In a flurry of e-mails and phone calls, Long Island dog owners have called on Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy to deal with an incident involving a Suffolk County Parks police officer who threatened "war" on dog owners and off-leash activities at Coindre Hall in Huntington. In the incident, which occurred Sun., Feb. 5th, the officer confronted dog owners, including an attorney with two small children, with a nightstick in hand. Click here to read the story.
Dog owners have asked the county executive to insure that the situation with this officer does not escalate any further and that appropriate action is taken to deal with the situation quickly. As one dog owner noted, "it is simply not right that public employees would voice such vehement opposition to a group of responsible taxpayers and legitimate park users." Said another, "I don't have a problem with an officer doing his job, but I believe they should make every effort not to escalate the situation. Unfortunately, that task fell to us." Click here to read e-mails from LI-DOG and other dog owners to the county executive.
Dog owners also noted that dog owners, through LI-DOG, currently are involved in a good faith effort to come to a solution at Coindre Hall that provides dog owners with continued access to the park while taking account of the needs of other users. "This incident…does not at all characterize the good faith efforts in which we are engaged nor does it represent the level of civility we expect when we work together to achieve livable communities," said one dog owner.
Many e-mails also noted that the incident has underscored, once again, the "sorry state of affairs" for dog owners on Long Island. The fact is there is ONE legal off-leash area in Suffolk County for the county's more than 600,000 dog-owning citizens. "There needs to be a wholesale attitude change in Suffolk County and it has to come from the top-that's you," said LI-DOG in its e-mail to the county executive. Many other communities across America have found that dog parks and off-leash areas are highly valued features of life in those communities. "Suffolk County has shown leadership in so many other efforts, why are we such laggards when it comes to making this a welcome county for dog owners," said LI-DOG.
If you want to join our efforts to change the anti-dog owner environment here on Long Island, read some of the great e-mails other dog owners have sent, and then e-mail or call the following officials:
Also, call or e-mail your local county legislator. To find out who he or she is, click on the bottom right hand article on our home page at http://www.lidog.org
As always, keep in touch by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.