Dogs and owners alike can agree that local Councilmember Vincent Gentile was certainly barking up the right tree when he convinced the New York City Parks Department to revamp not one but two local dog runs. The first, Dyker Beach at 86th Street and Seventh Avenue, celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting – and a few free rawhides – on Tuesday, November 25.
“It is often said that the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated,” said Gentile who secured the allocation for the $600,000 project complete with new benches and fences, a separate run for smaller dogs and two doggie drinking fountains fit for man’s best friend. “Before us today, we can see the greatness of a neighborhood and just how much we care about our four-legged friends.”
Those four-legged friends present for the ribbon cutting were given full-to-the-brim goodie bags from local pet stores like Vinny’s Pet Shop, Petland Bay Ridge, the Animal Pantry and Paws Truly – and their owners, free raffle tickets.
“I can’t stop smiling today,” said Parks Department Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey, commending Gentile for bringing in and leveraging $27 million in parks improvements since being elected in 2003. “He has been an absolute stalwart in his support of parks in [this] district.”
Additionally, Jeffrey urged dog-owners to help keep the park up to par.
“The councilman funded it, we built it and we really need you to help maintain it,” he stressed. “It is in great condition right now and I appeal for your help. Let’s make sure that when we come back in five years, we’re still smiling the way we’re smiling now.”
The completely renovated dog run, Gentile said, now stands as one of the most modern dog runs in all of New York City.
“Right here in Dyker Heights,” he said, adding that, across the neighborhood, the Parks Department has already got shovels in the ground at the Owl’s Head Dog Run – a project it hopes to finish by the end of the year. “It looks like we’ll be having another opening come springtime.”
And so, the ribbon was cut and the music was cued: Baha Men’s 1998 classic, “Who Let the Dogs Out?”