Saturday, May 14, 2011


From Randi Lass:

PetSafe is giving one lucky community $100,000 to build a dog park. They're looking for the community that wants this park the most. Show them WE ARE that community.

To become a finalist in the "Bark for Your Park" contest, PetSafe encourages community members to partner with local officials, animal shelters & welfare groups, animal professionals & pet owners to best demonstrate the city's enthusiasm & dedication to its pet community. All portions of the contest are accessible from both & PetSafe's Facebook page.

We will be judged based on the enthusiasm & dedication of our community. We have until June 1 to express it & get us through to semifinals.  Visit our page at:

Register yourself as a user & click to show your support & comment (you must click support & then comment because it won’t register otherwise). Please make sure you show your support under the Windsor Terrace, NY group. Please take care that you do not create another entry/nomination.
The functionality of their website is bizarre. It was down for a couple of days. If you cannot click your support through the above link, please send them a note through their contact form  ( & let them know that you support Windsor Terrace). Please give me a heads up so I can keep a tally as well since some votes that I know of have not appeared. We need to get as many people to visit this web page before June 1 & voice their enthusiasm to get us through to the next round. Please call upon everyone you know to support us, dog owners & non-dog owners alike.

We are the most frequent users of NYC parks. This is a great opportunity for the private sector to accomplish what our cash-strapped city may not, safe outdoor off-leash time on a regular basis to raise dogs that play off leash & become properly exercised, socialized, & well-adjusted canine citizens. 

When retired Prospect Park Administrator & Prospect Park Alliance President, Tupper Thomas was recently asked what initiative she was particularly proud of she responded, "Not long after I started as Park Administrator, a group of dog owners came to me complaining about people getting tickets for having their dogs off leash. So we worked with the Parks Department to change the policy so that dogs run without a leash from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. every day in certain areas. Because of that, more people started coming to the Park, which made the joggers feel safer, which made parents with kids feel safer & it snowballed on from there. The dog owners (& advocacy) group FIDO is great about helping enforce the rules, & we of course have a great dog beach."

FIDO & other all-volunteer groups that organize dog owners on a neighborhood level have been praised & thanked for helping to reclaim the parks for all New Yorkers. The creation of a dog park allows the responsible owner group to enforce rules that promote safety & hygiene. Dog parks lead to higher compliance with laws & customs related to dog ownership. When dog owners view laws as unfair, it simply leads to defiance rather than compliance. A dog park would create a sense of fairness, & therefore greater compliance. A safe dog run is a necessity not a luxury.

Thomas helped to create a canine-hospitable Brooklyn. We are now home to over 50,000 licensed dogs (+ more unlicensed ones) & only 12 fenced in dog runs. Prospect Park has no run. Aside from our restricted park access (which is only of use to a small fraction of us), we have nowhere for our dogs to play off leash.

Breeze Hill should have been ours but became the new parking lot for the as-yet to be built Lakeside Skating Center (pave paradise & put up a parking lot, literally). We would be all for an enclosed dog run right in the park is long as we don't lose any off-leash hours. Pelham Bay Park has both. Tupper wasn't thrilled about anything carved out of the park itself; that's why Tupper mentioned possible available closed spaces near the Police Precinct by the Tennis Center. New Prospect Park Administrator & Prospect Park Alliance President Emily Lloyd & Parks Department Brooklyn Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey are openly willing to listen.
This site fulfills the criteria for an ideal dog park: There are minimal residential buildings or businesses around the park perimeter, it is already subject to noise from the heavy car, foot & bicycle traffic, aside from the recreational ball fields & tennis center, people seeking to enjoy peaceful green space because of location, lack of safety, & state of disrepair do not often use the park. It could benefit from the care & upkeep of a concerned citizen group. Most importantly, a dog run can bolster safety inside the Parade Grounds.

So many before me have laid the foundation for a dog run & taken the process as far as the can but it's funding rather than approval that is always the obstacle to its fruition. That's why this competition is so critical. We would be able to bring private funding to this public project for the benefit of our entire community (think Trump’s skating rink & also our newly renovated riding circle complements of a mogul for his budding equestrian daughter). 

We want to reclaim the Parade Grounds, not claim them. Nevertheless, should this location present any obstacle, we would welcome the opportunity to work with all parties concerned to identify an alternate location.

Dogs are the social glue between strangers, bringing together not just dogs BUT ALSO their owners. In a city where wide-open space is rare, dog parks are an essential part of a healthy community.

FIDO, Sean Casey Animal Rescue, NYCDog, Cynthia King, Pam Brown of the South Slope Dog run, and various veterinarians and dog-related and dog-friendly businesses have already pledge their support.

Please I could use your help. This is for all of us. Volunteer to help in any way you can. Share this with anyone & everyone whether or not they have dogs. You can Facebook me at Randi Lass or email me (RandiLass [at] with any concerns, questions or comments. Do you have any particular skill sets, areas of interest or expertise, etc. that could be put to great use in this campaign? If you have time & enthusiasm to spare, that is perfect too. We can arrange a time to meet & let the pups have their playtime while we sit together & brainstorm.