhood have had decreases in the number of complaints this year, with the decrease in Flatiron being the most significant: last year there were 10 complaints and this year there have been two, for an decrease of 80 percent. The Gramercy neighborhood is doing less well with five complaints so far this year, a 400 percent increase from last year when there was only one complaint in the same period.

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No current plans for ST dog run

Dog owners at the first Dog Days event on April 16 (Pictured) Janet Spampanato with her dog Joey and Nicole and Dave Burner with Lulu (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Dog owners at the first Dog Days event on April 16 (Pictured) Janet Spampanato with her dog Joey and Nicole and Dave Burner with Lulu (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

While the “Dog Days” event series that’s also a trial dog run is being hailed as a success by management, there are currently no plans for anything permanent.

So far the event has been held three times at Stuyvesant Town’s Playground 1, and currently, it’s scheduled to run again on May 7.

ST/PCV General Manager Rick Hayduk said that the response from dog owners has been overwhelmingly positive, which would mirror the sentiments of almost all the dog owners who’d previously spoken with T&V about the concept.

“We are pleased with the success of the dog days event, which provided an opportunity for neighbors to meet and enabled management to register over 50 dogs,” Hayduk said this week.

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Trial dog run launched at ST playground

Fido got to frolic freely on Saturday and additional “dog days” are planned at Stuyvesant Town’s Playground 1 in response to requests for a dog run as well as the requests to keep the complex-dog park-free. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Fido got to frolic freely on Saturday and additional “dog days” are planned at Stuyvesant Town’s Playground 1 in response to requests for a dog run as well as the requests to keep the complex-dog park-free. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

After months of being deluged with requests for a dog run from countless dog owners in Stuyvesant Town — as well as equally passionate NIMBY pleas from other residents — management has debuted an experimental dog run at Playground 1.

The trial dog run program, dubbed “Dog Days,” was introduced at an event for dogs and their owners at the aforementioned playground near First Avenue on Saturday.

The trial dog run will be open for three more Saturdays, 90 minutes each time, from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

While at Saturday’s event, Rick Hayduk, the general manager of Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village, explained that due to the controversial nature of the oft-spoken about dog run, a pilot program seemed necessary.

“Let me just say I lobbied all the stakeholders and no one had any objection to a trial,” he said. “A lot of the dog run conversation is hypothetical. It’s going to be loud, it’s going to be this.”

But Blackstone’s new management company, StuyTown Property Services, has come up with a plan that will hopefully keep the dog run from becoming a nuisance.

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Paws for celebration at First Ave. pharmacy

Store turns focus to health needs of disabled dogs

Woodstock, a dog owned by the manager at Nature’s First pharmacy, is able to walk using a wheelchair now sold at the store on First Avenue and 18th Street.

Woodstock, a dog owned by the manager at Nature’s First pharmacy, is able to walk using a wheelchair now sold at the store on First Avenue and 18th Street.

By Sabina Mollot

On First Avenue, one small pharmacy is going to the dogs — but in its owners’ defense, it’s just a response to neighborhood demographics.

The shop is across the street from Stuyvesant Town, where at last official count, there were close to 1,100 dogs, and in response, Nature’s First pharmacy is now focused on Fido, carrying canine medical supplies from wheelchairs to harnesses for giving lift to weak hind legs. Additionally, soon the store will be carrying dog meds that typically are only carried at veterinarians’ offices.

In the past three years the shop’s been open, co-owner and pharmacist Alex Burlak has been focused on holistic health products, stocking items like essential oils, herbs and organic teas. However, he recently noticed there seemed to be a need in the area for pet medical supplies.

“I really think it’s going to explode,” he said.

“I have no doubt because of the demographics here. In Stuy Town there are a million dogs.”

Additionally, there aren’t any distributors of such products within a 100-mile radius, Burlak said. The idea however, actually came from the store’s manager, Ralph Perez, who bought a wheelchair for his dachshund, Woodstock, a few years ago after the dog lost the use of his hind legs.

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Cauz for Pawz holds costume parade for pooches

On Sunday, Cauz for Pawz held a Halloween parade and costume contest for dogs at the thrift store’s new location on First Avenue opposite Stuyvesant Town.

Contestants’ owners showed plenty of creativity with their furry friends’ costumes, like with Jax, the pooch that won first place, dressed up as the “Breaking Bad” RV. Jax’s owners, Morgan and Jack, won brunch at Bluebell café on Third Avenue. The second place winner was Milan, who was dressed up as a U.S. Marine. Third place winner was Kurtis, who was wearing lederhosen. Other costumes included French maid and Mardi Gras participant.

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Halloween events for kids, adults and pets

Dog at last year’s parade at Tompkins Square Park

Dog at last year’s parade at Tompkins Square Park

The following local Halloween events start this weekend:

GREENWICH VILLAGE CHILDREN’S PARADE—NYU and Community Board 2 present the 25th annual Children’s Halloween Parade, the city’s largest free children’s event on Halloween Day, October 31. Parents and children aged 3-12 are invited to gather at the Washington Square Arch by 1 p.m. Children and families will march around Washington Square Park. After the parade, free trick-or-treat bags, games and rides await the children on LaGuardia Place. The event finishes at 4 p.m. The parade assembles along Washington Square North, near the Arch and ends at LaGuardia between Washington Square South and West 3rd Street.

FAIR FOR KIDS IN STUY TOWN—Stuyvesant Town will hold a “Halloween Spooktacular” event on the Oval on Saturday, October 24 at 2 p.m. There will be a haunted house, a pumpkin patch, live music, face painting, crafts, candy and more for residents and their guests.

CARNIVAL AT LITTLE MISSIONARY—Little Missionary’s Day Nursery pre-school will hold a haunted Halloween party on October 31 from noon-4 p.m. at St. Marks Church and the Bowery, at East 10th Street and Second Avenue. There will be a haunted house, puppet show, music, games, cotton candy, hot dogs, face painting, scavenger hunts, creepy stories with Thea Taube and food and drinks. No entry fee, but tickets need to be purchased for food and activities. The music, puppet show and story time will be free.

PARADE FOR PETS NEAR STUY TOWN—Cauz for Pawz thrift shop will be holding its first Halloween parade for pets on Sunday, October 25 from 1-3 p.m. The pets will walk a red carpet and be voted on. The venue is the store’s new location at 333 First Avenue between 19th and 20th Streets. For more information, call (212) 684-7299.

DOG PARADE AT TOMPKINS SQUARE PARK—On Saturday, October 24 from noon-3 p.m., the annual Halloween parade for dogs will take place at Tompkins Square Park. There will be tons of prizes for dogs in costumes at this event, which will be held in the dog run, East 9th Street between Avenues A and B. There will also be local rescue adoptions. Rain date is Sunday.

PARTY FOR KIDS AT WATERSIDE—All resident Waterside children are invited to attend the annual Halloween party on Sat., Oct. 31 from 5-7 p.m. at the Waterside Swim & Health Club, 35 Waterside Plaza and outside on the plaza, weather permitting. The event will feature face painting, a photo booth, a costume contest, a spooktacular number of games and activities and lots and lots of treats. Admission is free and open to resident children of Waterside Plaza. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

COSTUME BALL & PERFORMANCES FOR ADULTS—Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave. at E. 10th St., presents its 38th annual Village Halloween Costume Ball on Saturday, October 31. This unique festival continues as a grand coming-together for everyday New Yorkers and artists alike. A carefree fall tradition, it celebrates the creativity that comes with the season. The one-night fiesta takes over all four of TNC’s theater spaces, plus its lobby and the block of East Tenth Street between First and Second Avenues. Admission is $20; costume or formal wear is required. Once inside, everything is free except food and drink, which are graveyard dirt-cheap. Big-Band Dance orchestras take over the large Johnson Theater. These will include Hot Lavender Swing Band, an all-Gay and Lesbian 18-piece orchestra, and Maquina Mono (The Monkey Machine), a Latin Salsa Rock band. The Johnson Theater will also have aerial dance by Suspended Cirque. Outside, there are R&B and Dixieland bands, fire eaters, jugglers, storyweavers and stilt dancers, all free to the public. Inside, there is theater all evening. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and indoor entertainment begins at 8 p.m. There will be two continuously-running cabarets. Outdoor entertainment will start at  3:30 p.m. Outdoor entertainment is capped by “The Red and Black Masque,” an annual Medieval ritual show written by Arthur Sainer, scored by David Tice and directed by Crystal Field which is performed by torchlight. Scattered through the event will be stilt dancers, jugglers, fire-eaters, Vaudeville playlets, Burlesque and Hellsouls. The annual costume judging begins at midnight with the “Monsters and Miracles Costume Parade,” as all revelers are invited to march past a panel of celebrity judges. Winners will receive one-year passes to TNC and a bottle of Moet and Chandon champagne. Reservations are strongly recommended. For tickets ($20, costume or formal wear required) or more information, call (212) 254-1109 or visit http://www.theaterforthenewcity.net.

Dogs’ day out in Stuy Town

By Sabina Mollot

On Saturday afternoon, an event for pets was held in Stuyvesant Town’s Playground 9, offering their owners a chance to chat with reps from local pet-related businesses as well as collect a few freebies like photo portraits of themselves with their furry friends.

Participating businesses included Boprey Photography, ABC Animal Hospital, Throw Me a Bone (training and walking service), Petland and Happy Dogs daycare center. Happy Dogs offered pooches free ear cleaning and a moisturizing fur rub as well as holding a contest with a $100 giveaway. Stuy Town management also offered giveaways of doggie bowls, tote bags and poop bags, all festooned with the property’s logo. Dog owners also got a chance to take home some artwork made from their dogs’ paws being dipped in paint.

Local dog owners seemed to appreciate the opportunity to get together without anyone yelling at them to get out of the playground and their dogs, almost of all which were rescues, seemed to appreciate the social interaction and attention.

Photos by Sabina Mollot

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Repair of Stuyvesant Square Park’s historic fence to start soon, city says

Money was raised to fix the fence outside of Stuyvesant Square Park in 2012. (Photo by Michael Alcamo)

Money was raised to fix the fence outside of Stuyvesant Square Park in 2012. (Photo by Michael Alcamo)

By Sabina Mollot

It was almost two and half years ago, in June of 2012 when the last $600,000 needed for the restoration of Stuyvesant Square Park’s historic, cast iron fence and the surrounding sidewalk was finally allocated after years of fundraising. The project, which had been pushed by the Stuyvesant Park Neighborhood Association, eventually had a total price tag of $5.5 million, funded by local elected officials.

But today, work on the fence on the park’s east section, which needs some of its rotted pieces recreated, still hasn’t begun. A separate project to fix the park’s west section fence had been completed earlier. Work to accompany the fence project, such as fixing the damaged bluestone sidewalk, has also still not been done. Yet another long awaited and related project, to install a curb cut or ramp at the park’s eastern gate to allow access to wheelchair users, has also still not happened.

But fortunately for those whose who’ve been following the progress, or rather lack of it, change does finally appear to be on the horizon.

Community Board 6’s Parks Committee has been assured by the Parks Department that work will begin soon. Or rather, that it already has. Mark Thompson, who heads Community Board 6’s Parks Committee, said he’s been told the official start date of the project was October 20. However, he was also warned that this wouldn’t mean shovels would hit the ground on that date although work would begin internally on the project.

As for when the actual repairs will start, there still doesn’t seem to be a set date for that, and one local tree-planting and park activist, Michael Alcamo, has said he’ll believe it when he sees it.

Alcamo, a Stuyvesant Town resident, had spearheaded a letter writing campaign in 2012 that was instrumental in securing the last of the funds for the project from then-Borough President Scott Stringer. Though he conceded some of the blame for the delay on getting started was finding artisans capable of repairing the landmarked fence, which apparently there aren’t too many of, he said he is now concerned the project is no longer even considered a priority by the city. Alcamo referred to the mayor’s recently announced initiative to focus on the needs of parks in outer boroughs, particularly in poorer areas.

“Has the money been allocated to outer boroughs? That would be useful for the community to know,” said Alcamo.

He added that the fence isn’t even his main concern, but the cracked sidewalk is since that could pose a danger to pedestrians, as is the lack of of a wheelchair ramp.

Tree and park activist Michael Alcamo has been pushing the city to install a ramp for disabled park goers at the park’s entrance. (Photo by Michael Alcamo)

Tree and park activist Michael Alcamo has been pushing the city to install a ramp for disabled park goers at the park’s entrance. (Photo by Michael Alcamo)

“In 1990, the Americans With Disabilities Act required that public facilities, including parks, must be accessible to persons with disabilities,” said Alcamo. “The eastern side of Stuyvesant Square Park, which faces Stuyvesant Town, has not been in compliance for 24 years. We have been asking for four years for a curb cut in order to make the park accessible to persons of limited mobility.”

Alcamo, who recently founded an organization called Friends of Stuyvesant Square Park, had hoped to speed up the curb cut installation by asking Community Board 6 to pass a resolution calling for the work to be done, but, he said, the board’s Parks Committee declined. As for why the committee didn’t want to take that step, Thompson told Town & Village he didn’t think a resolution would be necessary since the community board has already had assurances from the Parks Department that the project will begin soon, including the installation of a ramp.

Thompson added that he did understand Alcamo’s concerns since early on the fundraising process, $500,000 of the project’s funds were reallocated to another Parks Department need.

“It shouldn’t have happened, but it did,” said Thompson. Because of this, CB6 has been “politely” nudging the city about the park from time to time. “We’re all concerned,” he said. But he added, “the money is allocated. It is happening.”

A rep for Parks echoed Thompson in saying the city is not redirecting the project’s cash elsewhere.

“No funds have been reallocated from Manhattan to the other boroughs and all the funds allocated for this project are intact,” Philip Abramson, a Parks Department spokesperson told T&V.

The contractor on the project is UA Construction, who was selected after the initially chosen vendor (chosen for being the lowest bidder) ended up not working out. UA Construction was the second lowest bidder. The lowest bidder, Abramson said, “was not successful in going through the pre-qualification process.”

He didn’t respond to a question about why the first company didn’t qualify though he did say that at this time UA Construction is working with the Department of Transportation on getting a permit for a street closure so work can begin.

Rosalee Isaly, the president of the Stuyvesant Park Neighborhood Association, said she’s had a recent discussion with Parks reps to make sure the dog walkers who come to use the park’s dog run will be able to access it while work is ongoing.

“They’ll be aware of them,” she said of the dog walkers. She added that come springtime, the park’s west side will also get some attention with the installation of an irrigation system. “All that planting that gets done needs water and the watering this past summer was torturous,” she said. “They had to drag in hoses.”

The labor-intensive act of planting should pay off in the spring though. Dozens of volunteers, mainly high school and college students, have been participating in monthly gardening days at the park to plant, paint benches and rake leaves. On a volunteer day in October, around 11,500 bulbs for tulips, daffodils and bluebells were planted.

“It’s really warming,” said Isaly. “I think it’s going to be spectacular spring in the park.”

A DOT spokesperson did not respond to a request from T&V asking about the status of the permit and where the street closures would be exactly.

Happy Dogs says former trainer stole clients, started competing business

Trainer also boards dogs illegally in his Peter Cooper Village apt., complaint says

Peter Cooper resident Blake Rodriguez of DCTK9, with other dog walkers, walks a dog close to home in August. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Peter Cooper resident Blake Rodriguez of DCTK9, with other dog walkers, walks a dog close to home in August. Happy Dogs’ owners say he boards dogs in his apartment. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

At Happy Dogs Stuyvesant Town, a dog daycare, bath and boarding business that opened last summer on First Avenue between 23rd and 24th Streets, the owners are suing a former dog trainer they worked with, accusing him of pilfering their pooch clients for his own dog walking and training business. Additionally, according to the suit, which was filed by owners Jennifer and Ien Cheng on Tuesday, the dog trainer, Peter Cooper Village resident Blake Rodriguez, has been illegally boarding dogs in his apartment on East 20th Street.

In 2012, The Chengs said they’d asked Rodriguez to train dogs at their Williamsburg facility, one of two Happy Dogs centers they now own and at that time, the only one open, though there was a plan to expand the business to Manhattan. According to the suit, under the agreement, the owners were to provide the space, promote the training service and he’d collect two thirds of the money brought in as a commission. Additionally, they said, the contract called for him not to compete with their business or work for any competitor within a three-mile radius of Happy Dogs during the contract and for 12 months following termination of the agreement.

But, they argued, he’s been doing just that by opening his own center early in 2014 on Attorney Street. They’ve noticed that since then, they’ve seen photos online of Rodriguez with dogs that used to be their clients or that have been coming to Happy Dogs less lately.

Rodriguez, they said, had been a trainer with his own company, Dream Come True K9 (DCTK9), since 2010. His services included boarding and extensive training for behavioral issues. The Chengs said until he trained at Happy Dogs, he hadn’t offered group training. When the first training class was held, in 2012, 80 percent of the participants were already existing Happy Dogs clients.

They also said in the suit that they recently discovered that in addition to training, Rodriguez was also providing boarding for dogs not in the board-and-train program. They did know about dogs being boarded for a specific training program for dogs with “significant” behavioral problems. This wasn’t a conflict since Happy Dogs didn’t offer the service. It is noted in the complaint, however, that is against New York health code and against Peter Cooper Village/Stuyvesant Town leasing policy.

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Etiquette at the dog run

Volunteers planning new rules for Madison Square Park dog run

Jemmy’s dog run volunteers John Thomas with his dog Higgins and Emily Khasidy with her dog Finlay (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Jemmy’s dog run volunteers John Thomas with his dog Higgins and Emily Khasidy with her dog Finlay (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot
When it comes to behavior at the dog runs, the rules for humans are pretty universal; pick up after Fido, don’t let him get into fights with other dogs and don’t allow any other behavior you wouldn’t want a child strolling by to witness.

And while most dog owners are responsible, there always seem a few bad apples that give the rest a bad rep. So, at one local dog run, the volunteers who help maintain it are planning to implement a few new, albeit basic rules, which they shared with Town & Village.

This would be at Jemmy’s Dog Run, the 12-year-old dog run at Madison Square Park. Jemmy’s is maintained by the Parks Department and the Madison Square Park Conservancy with the help of volunteers in a dog run association.

Two of the association’s core group of active members are Flatiron residents John Thomas, owner of olde English bulldogge Higgins and Emily Khasidy, owner of Finlay, a rhodesian ridgeback. Both dog owners checked out a number of other dog runs’ rules and policies before coming up with a list for Jemmy’s, which they said will go up on signage soon after the association reviews them.

A few of the rules (which may or may not end up on the official list) are as follows:

Do not feed the dogs, unless they’re your own.

According to Thomas and Khasidy, it isn’t uncommon for dog lovers to want to feed others’ dogs treats. But this isn’t appropriate, since dog runs are not petting zoos.

Do not play rough with dogs. While dogs will play rough with each other, this doesn’t give people a free pass to do the same. Khasidy said sometimes it’s necessary for one owner to say to another, albeit nicely, “You’re playing too rough with him and he doesn’t like that.”

Don’t bring children into the run for the purpose of playing with dogs. Thomas and Khasidy said they occasionally see parents bring children into the run to attempt to get them socialized with dogs or to see how they are around them. But dog owners wish they wouldn’t.

“Some people let their kids in here, but I wouldn’t let my dog in the playground,” said Thomas. While this may sound harsh, dog owners, he reasoned, have a reason to be. “If he bites you, you can have him put down.” Khasidy agreed, noting if her dog bites someone, “a judge isn’t going to side with me. So we want to put a sign since not all dogs like kids and not all kids like dogs.”

Be mindful of behavioral issues of dogs that haven’t been neutered or spayed.

Khasidy said sometimes those dogs just won’t get along with other dogs. If that’s the case, “If your unneuetered dog is causing a problem, it might be best to remove your dog from the park for a while.” This, Thomas acknowledged, may lead to fights between owners over who has to leave. However, even more fights tend to occur over the next rule.

Don’t hold the gate open any longer than necessary. The dogs could get out and end up in traffic.

Don’t bring in poorly socialized dogs.

“One example,” said Thomas, “is a guy whose dog was a rescue pit bill, who spent most of his life in a crate. Dogs in that situation, he explained, will end up scared in a dog run with other dogs, and could also end up scaring other owners. “Because it was a pit bull, to someone else it could be very scary.”

Pick up after your dog. Though it may sound obvious, even seasoned dog owners can get distracted and end up not noticing that their dog has left something behind. “People are on headphones an they don’t look at their dogs,” said Thomas. “You have to make an effort to be aware of what your dog’s doing.” Dog poop, he added, is the number one infraction at the dog run. In Khasidy’s view, the best way to deal with this is directly; with dog owners sometimes having to point out poop piles to other owners. When she’s done it, owners have handled it politely, she said.

Meanwhile, along with its goal of new signage, the dog run association is trying to raise funds for some improvements for the Jemmy’s. Short term goals are to get new gravel (since the current gravel, larger pebbles, can get stuck on dogs’ paws) and to fix a bench that was partially dismantled when a smaller dog got a paw stuck inside the planks. Since then, with the surface removed, dogs that have been jumping around it have managed to sail inside and get hurt. More longterm goals are to get a water feature more elaborate than the current one (a garden hose), better drainage and some sort of structure that would offer more shade.

Jemmy’s Dog Run came about when the Conservancy orchestrated a renovation of the entire park, which was at the time run down and drug-ridden. Twelve years later, around 75-100 dogs use Jemmy’s run each day, mostly neighborhood dogs during the week, and others from further away on weekends. It’s named after James Madison, whose nickname was Jemmy.

Along with the dog run and its fence in 2002 (a separate fence for an area for smaller dogs wouldn’t come until 2011) the park also got new lighting and a reflecting pool for the north end.

More recently, an association of local dog owners was formed with the aim of maintaining as well as improving the dog run. The dog run costs the Conservancy about $50,000 each year to maintain, including the cost of the staffer to clean it, and repairs on infrastructure as well as the recently added large shade umbrellas. Those, branded with the conservancy logo, cost $1,000 each.

Currently, a website aimed at raising money for the run has been confusing to some would-be donors, since it refers to the spot as James’ dog run, so Thomas recommended that anyone with questions about Jemmy’s email volunteers at maddogcommittee@gmail.com.