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Dog Owners Look to Create Pet-Friendly Park in Port Chester

Group looks to work with village to raise funds, build area where dogs can run off-leash.

A collection of Port Chester dog owners is hoping to convince the village to build a park that will allow their pets to roam off-leash and play freely.

As the residents gather electronic signatures for their online petition supporting the park idea, they are also looking to keep themselves out of the dog house with Port Chester taxpayers by coming up with fundraising efforts that will pay for the project.

Dina Goren, a member of the Port Chester Dog Park Facebook group, introduced the proposal to members of the Port Chester village Board of Trustees at their session Tuesday night. Goren explained that her family is among many "dog families" in Port Chester who would like to be able to play with their pets, off-leash, at a public park.

Sorry. No dogs allowed currently at Port Chester's parks.

Goren explained that she and other village residents would like to have an area similar to other so-colled dog parks in the area, which created a space for dogs to play off-leash by fencing off part of a park. Such parks have become popular throughout the area, with fenced in areas for dogs created in communities including New Rochelle (Ward Acres), White Plains (Brockway Place Bark Park) and at Grass Island in Greenwich, CT.

In presenting the concept to the Port Chester Board of Trustees, Goren said supporters of the dog park are seeking a safe, secure area for off-leash play.

The concept received unofficial support from village trustees, who especially were pleased to hear Goren explained that she and other members of the Port Chester Dog Park group want to help fundraise and seek grants so that the park could be created without funds from local taxpayers.

The idea of bringing the proposal to the village government developed after a discussion on another Facebook group, Making Port Chester a Better Place. That group has become involved with public safety issues in the village and has formed committees that meet to discuss key topics for improving Port Chester. The group formed in 2012 after a rash of violent incidents raised concern about crime in the village.

Prior to Tuesday night's discussion, members of the group said they have been focusing their efforts on research and checking the pulse of the community to see whether their is local support for a Port Chester dog park. The supporters of the project were hoping to have already met with members of the Port Chester ParkCommission, but that has not happened yet because of scheduling issues.

Park Commission member John Reavis said Tuesday that the commission looks forward to working with the dog part supporters in developing a plan for the possible creation of the park and working out details. Besides the initial cost for a dog park, Reavis said an issue that would require close attention is the cost for upkeep of a dog park.

The proposal has sparked lots of discussion online, including on Port Chester Patch and its Facebook page. A Letter to the Editor by Paola Garcia of Port Chester went into detail about the concept.

"For many of us, a dog is not just an animal, but little people in furry suits, who, from day one, become instant members of our families. They hold a special place in our hearts," Garcia wrote. "They complete us with their unconditional love, thus I feel compelled to do something in return for them, that’s why I support the creation of a dog park."

Garcia contends a dog park could provide a place for pets to play, but also resolve dog-related issues throughout Port Chester.

"We know some people may not like dogs or may be afraid of them, or maybe concern with their children being bit or attacked by a dog, so by having a dog park in OUR community, we can help prevent any unfortunate accidents," Garcia wrote. "We will also build awareness around curbing your dog. This can help reduce the amount of dog poop found on sidewalks, in residential areas and in the park. We hope a dog park, can also help reduce the number of complaints of barking dogs in the neighborhood, which is an indicator that our furry friends are asking for a place to release their energy. Moreover, if this park is created and we gain the support of the community, people will be able to gather and socialize at the park as well. People will be able to exchange their experiences, knowledge, training tips, and other related information with one another. A reader board could also be placed in the park, where other dog related services can be posted and shared, such as low cost grooming, boarding, lost pet flyers, adoption information, etc."

Here's some reaction the letter has received on Patch:

Yulianao

Having a bark park in Port Chester would be a great idea.I think its would benefit the village greatly. You ideas pro it are very compelling and I think that everyone should reconsider having a dog Park in this village where we have a high popularion of dog owners.

Linda Turturino

... the Dog playground will be funded through grants and donations ... This is a wonderful idea and I hope this group gets all the support it needs

Elizabeth

Get rid of the over crowdiness in Port Chester first then make room for dogs. Just like we have other kids from other towns using our schools, we will have other dogs from other town in our parks as well, And if one of these dogs bites someone who is responsible if the person decides to sue, the owner of the dog or the village. Look at what happened in Bruce Park in Greenwich. Get your priorities straight people.

John

Rome is burning, and the focus is on where to let dogs run free. How about your yard? You don't have one? Why don't people think about these things first?

Here's some reaction the issued has received on Patch's Facebook page:

Sarah D. Baker I think it would be another boon for PC. We have a wonderful community of dog lovers and providing a place for the dogs to run and exercise would be good for the community as a whole. As far as concerns about cost, a PC dog license could be put in place to offset the expenses.

Keith Morlino There was a deep discussion on it in making PC a better place for at least a month and base on what I saw presented and heard it looked like a win win for PC. It looks like A lot of research went into it and is still continuing as far as taxes and what I heard last night at the BOT meeting, it really would not affect our taxes due to a fairly substantial volunteer support group who was at the meeting last night

Richard Gonzalez Renee Pesso Hernandez as long as I don't have to pay more tax I'm good with whatever they want but if I have to pay tax for something like that then heck no go in a friends backyard and have a dog party lol

Cesar Recinos Escobar You want to make PC a better place, start spending my tax dollars to fix the roads and hiring better teachers for our classrooms.

Deborah Dione Harris I think a dog park would be awesome...

Ismael Montes Ya all you want is a dog park but when I come with my NICE NON AGGRESSIVE PLAYFUL PITBULL YOU ALL GET SCARED I will support your park if you support my breed

 

 

 


John February 21, 2013 at 12:22 PM
If there's an incident in the dog park, lets say a dog fight, or someone gets bitten. Who is responsible? Is it the town? What if there's a lawsuit? Somehow i see this not ending well for taxpayers. I wouldn't be so quick to nod in agreement about this dog park until all the details are discussed.
Aidan February 21, 2013 at 01:40 PM
Yup. This needs more discussion before anything happens. "Even though dog parks are a convenient way to kick back and let your dog run off their leash, the outing comes with its own set of risks. In fact, you need to pay particular attention, or you may end up in a dog bite lawsuit. Some people carelessly bring dogs that are not suited to interact with strangers and other dogs at a leash-free park." http://dog-bites.whocanisue.com/off-leash-dog-park/
Ceasar February 21, 2013 at 01:52 PM
Intact males should not be allowed! Bitches in heat should not be allowed! Dogs that are not licensed should not be allowed! No vaccinations? Not allowed!
John February 21, 2013 at 02:03 PM
Exactly. And who is going to make sure of all this? It all sounds so wonderful until you start picking it apart.
Ceasar February 21, 2013 at 02:26 PM
I would like the people who are petitioning the dog park to step up and tell us how many of them actually have their pets licensed.
jml February 21, 2013 at 02:41 PM
i think its a great idea ! I personally have 2 dogs that i take to the dog park on the beach in rye that is only seasonal and never had any problem people are smart enough to know if their dogs are dog friendly ornot.I also think it would be just another great thing added to port chester i think abendroth park behind the old hospital would be a great location its large and would be more than accomidating .good luck i hope it works out.
jml February 21, 2013 at 02:43 PM
Im fine with that cesear ....my dogs are licensed and im sure their are plenty of others whos are as well !
Dina February 21, 2013 at 02:49 PM
As with any park, rules and regulations will need to be posted as well as liability statements developed. Anybody interested in participating in the development of those rules and regulations is welcome to join the group and participate. Feel free to message Facebook page: Port Chester Dog Park with any questions or requests to be part of a committee.
Dina February 21, 2013 at 02:52 PM
For anybody interested in signing the petition for the Port Chester Dog Park, here is the link: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/portchesterdogpark/
Jen D February 21, 2013 at 03:01 PM
Read this, NYC has lots of dog parks, mainly cause we don't have backyards. The best feature is that early weekend mornings dogs are allowed to w/o leashes in our parks.. http://www.nycgovparks.org/facilities/dogareas I hate that there is nowhere in PC to walk my furry nephew
Theresa C. February 21, 2013 at 03:26 PM
When I walk my dog, I clean up after him; can not say the same for dog owners in the neighborhood where I live AND work. SO what is going to happen in the dog park with everyone's dogs running free; everyone is mentioning dog bites, what about dog poop?
Amanda N February 21, 2013 at 04:44 PM
Anyone who has been to a dog park knows dog poop is not an issue. Every dog park provides dog waste amenities including plastic bags and and garbage cans. A dog owner knows there's nothing more embarrassing than your dog pooping and you not having a bag. I think the dog waste argument is a silly non valid concern. Personally as a responsible owner I think we should follow in Harrison's foot steps, their dog park is a key card entry secure facility with an annual fee. The biggest concern is people not having licensed animals and this is the best way to enforce that. Injuries to dogs are rare in dog parks but if an incident were to happen its always between the dog owners and clearly this would be stated in the rules and regulations of the facility. Responsible dog owners know if their dogs are meant to socialize with other dogs or not. I have 3 dogs and I know only two are meant to socialize out of their pack and I would be more than happy to pay a small annual fee to take advantage of a facility that promotes that. I just can't understand why someone who does not own a dog would care about this dog park actually happening? If it has nothing to do with taxpayers how does it affect you?
jml February 21, 2013 at 05:39 PM
you are 100% right amanda .I brought my dogs just about every weekend and never see a mess.I agree with the annual fee and the key card kinda like a club ! Also because people are paying a annual fee they will probably keep up with picking up after their dogs and a sign can be posted s far as biting and ect it is that the owner is responsible and well aware of the things that can happen and are resposible for their own pets .
Linda Turturino February 21, 2013 at 10:10 PM
people people this dog park idea is in the planning stages there is lots of work to be done as far as i am concerned if we can address all issues and the park get funded this is totally winner winner chicken dinner . overcrowding your concern start telling your elected officials and candidates knocking on your door they all need to here from the people that live here in good ol PC
Dina February 21, 2013 at 11:53 PM
So true Linda... This is not an attempt to fix all of PC's issues -- it's simply a small initiative that will significantly improve the parks and recreation experience of many residents in the village. And yes, we do need to hold elected officials accountable for continuously improving PC for sure -- and residents also have to step-up and recommend ideas that might help improve PC, and look into implementing them -- government should be an extension of the people -- and the people should get involved.

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