Friday, April 9, 2010

Roosevelt Island, A Land Without Dogs No More - But What Can Be Done About Irresponsible Owners Not Cleaning Poop & Unleashed Dogs?

You Tube Video of Roosevelt Island Puppies

Commenting on this post last summer about dogs being banned from some sections of Gantry State Park across the river in Long Island City, a reader recently wrote:
Dogs owners in RI are not obeying the leash law, the clean-after-your-dog law, not even in the assigned dog run enclosures, as you see posted signs there, too, begging owners to pick up after their beauties. I have noticed that most of the public signs about these laws have been removed. And there is poop everywhere. Owners are letting their pets destroy our gardens, grass, beautiful trees, and landscaped areas, and it is a shame. Our common green areas are the greatest asset about RI.
I have often seen and heard from many other Roosevelt Island residents complaining about dog owners not cleaning up after their pets,

not obeying the curb your dog signs

and allowing their dogs to run unleashed. RIOC has started to pay attention to this problem by banning dogs from Firemen's Field in Southtown

although some dog owners are still disobeying the law and common courtesy as this person was who just exited Firemen's Field with his dog.

I inquired of Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Chief Keith Guerra:
I have been receiving messages from residents complaining that dogs owners are not sufficiently cleaning up after their pets and leaving the dog droppings on the grass in the Southtown area as well as in Blackwell Park. Besides just being disgusting to look at, it becomes a health hazard for children and others who want to play or just walk on the grass. This has become a real issue in degrading the quality of life here on Roosevelt Island.

Is there a Public Safety Department Policy regarding dog owners who don't clean up after their pets or allow them to run around unleashed in areas outside of the Dog Runs? Have any tickets been issued in such cases? Also what does the "Curb Your Dog Sign" mean? Must owners insure that their dogs urinate and defecate at the street curb or does it just mean they have to clean up after them.

I have noticed that signs have been placed in front of Firemen's Field advising that "NO Dogs Allowed". That's a good start but I have already seen at least one person ignoring it by walking their dog on the field.
Mr.Guerra responded:
The Public Safety Department has received calls regarding dog owners not picking up after their dogs. Unfortunately, by the time we respond to the location, the person is usually gone. However, if someone is seen by a Public Safety Officer not picking up after their dog, they can be ticketed.

Dogs are also not permitted to run loose in non-designated areas. "Curb your Dog" signs refer to just that. Dogs must be kept on a leash.

"No Dogs Allowed" signs are authorized to be placed on private property. If a person disobeys any of the posted signs, they fall subject to being ticketed as well.

Please note that Public Safety Officers can use discretion and choose to issue a verbal warning in lieu of a ticket.

Residents need to use good judgement in these areas, as they do affect the Quality of Life here on the island. Encourage your readers to be good neighbors by keeping their dogs on a leash and picking up after them as well.
According to RIOC President Steve Shane:
Complaints about dog walkers not properly cleaning up after their pets have been made. There will be increased enforcement of the leash laws, including the obvious clean up responsibility to everyone’s neighbors.
Southtown's Related management sent the following memo to Rivewalk residents concerning dogs on the communal lawns.

Portion of Riverwalk Commons Area

From Riverwalk Management:
RE: Dogs on the Communal Lawn

The lawn between 405 Main Street, 415 Main Street and 425 Main Street is intended for passive recreation.

We currently allow dogs on the lawns with their care takers provided that all dogs are curbed. In addition to curbing dogs while on the lawn it is imperative that when playing with dogs on the lawn the ground floor units are not impacted.

Dogs will continue to be permitted on the lawn as long as it remains a clean and safe environment for everyone. However, if concerns arise in the future the lawn will become a dog-free zone.

Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.
Dog running unleashed today on Riverwalk Commons

Of course, there are responsible dog owners who are cleaning up after their dogs and not allowing them to run unleashed. They should not be punished or chastised for those acting irresponsibly and selfishly.

You know there was a time when dogs were not allowed on Roosevelt Island.


mushr00m said...

Those are goose droppings. Seriously.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I moved here 9 months ago, from Florida, especially because of Roosevelt Island's dog friendliness. Over time, I noticed some disdain for me (as a young professional) and now I'm seeing it for my canine companion as well.

As to myself, I always carry two bags whenever I take my dog for a walk around the outside of Firefighters Field twice per day and pick up after her. As to others... For the first 2-3 months, I rarely saw the results of any owners being irresponsible. Then, fairly suddenly, I started seeing disturbing amounts of droppings on the south side of the field (outside the fence). It seemed like there were one or two particular (very large) dogs whose owner(s) chose not to clean up. This continued for several months until, at some point (I can't recall when), the behavior seemed to cease for whatever reason. I haven't personally seen anything problematic besides that.

I have also let my dog off-leash once every couple of months on Firefighters Field itself for about 15 minutes when nobody else was around. My dog (only 25lbs) thinks the dog run is too small for her and won't run there. I won't let her off-leash on the Communal Lawn because there is no fence around it and it's surrounded by roads.

I haven't let her on the field since the signs went up, but I would have liked to. I don't see how it hurts anyone but I'll obey the rules since the park doesn't belong to me and isn't supposed to be for dogs.

Maybe I'm not the only owner who would appreciate an enlargement of the dog run so it has enough space that she can, you know, actually run? My dog isn't huge but she's not a toy either. I know fencing isn't cheap but that does seem to be the only cost. There currently seems to be plenty of space. I would gladly contribute to a collection for this purpose.

As "mushr00m" said, I have seen a hell of a lot of droppings on Firefighters Field. All from birds.

I could say, without a doubt, that not only has my dog never contributed to it, she has indeed REDUCED the amount of shit on the grass (by chasing away the birds).