Battery Park City Dog Owners On A Short Leash

Battery Park CIty dog owners are on a short leash

Dogs may be man’s best friend, but dog owners are not best friends with the Parks Department these days.

The Parks Department have been stepping up their efforts to enforce leash laws, prohibiting unleashed dogs to run in public areas during all hours — in stark contrast with laws which had previously allowed unleashing during certain hours and were relatively unenforced.

Dog owners are up in arms with the unclear rules and have called the new enforcements “confusing.” According to a report in the Downtown Express, “The Parks Department said there is no confusion about the law which was codified back in 2007, shortly after the city’s then Board of Health voted in favor of the informal ‘courtesy hours’ policy, which allowed dogs off leashes in designated areas of City parks between 9PM and 9AM.”

Battery Park is not included as one of the places that allows for leash-free dogs.

Violations of this rule are costly: non-compliant dog owners can be forced to pay $100 fines for unleashed dogs.

However, according to Jeff Galloway, longtime founder of the Battery Park City Dog Association, enforcement of the rule has been arbitrary. In an email sent to Battery Park City residents, Galloway states, “Off-leash privileges in Battery Park have resulted in no damage to the Park and, to the contrary, have greatly enhanced the quality of life for local residents, by providing a much-needed recreation area for local pets and by making the Park safer for all residents during the hours in which off-leash use had been permitted. The Financial District is fast-becoming a vibrant residential area; if Battery Park becomes off-limits, Financial District residents will have no place in their own neighborhood to take their dogs. Many BPC residents would love to have an off-leash area as well, and Battery Park is conveniently located for BPC residents.”

Community Board 1 is in recess for August, but have invited the Parks Department to discuss the issue when the board reconvenes in September. For those interested in supporting the Downtown Dog Owners initiatives to keep unleashed hours in Battery Park, sign the petition online.

How do you feel about dog owners unleashing pets in Battery Park during designated hours?

About Rachel

As a resident of Battery Park City, Rachel is always keeping her ear to the street -- if its south of Chambers. The best part of living in BPC is endless and eclectic music and events in and around the area. The sunsets too aren't so shabby!

8 thoughts on “Battery Park City Dog Owners On A Short Leash

  1. My pal and I have been just talking over this subject, jane is always seeking to prove me wrong! I am about to present her this particular blog post and rub it in a little!

    1. The only public park in our area which previously allowed unleashing of dogs during off peak hours was Battery Park. For the proximity, Battery Park City dog owners often went to Battery Park to unleash their dogs. In general we include Battery Park as part of our area! 🙂

  2. I had been taking my dog, Molly, to run off-leash in Battery Park before 9am for almost a year before I received my first ticket from a park officer. The signs are confusing and the sign at the entrance is the same at almost all other NYC parks (where dogs are allowed off-leash between the hours of 9pm-9am). I contested the ticket in court and won. A couple of months later, I received another ticket, which I also took to court and subsequently won. The judges were just as confused as I was about the signs, the rules, and the consistency of enforcement. I even talked to an NYPD officer who was in the park one day and he said that he doesn’t ticket for off-leash dogs in BPC anymore because he doesn’t think it is fair (because of all the confusion).

    We are not trying to make it a dog run – we don’t want that. We just want to be able to let our dogs run free before 9am (or even 8am!). We are a small group of dog owners who know each other and also know each other’s dogs. We watch out for each other’s dogs – for example (please excuse the potty mouth), if a dog poops and the owner doesn’t see it, we tell the owner or pick up the poop ourselves. The dogs are not aggressive and come when they are called – an aggressive dog wouldn’t be tolerated in our peaceful pack.

    There is usually no one else in the park during those early morning hours and often the people who are stop and smile as they watch the dogs romping around. I pick up trash littered around the lawn while my dog runs and watches squirrels. We often leave the park cleaner than we found it.

    Molly still tries to pull me down towards the park the morning, even though we haven’t visited the park in quite a long time (6-7 months). I hope I can return to the park with Molly in the future…

  3. First- how do people have the gall to “own” an animal? What gives anyone the right to make that claim- and how is it any different that “owning slaves”? The dog ‘owners’ of NYC have been destroying the quality of life in lower nyc with no regard for fact that they are dumping huge volumes of urine and feces in the seaport and financial district. If you visit the seaport, for example, you will see that hundreds of new residents leave their pristine doorman buildings- and bring their dogs to urinate and deficate all over the neighborhood for no regard for the safety of the people that live, work, and eat in the seaport. Most of these adult children were never taught responsibility and do not properly clean up after themselves. Yet if you visit virtually all of the buildings the ‘owners’ live in you will see that they don’t do it in their backyard- Bottom line is that ‘owning’ a pet in and of itself and keeping it cooped up in a small apt. only to take it for its twice daily dump (while people are eating)- is DISGUSTING. Dogs should be outlawed in residential neighborhoods or at least confined to dog parks- as they spread disease, animal and insect infestation, and do damage to the entire area as once a dog marks a spot- all other dogs follow. Take a walk through the seaport on a hot day- we are already getting the urine stench and virtually no building, walkway, or area in general is untouched by the highly acidic stains left behind. We are creating a group called the Seaport hall of SHAME to document these miscreants- and urge all people who are suffering daily abuse to fight back against feces. Lower NYC is not a sewer but if we dont start fighting these selfish adult children- it will be. FIGHT BACK AGAINST ANIMAL WASTE-

    1. @Alvin– I think your comments really point to one of the many reasons that dog owners should be allowed back into Battery Park for off-leash hours in the morning on the big lawn. That lawn is HUGE and really never used by area residents or even the mob of Liberty tourists. Seriously, go check it out day or night and there’s really never more than a few people there if any at all. If dogs were allowed to access that lawn it would cut down on the waste in the streets without impacting the grass because the area is so large. Central Park has had off leash hours forever and a LOT more dog owners live adjacent to Central Park than who live near Battery Park. And Central Park has much heavier traffic in the off leash areas than the lawn in Battery Park.

      Also, you seem to have some anger issues. There are a number of studies that show that dog owners are happier, live longer, have lower blood pressure/lower cholesterol and have higher survival rates after serious illness. Maybe you should look into getting a dog.

  4. I love dogs and I like a lot of the dog owners I meet, and I hate, despise, loathe and wish they were never born many of the dog owners I meet walking around Battery Park City.

    First, walk around and you literally walk through zones of pure urine stink, no one ever heard of curb your animal, then poop on sidewalks, because none of these stupid owners or whatever you want to call them even if they clean up let their dogs poop in the middle of sidewalks and sometimes you get residue no matter if you have a bag or not.

    And then you have the “my little dog loves the grass so much” violators of the dog free lawns, just a little on the grass, where they pee and then the small children walk around.

    So to the responsible types, and I know and like and appreciate you all and support dog runs and all that good stuff.

    To the rest, I wish you all a quick trip into the Hudson to sail off with your smug stupid loathsome, idiotic, self entitled, obnoxious, offspring of seven generations of syphilitic camel dung, selves!

  5. South End Ave is fast becoming a cesspool, especially around Gateway. It stinks of urine. These dog owners don’t even try to curb their dogs. They let them urinate all over the buildings and plants. There are spots from their feces everywhere. Obviously it is not all dog owners but certainly enough that make it disgusting for the rest of us.

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