It’s the leash they could do! Marine Parkers want a dog run

Playing around: Marine Parker Felipe Acevedo and his dog Diablo like having access to the whole park to walk around and play in instead of a tiny fenced-in dog run.
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Canine owners are begging the city for a fenced-in dog run in Marine Park to give their four-legged friends a safer place to run around and socialize. The idea has many Marine Parkers wagging their tails, because it would prevent their dogs from running out into the middle of the street after a ball, according to one of 550 pooch owners who signed a petition asking for the dog park.

“I just love the idea of a fenced-in dog park so people don’t have to worry about their dogs running out of the park, it also gives them the ability to exercise and help the people who don’t have dogs feel better about being in the park with all the dogs around,” said Dari Litchman, who brings her mixed-breed mutt to the green space every day.

Four-legged friends are allowed to run free in the borough’s largest park before 9 am and after 9 pm — everywhere except the playgrounds, ball fields, and natural areas — but they must remain on leashes in daytime hours, according to a Parks Department spokeswoman.

Owners hardly obey, however, and they often don’t pick up the unpleasant gifts that their dogs leave behind — but a dog run could fix both issues, according to Carmine Zanca, who started the petition.

“A lot of people they want a dog run, but a lot also complain that people don’t pick up after their dogs. People let their dogs run and they go crap and don’t pick it up,” he said. “We have about 600 signatures on the petition, and a lot of people are looking forward to it.”

The city is giving Marine Park a $5-million face-lift — including new bocce ball and tennis courts — but a dog park is not on the to-do list, said a Parks Department spokeswoman.

“Parks welcomes all community input, and we encourage all local residents to share their Parks-related interests with their local community board. A dog run is not part of the renovations currently in progress at Marine Park, and we have not received any requests from the community to add one,” she said.

The idea is not popular with everyone, but if the community can get behind it, the local councilman said he would throw them a bone.

“There are as many people who don’t want it, who do want it,” said Councilman Alan Maisel (D-Marine Park). “I don’t have a dog in that fight. Whatever the community wants — if we can develop a consensus — it’s fine with me.”

The petition addresses state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Marine Park), who plans to meet with local civic groups over the next few weeks to discuss the idea, said spokesman John Quaglione.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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