Dog Owners Ask for Help Policing Washington Heights Dog Run

By Nigel Chiwaya on February 8, 2013 9:11am 

 Members of the J. Hood Wright Canine Club asked Community Board 12 for help policing the dog run and park after hours.
Members of the J. Hood Wright Canine Club asked Community Board 12 for help policing the dog run and park after hours.
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DNAInfo/Nigel Chiwaya

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — Dog owners are pushing for increased policing of their Washington Heights dog run and the surrounding park, saying they need extra force to keep things under control.

Members of the J. Hood Wright Canine Club made their plea to Community Board 12's Parks and Cultural Affairs committee this week, asking for increased police and Parks Department patrols and summonses for irresponsible owners who disobey the rules of the park.

"We need help from the parks department and the police department to patrol in the park late at night," said canine club president Anthony Speranza.

Residents in the building across have complained since last spring about dog owners who let their dogs bark after hours in the dog run, and who let their animals run around off-leash behind the run. In addition, the run made headlines in January when a woman and her dog were attacked by three pit bulls. The owners of the dogs then fled.

Speranza said that the club has asked for help in the past, but that the increased patrols were short-lived.

"This has been brought up before and it happens for like two weeks. You'll see patrols around there and it kind of dies off. We have to come up with some kind of plan otherwise it's just going to keep happening."

Members of the canine club said they felt blamed for the actions of a few troublesome dog owners, and said that the dog run was a positive environment.

"Before I got a dog I knew not a single person," said member Jennifer Goldstein. "Once I got a dog I met this whole amazing community of people."

"We have a real community that really looks out for each other."

Parks Department representative Terese Flores said that the department was looking to add more plants outside of the run to mitigate the noise issues. In addition, a meeting will be set up between the community board, the Parks Department, the canine club, and residents on Haven Avenue.

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