Redesigned dog run in the works for Madison Sq. Park

A park goer looks at a diagram outlining the planned dog run. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The Madison Square Park Conservancy has announced a plan to renovate the dog run in the park, known as Jemmy’s Run, this past weekend.

The new run will be in the same place as the existing run but will be reconfigured to add more space for small dogs and to include new amenities, such as increased lighting, small hills and a water feature.

“We haven’t been able to serve small dogs in the existing space,” the conservancy’s executive director Keats Meyer said on Saturday at Barkfest, an event at the park for dogs and their owners. “It ends up being sort of like a cage, like a ‘small dog time out.’”

Meyer said that the renovations plans have been reviewed by neighborhood dog owners in previous workshops and surveys and adjusted based on community suggestions and needs. Meyer noted that one aspect of the plan that many respondents of the survey agreed on was changing the surface because users of the run don’t like the gravel that is currently there.

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Hurricane-impacted cats, dogs find owners at Adoptapalooza

Dena Spinelli, a volunteer with rescue organization Husky House with Jake, a now-healthy husky that was rescued from a puppy mill (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

On Sunday afternoon, over 400 cats and dogs in need of homes were brought to Union Square Park for Adoptapalooza, an event held by the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals and the Petco Foundation. A constant stream of animal lovers, many considering adopting or fostering new pets, filled the park’s north end, which was lined with booths manned by shelter volunteers as well as a few booths for games, pet photos and caricatures as well as a grass field.

Jane Hoffman, president of the Mayor’s Alliance, said at Adoptapalooza events, it’s typical for around 200 animals to get adopted.

“The value of it is it creates awareness,” said Hoffman, who also said it’s become a popular destination for families. This year, the event took on some extra urgency though thanks to a flurry of homeless pets from Florida and Texas following the hurricanes Irma and Harvey.

“When we had Superstorm Sandy, we had groups fly out of parts of the country and help us,” Hoffman said. “With Harvey and Irma, our groups stepped up to help them.”

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Dog rescued from East River near Stuy Town

Sept7 Dog rescue

A dog who’d been stranded in the water is rescued by the NYPD’s Emergency Service Unit. (Photo by Ed Dwyer)

By Sabina Mollot

On Monday morning, police rescued a dog that had somehow gotten stranded on a submerged rock in the East River near Stuyvesant Town.

A woman who’d been strolling through Stuyvesant Cove Park with her own dog was the one to alert police after spotting the frightened pooch. Cops said the call came in at around 7 a.m. and officers from the nearby 13th Precinct responded. They then called in the Emergency Service Unit (located at a neighboring building on East 21st Street) and a wet suit wearing officer soon arrived to retrieve the dog.

Stuyvesant Town resident Ed Dwyer was walking his dog as the rescue unfolded at around 20th Street. Surprisingly though the stranded dog, a 20-25 lb. part-hound mutt, wasn’t barking before help arrived.

“I didn’t notice the dog at all,” Dwyer said, admitting he only discovered what was going on from the woman who’d called 911. “He was just really quiet. Unless you were really looking you wouldn’t have seen him.”

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Paws & Relax owners helping dogs in Texas

Sept7 Paws and Relax GoFundMe

Seeing photos like this one inspired the business owners to help dogs impacted by Harvey.

By Sabina Mollot

Jon Huston and Steve Carroll, the owners of dog daycare center Paws & Relax on Avenue B, have set their sights on the animals left on their own following the flooding caused by Harvey. The owners of the business, both former residents of Stuyvesant Town as well as Peter Cooper Village, set up a GoFundMe page on Tuesday in the hope of raising $2,500 to send food to dogs in Texas who’ve been rescued after being abandoned or lost. By Friday at 9 a.m., the campaign exceeded its goal, totaling $2,850.

On Thursday afternoon, Town & Village spoke with Huston, who confirmed the effort had “taken off like wildfire.” At that point, the campaign had raised $2,440.

Huston said he and Carroll started the GoFundMe page after hearing about many animals who’d been stranded after their owners fled their homes.

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Dog Days are here again

Diane Patrone, Cha Cha, Fanny, and Jordan Gunter

By Maya Rader

The dog days are officially upon us. On Saturday morning, Stuyvesant Town held its first Dog Days event of the season. Residents brought their pups to Playground 1 to play and socialize with other dogs while stands were set up manned by local pet-related businesses. The event was also attended by an adorable pot-bellied pig that arrived in a stroller. The pig is currently being housed at Whole Health Veterinary Hospital on First Avenue.

The event also included an obstacle course with toys laid out across the playground, including seesaws, tunnels and bars for Fido to practice jumping over.

Photos by Maya Rader

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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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