Monday, November 30, 2009

Thank You NYC Pet

NYC Pet Helps McCarren Park Dog Run Raise $5,000 at Shopping for Dogs!

NYC Pet asked the dog run how much more it needed to raise for the drainage project and made sure we raised it!

THANK YOU to George, Sally, and Peter--and all the staff--at NYC Pet for making this happen.

Thank you to everyone who shopped for their dog or cat that day, who bought a raffle ticket, made a donation, or bought a can of food for BARC. We delivered over half a dozen cases of dog and cat food to the shelter.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Shopping for Dogs...Our Dogs

NYC Pet has come to the dog run's rescue, helping us raise the last 5k for our drainage project.

Join us at NYC Pet (241 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn) on Saturday, November 21, from 9 am-7 pm for "Shopping for Dogs":


-Enter a DRAWING to win PRIZES from Northside Veterinary Clinic, Holistic Select Products, Brooklyn General Barber & More!

-Or, buy a can of food for BARC--help the shelter, help the run!

Door prizes & refreshments all day. The drawing is at 6.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Thank You & ...

Thank you to all our donors to the raffle for Drinking for Dogs, held on 27 September at PS9 Pet Supplies. We raised more than 1/3 of our goal!

A huge thanks to Stella & Chewy’s –born and bred in Brooklyn–who donated the contents of the bar.

Raffle prizes were donated by
* Angelica Kitchen
* Bedford Deli
* Brooklyn Bowl
* Brooklyn General Barber
* Dinosaur BBQ courtesy of dog-run user Bob Bonné
* 8th Street Wines & Liquor
* Eva’s Play Pups
* Grom Gelato courtesy of dog-run user Bob Bonné
* Honey Spa
* Marc Scheff
* Mast Brothers Chocolate
* Modest Designs
* Mousey Brown
* Paul Kostas- Personal Trainer
* PS9 Pet Supplies on North 9th Street
* Relish
* Unleash:Brooklyn
* Walter Foods
* Woody at Brooklyn Kitchen

Endless thanks to PS9 for hosting this event; to everyone who bought tickets; to Laura Lorenzetti for making out-of-this-world amazing posters and signs; and to the following people, who generously offered assistance: Lisa Langsdorf, Amy Devecka, Marc Scheff, Christine Murray, Angela Gibson, Rebecca Poole and Meredith Chesney.

It was fun night for everyone. Check out the photos
or visit's Larry's Drinking for the Dogs album on FaceBook.

And here is another chance to make a donation...

Thank you.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Looking who's donated a Raffle Prize

Get your raffle ticket TODAY, click here.

Want to purchase more than one raffle ticket or make a big donation, click on the bottom donate button on the right.

Thank you!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

New Bench & A Big THANK YOU

A Big THANK YOU for Billy (Oscar) for designing & building our newest and, I would say, most appealing bench in the large run. Of course, a big thanks to Terrance (Gabriel) for helping out with the building, Paul (Moo) for the much needed wrench to put it together, Nachshon (Ziggy) for driving the bench to the run, and Bear's owner for carrying it into the run & helping to put it together.

Great team effort!

Billy & his team will be making another bench for the large run and one or two smaller benches for the small run. There is still time to donate to underwrite the cost of the construction of these benches or for the upcoming big dig out project...Please go to and click on the Donate button to make a donation using PayPal.

All money donated goes directly to these projects.


Saturday, August 01, 2009

See Something Say Something

Below is an email thread from the Google Group & friendly reminder about addressing aggressive dog

Hi Dog Owners

I got an email this evening from an owner who was at the big run when a Chihuahua got roughed up pretty badly by a Husky. UPDATE: the chihuahua is okay and the Husky had just been adopted.

Thought this is a good time to re-distribute two helpful documents from our friend, Denise of Empire of the Dog. Check them out on the right side of the Blog.

* Dog Park 101 is just some basic information.
* And the other is about aggression. Always good to review the documents from time to time.

(And if you have access to free printing, make copies and bring to the run when you come. It's a tool for anyone especially people not on the email list...I KNOW it is crazy that there are people not on the list ;) HEY - JOIN THE GOOGLE GROUP...SEND AN EMAIL TO MCDOGRUN@GMAIL.COM.

And it is each of our responsibilities to ensure that the Dog Run is safe for all dogs (big & small).

If you see something that doesn't seem right, say something. Don't know how to approach it, start with something like "New dog?" or "Hey what kinda dog is that?" or "How old is your dog?"

Don't did the classic NYC thing and ignore it.

Thanks for your attention to our dogs safety and letting others know about how to be a responsible dog run user.

Christine (VALENCIA)

Thank you, Christine, for alerting the community about the Husky/Chihuahua incident.

A reminder that New York has a dog bite law

In this case, the owner of the Husky is responsible for the Chihuahua's vet bills.

There is a warning on the gates of each run that aggressive dogs are not allowed in either run. Of course, many people don't read signs (those displayed by dogs or those written by humans). Or don't understand what variety of packages
dog aggression comes in. So I am glad to see Denise's handouts again.

The people who belong to this email group usually are those who are very involved in taking care of the run and their animals. Those on this list typically are responsible, aware owners. NOT ON THE LIST...JOIN IT BY SENDING AN EMAIL TO MCDOGRUN@GMAIL.COM

As members of the McDogRun community, we are interested in keeping the run safe. Part of ensuring that safety is to educate people who are behaving in an unsafe way (or allowing their dogs to to the same).

Best, Rebecca (Sanford)

Thanks Christine, and Rebecca.

I know it's hard to approach an aggressive dog's owner, especially if they seem indifferent, or even aggressive themselves. It's easier to just wait it out or hope they leave.

I encourage everyone here to help each other in approaching and educating these owners, and in the extreme cases asking them to leave. I've seen "good" dog owners leave the park because an aggressive-dog or bully-dog owner wouldn't take their dog out of the park, and that shouldn't happen.

In the future, when I see a dog whose owner might need a little, "Is that a new dog? Do you want a rec for a trainer?" I'll see if I can get another owner to go with me into the conversation. I'm a little gun shy when approaching potential conflict and asking a friend, or new friend, to help makes it easier for me. Feel free to ask me the same if you need a copilot.

-Marc (Phoenix)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Notes from July 16 Meeting

Below are notes from the McCarren Dog Run meeting on Thursday, 7/16/09. Approximately 15-20 dog run users participated. Also in attendance: Assemblyman Joe Lentol, Amy Cleary from his office, Stephanie Thayer (OSA/Parks), and Julia Morrow from OSA. The meeting began by discussing specific topics, and then turned into a very loosely structured Q&A.

Christine (Valencia) explained that a volunteer is making new benches. We'll be getting two big ones for the big run and two small ones for the small run. The big run will also get station for water bowls & bottles. These should be finished by the end of the month.

New Fencing
Christine introduced Assemblyman Joe Lentol, who explained that Parks Department’s contractor at Sternberg Park will bring over fencing from Sternberg Park that will match our fencing A contractor has been awarded the bid and it is going through legal review. Park’s design and construction department expects work at Sternberg to start in about five weeks,

Removing the Spikes
Assemblyman Lentol said he'd had a discussion with the Commissioner of Parks about removing the spikes. They are thinking of putting a bar over the spikes, which will look like a fence at Sternberg that has a flat iron piece welded on top. It is probably preferable to do it this way rather than removing the spikes because that way the fences keep their height.

Additional Funding
Assemblyman Lentol put in an application with Albany to get more funding for the dog run, but the focus right now is on the type of funding he has access to at the moment is supposed to be used for transportation projects, so it isn't looking likely.

Previous Funding
Stephanie Thayer (in a dual role as Administrator for parks in North Brooklyn and OSA's Executive Director) spoke about how Assemblyman Lentol allocated money years ago for both dog runs, but the funding was not drawn down. In the fall, they realized the total of $8000 was not enough to complete fencing in McGolrick Dog Park, so OSA kicked in $5000 toward that project. McCarren Dog Run will be getting salvaged fencing from Sternberg, and OSA is kicking in $500 as a stipend for the volunteers to install it. If necessary, OSA will allocate more funds. Parks/OSA are overseeing the project and will keep McCarren Dog Run updated.

Q&A portion:

How does funding get delineated?
Last fall, Assemblymember Lentol and Stephanie asked people from both dog runs what the top priorities were and both dog runs said "fencing.” She explained that it wasn't a matter of preference that McGolrick got the money for fencing; there just wasn't enough to do new fencing at both runs. By installing Sternberg's historical iron fencing at McCarren, the fencing needs at both dog runs would be addressed.

When the funding was put in, years ago, for improvements at McGolrick and McCarren, Dio had not been injured, and thus the spikes at McCarren were not a concern." At the time that the decision about how to address the fencing needs of both runs was made, not everyone was aware that Dio had been injured on the spikes.

Amy Cleary (from Assemblyman Lentol's office) explained that the fencing plan has been delayed because of contract issues: because of the economy, tons of contractors applied, and they have to find the lowest bid and determine who is qualified. However a contractor has been found so things are moving along.

Fencing is a top priority. Longer term priorities include drainage and lighting.

Stephanie talked about how some corporate volunteers came in to dig out and remove some of the underlying dirt and chips, and she would like to do more of that and bring in a bigger group.

When the fencing comes over, what is the process of communication?
Stephanie is willing to contact McCarren Dog Run via Christine with status updates.

Can anything be done about drainage?
As the dog run gets more populated, there could be more serious illnesses (like the recent leptospirosis outbreak) and people could get sick. This isn't just a problem in the dog run, but around the park -- anywhere there is stagnant water. Stephanie recognizes that drainage is an issue.

What are the off-leash rules? Signage is contradictory, and cops are being rough on people.
Stephanie says park staff is overwhelmed with trying to keep stuff clean, keep kids safe, etc. . She asked the NYPD to help with enforcements issues, such as vandalism, litter, illegal BBQs, and while they're in the park, they have the right to ticket for off-leash dogs. However she will investigate the conflicting signs in McCarren Park. Christine emphasized the benefits of having off-leash times in the park, especially between 9 p.m. and 9 a.m., because when people are in the park with their dogs, it keeps the park safer. In Prospect Park, having off-leash laws has lead to more people using the park, and keeping it safer.

Follow-Up Note: Since noted on Parks website:
My expectation is that McCarren was not designated for off leash hours because Parks prohibits dogs on athletic fields, and McCarren is predominantly athletic fields. Macri, about 4 blocks away, and Grand Ferry are the closest off leash parks.)

Can we get water in the dog run?
Assemblyman Lentol is trying to get a hold of money for this as well as for the drainage issue.. He is hoping we can get other elected officials to put some money in the pot. Stephanie says that we all need to participate and help raise money as Christine has in the past. Angela (Henry) mentioned that many people are willing to help fundraise, but we need to know what to do.

Joe Lentol has Multi-Modal money is trying to see if there is a way to use those funds for the dog run improvements. Amy from his office explained that they tried to get extra lighting for the run by asking for more street lights in the part of Driggs just outside of the run, but when DOT checked out the current lighting situation, they called it sufficient.

Stephanie recommended we visit various elected officials (city, state, etc.) at the beginning of the year. Amy from Joe Lentol's office offered to provide a list of the elected officials we could contact (including elected officials for bordering areas of the neighborhood, since their constituents use the run, too). Stephanie suggested that for those meetings, we bring photos, news reports, etc. to get their attention. Angela described the state-of-the-art drainage system at Tompkins Square Park's dog run.

Joe Lentol wrapped things up by saying that he was happy to meet us all, that he's looking forward to partnering with us in the future.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Important McCarren Dog Run Meeting !!!!!

Thursday, July 16 at 6 pm
Outside the Dog Run
(Rain Location: Back Area of Urban Rustic)

Please join Assemblymember Lentol for an update on the fencing.

Please attend and help spread the word.

New benches arriving at the end of the month.

McCarren Dog Run Association – Volunteers promoting responsible dog ownership and working to maintain a safe and clean Dog Run.

Receive updates via email, join the Google Group by clicking here.

Thursday, July 09, 2009


Please help with a clean-up for the small dog run. Scheduled for July 11th at 11:00am. We will be receiving fresh wood chips!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Your Dog & Stagnant Water, Not a Good Combination

Thank you, PS 9 for alerting the community about Leptosporosis.*

As always, if your dog is acting sick or not its normal self, take him/her to your vet to be checked out.

Most of all, don't bring a potentially unhealthy dog to the run.

Stagnant water no matter where it is in the city (in or outside of the dog run) carries the potential for many diseases.

Do NOT let your dog play in or drink stagnant water or eat mud. Playing in muddy pools carries the potential for danger,
especially in the context of an overly wet summer like the one we currently are encountering.


If you have been in a muddy area, wash or wipe off your dog's paws (so that it does not lick the paws and then ingest something harmful)

If you see a sick dog in the run, tell the owner about the EXTREME danger of parasites and recommend that they get their dog tested and remove the dog from the run.

After all this rain, this parasite could be in a variety of places that water pools and rats enjoy.

As always, be careful and be responsible.

* Want to read PS9"s email, get on the McCarren Google Group either click on the link on the website or email

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dog Run Fundraiser with Baked Goods

Saturday’s fund-raiser was a success! We raised over $700 at the table
and received a $200 commitment to build benches. Leftovers were
donated to the soup kitchen in Greenpoint. We added nearly fifty
members to the e-mail list, and several dog-run users offered to
volunteer at future events—welcome and thank you to all of them!

In previous meetings, dog-run users have expressed their interest in
making the following improvements, many of which we can now work

* Benches for both runs (approx. $200–$250 for materials), which a
volunteer has offered to build in the next month or so.
* Small Bulletin Board for smaller dog run (approx $100)
* New Water-Drinking Station (approx. $100). This will be a place for
water jugs and drinking bowls and will be relocated to the space where
Dio was impaled. The goal is to help prevent the chips from becoming
so high, thus making it a safer, less jumpable corner.
* A New Water Jug or Two since the person who lent them needs them
back (approx. $100)
* Short Term Solution to the Fence Spikes (approx. $100 to $300),
while a long-term solution is negotiated with the parks department.
* Establishing a rainy-day fund for emergency repairs that we can
continue to build up.

In addition, we might consider making donations to our partners in
keeping the dog run operating:
* The North Brooklyn Open Space Alliance (OSA), whose efforts in
McCarren Park support our own
* NYC Dog, for their ongoing advocacy for dog issues in New York City
and our parks

And THANK YOU to the following donors and volunteers:

* The dog run's best friend forever, Ms. Joan from PS 9...always
willing to support us in every way
* Our coffee-loving friends at Urban Rustic. We loved the donated
coffee and love the cart that makes the best egg sandwiches!
*Our new friends at Must Luv Dogs for the yummy treats. We are very
happy to be partnering with them.
* All the volunteer bakers who put a little love into so many yummy treats.
* The day’s volunteers: Brett, incoming co-dog run czar, for doing
some of the heavy lifting and having such a generous attitude; Angela,
incoming co-dog run czar and force behind Saturday’s successful event,
and her husband, Jeff, for some of the other heavy lifting and having
a rain-contingency plan; Angela's friend who doesn't even have a dog
but baked, greeted, and helped organize the event; Rebecca, for adding
all our new e-mail list subscribers; and Christine, would-be outgoing
dog-run czar and constant dog-run consultant, for all her advice and

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dog Runs are for Dogs: Keeping Dogs & Kids Safe

Several members have noted and expressed concern about an increase in parents who bring young children into both runs. The Rules of the Runs sign at the gate of the large run states that children must be accompanied by adults. The identical sign that used to hang on the gate of the small run has disappeared...a new one is forthcoming.

In the interest of the safety of children and dogs, I wanted to remind everyone:

-the dog run is designated for dogs and their adult caretakers.

-the dog run is not a petting zoo

-the dog run is not a playground (there is a playground at Driggs & Lorimer)

-the dog run is not a picnic area (there are tables and benches right outside the run).

-many dogs (especially smaller breeds) are afraid of children

-dogs may bite out of fear

-dogs relieve themselves in the run

-the run, therefore, can be a source of parasites like Giardia (to which humans and animals are susceptible)

-therefore, a child who plays in the run like it is a sandbox, or who eats while playing in the run might get ill.

If you are a parent who wants to enter a run with your young child, please ask those in the dog run if their dogs are okay with small children before bringing her/him in.

As a small dog owner, I want my dog run to be as safe and healthy an environment as possible (for dogs and humans of all ages). If you are a dog owner who witnesses some behavior that you know to be potentially dangerous, say something. Say something to the adult in charge and to others in the run. If the behavior continues, work as a group or leave the run.


McCarren Dog Run User & Small Dog Owner

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

This Weekend - April 25 & 26

THIS SATURDAY, 4/25, NY Cares is hosting a volunteering event at McCarren Park. OSA (Open Space Alliance) has organized an activity for volunteers to help dig out both dog runs. If you can pitch in, please stop by to help anytime from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Given that this activity is happening, please be sensitive to the level activity in the runs as it may not be conducive for normal dog run play.

Other local dog runs:
* McGorlick Dog Park
Located on Driggs between Russell and N. Henry in McGorlick Park in Greenpoint

* Cooper Park Dog Run Located at Maspeth Avenue & Olive Street in Cooper Park in East Williamsburg Visit website for map of park and directions.

* Hillside Dog Run Located two blocks from the Brooklyn Bridge, bounded by Middagh St, Vine Street and Columbia Heights in Dumbo. Visit website for map of park and directions.

On SUNDAY 4/26, BARC/ASPCA will be giving out doggie treats & human cookies to raise funds for both organization. Please be generous.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Dog Park Roundtable - May 9

Want to learn more about getting a dog park renovated? Want to see what other dog runs are doing? Want meet with other dog run users to see how to improve McCarren Dog Run? Please to attend the Dog Park Roundtable on Saturday, May 9th, meet at Tompkins Square Dog Park (the first official dog run in NYC) at 10 am.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Freak Accident at the Dog Run/Your Help Needed

good evening dog community,

this weekend the unexpected happened -- a dog scaled the fence and was impaled by one of the spikes. thankfully there is a happy ending to this incident with someone helping from the street to get Dio back to the dog run side and the spike missing a major artery, you can read the details below.

YOUR HELP IS NEED to safeguard the run so this NEVER happens again:
* Help with a Clean-Up this Saturday March 14 at 10 am. One of the reasons Dio was able to make it over the fence was that the woods chips were so high are on the side especially in the corner nearest driggs and the small dog run. Come on Saturday and help pull the chips from the fence.

* Someone, or a few people talk, to Rich (has a Puggle named Chesty) and ask him to focus his dog run upkeep energy toward pulling the chips away from the fence especially the cornered mentioned.

* Or help figure out how to safeguard the spikes: One thought was to put tennis balls on all the spikes,
however after a little more thought, we concluded that this just make the spikes more appealing to some dogs and continue to be dangerous. We need to determine some way to cape the spikes. Another thought is to put black chair leg bumpers on each of the spike
Can someone investigate this idea? Or find a better solution. and share with the community.

I realize that one of best solutions would be to grind the spikes down but that is likely too expensive and would have to work through the parks department for approval and that can take forever.

Can't do any of these things but use the dog run every week...make a donation via our website and click on the ? button under Make a Donation heading on the right side of the website. We have $60 in the dog run kitty right now (not a lot of money).

And please spread the word about what happened last weekend and ask people to help on Saturday morning.



PS I spoke with Open Space Alliance/Parks Department about the new chain link fencing replace the snow fencing project and it looks like it might happen this spring. You may remember emails about this back in September.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: elizabeth
Date: Sun, Mar 8, 2009 at 5:36 PM
Subject: bad accident at the dog park


I got your email address from a man in the dog run
yesterday after my dog Dio had a death defying accident
in an attempt to jump out of the dog run.

It was yesterday morning at 11 am. Dio decided to jump the
fence to get a squirrel on the other side. I was standing
right by him and the next thing I knew he was in
mid-jump. His leg caught on one of the spikes and he was
impaled. The spike went in his stomach and out the back of
his leg and he was hanging by the leg over the fence on
the outside. I was trying to hold him up yelling for help
and a girl driving down driggs jumped out of her car and
pushed him up on the outside and we were able to lift him
off the ten inch spike and set him down inside the run.
That girl saved his life then she jumped back in her car
and drove off.

When I set him down he was in shock but standing up -
I rushed him in my friend's car to the vet on Berry and
N. 1st and they took him into emergency and operated on
him for almost two hours. The dr. said his main artery
was pumping in plain view and that the spike had missed
it by a hair and that he would certainly have not survived
if it hadn't have been just so. He said it was a miracle
that the spike hadn't lacerated the artery considering the profundity
of the wound. He was able to sew him up and he thinks
and hopes dio will be ok and that he'll recover without
infection. I can't tell you what a scary sight it was to
watch and I realize Dio was VERY lucky to have fallen
the way he did.

I wanted to tell you what happened to Dio and also to report
that the wood chips have built up so high in the corner
where he jumped - (the southwest corner), that the fence
is only about 3 to 3 1/2 ft. high - an easy jump for many dogs.

Actually the whole fence along driggs is really low now because
of the chips. I am SO afraid this will happen to another dog with
spring coming and all the squirrels running around. Dio isn't even a
big jumper - from the inside it looks easy but in mid-air when you
see that drop on the outside a dog might want to turn back like I
think Dio did and fall on those horrendous spikes! I'm dying just
thinking about it happening again.

I have some ideas about how we could fix it - by lashing
plywood to the fence so it would go above the spikes in
combination with digging out some of the wood chips.
Or maybe you guys have a better idea. I am happy
to help out with whatever you decide should happen. I think
we should act fast though so no one else suffers what Dio
is suffering now. Please let me know what I can do to help.

Thanks so much,