2007-08-17 / Front Page

Parks Throws A Bone To Dogs; New Run Opens

By Brian Magoolaghan

Rockaway's first dog run is open to the public and the Department of Parks and Recreation and a local dog group are planning an official opening celebration, The Wave has learned.

"Dog Run" signs and a double-door fence system have been installed at Freeway Park, the site of Rockaway's first dog run. "Dog Run" signs and a double-door fence system have been installed at Freeway Park, the site of Rockaway's first dog run. New "dog run" signs, additional fencing and trash cans have been installed at Freeway Park, which is located north of Beach Channel Drive in the lower Beach 80s. The run is so new that wire loops were temporarily being used instead of latches on the double-door fence system at the park, when a Wave reporter visited this week.

The park, which is cordoned off by the subway trestle and Beach Channel Drive, has lots of grass, trees and shade that dogs - and their owners - are sure to like.

Representatives for Arf Arf, the local dog group that is partnering with Parks on the run, said they were preparing a press release after their most recent meeting Monday night but weren't sure when they'd be ready to make an announcement. Parks also wasn't ready to make an official announcement, but Abigail Lootens, a spokesperson for the agency, confirmed that the run is open.

"It's open right now because we wanted to have it available to the public, but we're hoping to finish a few things before we officially open," said Lootens, who noted the "beautiful weather" of late. Those additions will include permanent gate latches, benches, additional fencing and lighting. "We will also be planning a celebration with Arf Arf," she added.

The opening of the peninsula's first official dog run comes almost a year after City Councilman Joseph Addabbo Jr., Rockaway Parks Administrator Jill Weber and others first got behind the idea. Arf Arf, which stands for Allied Rockaway Foundation for Animal Recreation and Fitness, formed over the winter just as it seemed like the community's interest in a dog run was petering out. The group held several meetings, researched the pros and cons of several locations, and won community board support for Freeway Park in June.

The Rules of the Run

The following rules are posted on the Department of Parks and Recreation "Dog Run" signs

posted at Freeway Park:
Monitor and clean up after your dog.
Accompany your dog in the run at all times.
No dogs in heat; closely monitor un-neutered males.
Prong and spike collars may not be worn.
Dogs involved in a fight must leave the run until all parties calm down.
Discourage barking, especially early morning and late evening.
Runs are potentially dangerous. Bring children into the run at your own
risk. Children under 10 must be accompanied by an adult.
Dogs must be licensed.
Do not use the run if your dog has any communicable diseases.
Use caution and judgment when bringing food into run
and do not bring glass containers into the run.
If your dog digs a hole, fill it in before you leave.

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