What are the dog rules? We need a dog park. And why is LB so dirty? [Reader Questions]


(dog poop hopscotch game that I suggested many moons ago)

Dog poop. Littering. Topics that we’ve discussed to death on this blog. But this person would also like to ALSO know about dog rules in general and would love a better dog park situation for Long Beach.

Hello Anthony

Firstly, thanks for running the blog.  My wife, dog and I recently moved here from Miami, FL. We find your blog posts interesting, and they help us to get a sense of how many of the residents here view life on this island.  Aside from the off topic rants and verbal abuse that some choose to post, your blog certainly opens the dialogue on many important issues.

I realize that LB is facing a long list of issues with regards to general management, and the redevelopment of the island, esp. post Sandy.  I wouldn’t say this is at the top of my list of issues that need to be addressed, but I’m definitely feeling let down by all the dog rules on LB(NY in general).  I’ve asked a few local dog owners about dog runs, beach access, day-care, etc…, and to be honest I get mixed messages.  From my brief conversations, its doesn’t seem that there is much interest in improving the current state of dog rules.  I turned to your blog, but unfortunately I haven’t found a great deal of dialogue regarding dog rules, or dog issues in general.  We were kinda sold on LB by a dog loving real estate agent that had told us that LB is a dog town filled with lots of dog owners.

We have visited the dog run by the Rec center.  It’s horrible.  My dog will get very dirty there and probably come home with some sort of bug by going there.  We’ve been to the Nickerson beach dog run.  It’s definitely better than the Rec Cntr, but it too was pretty sad the other day.  We’ve been told to go to Atlantic Beach, but we’ve also been told that access is very limited over there. Where?  We live right on the boardwalk, right in Long Beach.  Why can we have access in Atlantic(or do we really?) but not here in central LB?  It can’t just be down to an issue that dog owners don’t pick up after their dogs right?

I am a responsible citizen who does not litter, I recycle, I reuse, and I always pick up after my dog.  Its pretty damn depressing going on daily dog walks. There is garbage along every sidewalk and on every front lawn we pass. I definitely come across dog poop, and even stray dog poop bags left along the way. But the garbage is ridiculous!

I always come across garbage, cigarette butts, and a whole lot of plastic left all over the place. That sure makes me think that no  one here seems to care about keeping a clean front lawn, sidewalk, gutter, street, city, beach, or ocean.  I also get the sense that many like to blame lazy dog owners for not cleaning up after their animals.

Based on the dog restrictions on LB, I have to believe that the people voting around here see it this way.  People can be very lazy and irresponsible.  Irresponsible  dog owners annoy me nearly as much as people who litter do. At least the dog poop will break down naturally and “fertilize” the ground.   Instead of serving me a ticket for having a dog on the beach, why not focus on the issue at hand?  We should be ticketing those who do not properly leash their dogs, or for not having proper poop bags, or for not registering their dogs etc…?  Ticket those who don’t clean up after themselves, and make it harsh.  Let them know that it’ll cost you if you think you can just leave your “crap” out on the street, on someone else’s lawn, on the beach.  Let’s realize that dogs have nothing to do with cigarette butts, empty vodka bottles, plastic and other garbage on our streets, on our beach, and in our ocean.  Simply outlawing dogs in general is no solution.

Since I’m new to the area, maybe I just don’t know the whole story. Either way, I would like to be better educated myself, educate the public as a whole, and hopefully address the issue responsibly so that it can be changed, improved, etc…Do you know of any groups/communities that address dog issues on LB?  Can you open a topic on the blog regarding the dog rules on LB?  Basically, it would be interesting to read from your followers what the general opinions are about the current dog rules.  We moved here to be a part of LB.  We’re hoping to buy or build a home here in the  future, but I must say that its not the most inviting of ideas after I’ve come home from walking the dog, or having walked on the beach which as clean as it is, its sadly still full of too much garbage and plastic.  I would love a clean city, with responsible citizens, and a great standard of living. Don’t we all?

31 Replies to “What are the dog rules? We need a dog park. And why is LB so dirty? [Reader Questions]”

  1. After moving into my home after Sandy we still have a few projects to do one being our front yard (not really a yard I live in the west end and it’s very small) someone walks their dog and leaves poop in my yard! I know it isn’t fully paved as of yet but it’s clear that we are fully moved in and if we weren’t you still need to pick up the dog poop!!! I thought this was common sense. I’ve actually run out of bags on a walk and had to go home and come back to pick it up. I felt so embarrassed that I didn’t have enough bags. I have two huge dogs myself so I don’t need neighbors thinking I’m a sloppy dog owner. I need them to stop letting their dogs poop in my yard (it wasn’t obly once) it’s bad enough the stray cats poop in multiple side yard so I’m picking up enough poop to have to pick up after others. It’s truly sad…I also find so much garbage in my yard as well. I don’t know if it blows in or if someone dumps it here but it is very upsetting. I’m with this reader in regards to our community and dogs. We definitely can use some positive changes starting with a better dog run! Again we realize this isn’t the most important topic at this time but it is a concern of mine living here 10+ years and paying taxes. So great post!

  2. Dog owners take advantage. Yes the did poop is left behind ocean view smells like the Bowery in the smet from poop & urine some are afraid or allergic to animals yet owners let them run wild on the beach and they get in the way of bikers walkers & runners on the boardwalk. So sad no one pays attention to the law. Dog run a great idea.

  3. Great post!

    As a fairly new resident of Long Beach – I am generally disappointed by the litter (in addition to dog poop left behind). Every morning – even as a renter — I would be outside picking up litter off the street in front of my rental (and now the home I own). The litter is not just the result of transient/tourist activity – but that of our fellow residents.

    Bagged garbage left at the curb (not secured in a pail) ends up blowing away, getting run over by vehicles and trash is spewn in all directions. If each and every resident simply walked out of their homes and picked up around their space — our city would be a lot cleaner.

    It has been a dream of mine to live here, but I am often embarrassed when company comes as the streets look a mess almost all of the time.

    So – not just complaining about it: how do we solve this issue?

    Also – as a dog owner myself, I am disappointed at the lack of dog-friendly spaces here. The dog run in the city is a joke and Nickerson is awful. I do enjoy the shore in Atlantic Beach during the months of October through April – but there should be a similar situation in the City of LB as well.

  4. I have always wished they would turn the Superblock into a dog run. It just sits there empty- if they could just clear out the debris it could be enjoyed until something is built there (having my doubts about iStar ever breaking ground). Dog park is relatively low upkeep and the property owner could charge a nominal fee to keep it maintained (I do understand the many reasons why this doesn’t happen but I am daydreaming).
    As far as litter, I live across from a parking lot- people are always leaving trash when they get in and out of their cars (fast food containers, cigarette packs etc) and the wind pushes it onto my driveway. I clean it up, however, if you walked by when I wasn’t home you may think I was a mess. Wish cops would watch and give out litter tickets to people parking by the beach instead of to dogs on the beach.

  5. Ellen is correct. Every dog in the west end is walked on Ocean View. Any warm still air, humid day there is a choking stench of urine and feces. Ruins bike riding and walking. Ditto Monroe and Shore Road all the way to Lincoln. Same as Ocean View with every hi rise dog being walked there. City once put a sign with plastic bags there, never cleans up.

  6. When thinking about public policy its best to focus on what you could actually change. We already have littering and dog poop laws that don’t get enforced. Enforcing them will not be a deterrent without some type of public campaign. (maybe billboards about littering laws being enforced)

    As far as dogs go, one of best policy changes that New York State could make would be to eliminate the restrictions on dogs in restaurants. I never understood why dogs are banned from restaurants, but are known to possess almost no diseases that a human could catch. If a dog urinates in the restaurant, just clean it up. In addition, over 1/3 of American homes own a dog. Are those dogs not allowed to go in the kitchen. Is there a pandemic that is resulting from all those dogs in all those kitchens. In Europe the dogs are allowed to go anywhere a person can go, it leads to happier people and happier dogs. Allow the establishments to decide if a dog can be brought in.

    As far as the beach goes, I’m torn on the issue. I own a boxer/pit that is completely harmless. However, people jogging on the beach don’t know that and she’s been known to run in their direction looking to play. I stopped letting her run free on the beach as a result. I would love a beach in the winter that was known to have dogs. You can kind of do that at Nickerson, but it is illegal.

  7. I also recently moved here and have two dogs and always pick up their poop like a responsible citizen. Most of my neighbors with dogs do the same. There’s always going to be a few people that don’t clean up after their dogs but it’s no worse here than anywhere else. It may be more noticeable here because the houses are so close together. As far as the garbage I don’t think we need more laws or policing. Maybe better trash cans that don’t get blown around the streets with the ocean winds we have. That responsibility lies within each residents civic duty. This is a great place to live and considering the population density and all the summer tourists I think it’s pretty hard to keep this town as clean as Disney Land. But for the most part I think the city does a good job in picking up trash and there are plenty a waste receptacles all around town.

  8. If you have ever been behind a garbage truck in LB you know that part of the garbage in the streets problem is the garbage men. I mean, I’m not saying you have to gently place a garbage can down after you’ve emptied it but flinging a half empty can towards the curb from the middle of the street is common place.

  9. Ok dog lovers/owners your lovely pets fecal matter can disintegrate in the sand and transfer hookworm, roundworm, ringworm,etc. to us when we are walking on the beach. So that’s why we can’t have dogs on the beach. Complain all you want but your fell pet owners ruin it cause they are irresponsible. And don’t talk about enforcement, cause the PD can’t even keep keep stop sign violations in check or NoPa shoot outs and you want them to enforce dog laws. Hahahahahahaha.

  10. Thank you for putting your dog on a leash on the beach. Most (99.5%) don’t. I’m scared of dogs I do not know. I’ve been bitten by one. So when they are running at me it is very scary. It has happened to me almost every single time I jog on the beach dogs run at me. I always hear from the owner don’t worry he won’t hurt you.

    I don’t know you and I don’t know your dog. I don’t want your dog near me. For this reason I was glad to see in the past few weeks an animal control car on the beach.

    I wouldn’t mind dogs being on the beach as long as they are on a leash and the owner picks up after them. I saw a large dog poop on the beach west end by the walkway. It’s really so inconsiderate.

  11. LITTER: In the 40′ 50’s 60’s there was one old man on the city payroll who kept the west end business district (Beech Street) clean. He had an old fashioned two wheeled wagon which he pushed through the area. There was one standard sized galvanized garbage can on the wagon and a broom and shovel. He parked his wagon in a secure space behind one of the stores. His only job was keeping Beech Street clean.
    Beech Street was spotless at all times. These days it is dirty and the city has a bunch of lumps walking around with little plastic boxes, doing their best not to pick up anything. The lumps are supervised by two more who never get out of their pickup truck and the streets are dirty. One little old man kept Beech clean from NY Ave to Nevada. I wonder how many lumps are on the payroll and what their pay is?

  12. Saddest part is we will never have any surfing dogs here in LB. On a serious note, I don’t even own a dog, but I do think the dog laws are ridiculous. Clean up your shit and keep your dog on a leash and that’s it. Sort of the price you pay for living in the tri-state area though I guess. I’m surprised they still let people surf without life jackets.

  13. Donny: All LB surfers by law have a buoyant surfboard tethered to their leg. No tether, no surfing and people get arrested for no thther.They are for the most part very well conditioned swimmers. Only surfer I know of who in LB water was a body surfer who was surfing during a hurricane. He died of head injuries not drowning. All LB kids are given swimming and water safety training in school and at the rec center. There is a program there even for toddlers and moms where 2 year olds learn to swim. Historically, LB drownings are in the vast majority out of town minority teen aged males who weren’t surfers or swimmers for that matter. All LB kids are taught water safety in school.

  14. Some dogs have been proven to actually know how to cook. It should be mandatory that dogs be allowed in the kitchens of local restaurants so as to not discriminate against them. This would also keep them off the streets, where they pee and poop all over the place. And…….

  15. I don’t own a dog but would be in favor of a dog park or dog run large enough to let them get some exercise. Along with a skateboard park it’s the sort of thing LB needs to attract residents. I don’t think it would effect or alleviate the poop problem but I don’t think that has much to do with the issue.

    However, it’s refreshing to see a thread with this many posts and not seeing the problem blamed either on the City Council or Section 8 residents.

  16. I’m optimistic that Long Beach will be a “beautiful city by the sea” this summer.

    What are the sources of the garbage and other ugliness?
    o The 3 most frequently observed litter categories are beer cans, cigarette boxes, and pizza paper plates. An anti-littering messaging at vendor sites can help reduce this problem.
    o Litter dropped on streets by garbage men. Some behavior modification is needed here.
    o Litter around garbage cans. People miss their target. Do we have the right garbage cans?
    o Litter at bus stops. Are there garbage cans near-by?
    o Litter at beach entrances. Ticket takers should clean up when shift changes. And, kids who leave garbage and liquor at night need to be policed.
    o Dog feces. Unleashed dogs and some lazy owners are the problem. Compliance needed.
    o Sand left at the street curbs, remedied by more frequent city and private street sweeping.
    o Weeds in public areas should be removed by volunteers e.g. Project Challenge did this last year in West End.
    o Sidewalks should be washed by vendors. There is a City compliance officer…who should respond to community complaints.
    o Cigarette butts: too many smokers don’t understand that they are butt-ugly.
    o Clean up LIRR: inside (LIRR responsible), outside bird-dung (DPW responsible), outside hallways (DPW responsible, and vagrants are contributing to problem at night)

    The low-cost solution: need to increase the number of people cleaning up:
    o Volunteers: Enlist support from school children (message from Principals). Get Girl Scouts and other children groups united behind the cause. Get block captains to lead efforts for side streets. Encourage business district participation through Chamber.
    o Low paid workers: Chamber and WEBA have each agreed to contribute $500 to weekend early-AM clean up ($1000 = 100 hrs clean-up @ $10/hr). More $ = more cleaners.
    o Community service in lieu of fines e.g. If you litter, you owe 4 hrs clean-up.
    o Build on success of Project Challenge re weed pulling, supported by DPW cleaning up weed-filled bags, and mulching behind our clean-up.

    We need to prevent litter through education and penalties:
    o Messaging needed at schools, key vendor sites, areas where debris frequently found.
    o Civic groups need to get the message out…including how to report non-compliance.
    o Chamber needs to educate and police the key business offenders.
    o LIRR and bus messaging needed
    o Need to make it cool to be clean: Long Beach pride.
    o Penalties: don’t make it seem like another tax…re-invest penalty $ into more cleaners, offer community service cleaning in lieu of fines.

    And, we need to replace garbage with beauty: flowers, lights, art, water fountains. I am on vacation in Naples Florida and the city knows how to make it’s downtown area attractive. They combine improvements from city, donors, artists and beautification associations.

    All of this seems very doable. What do you think?

  17. Most of the (good) longboarders you see out there would be getting arrested a lot more often if this was actually true/enforced.

    I am definitely one for water safety though, glad to hear that it is actually taught in school.

  18. Oh, and I was being satirical when I said I am surprised they let surfers surf without life vests. My point being that who knows what the state will try and protect us from next.

    Interesting fact: In NY state you can take your stand up paddle board into 15 foot overhead surf in the ocean, and nobody cares. But if you try tethering yourself to a giant stand up board in a small, flat lake, without a life vest, you are very much breaking the law. I believe you need a whistle too.

    I understand it is because Kayak, SUP people want the same rights as boats, but still….kind of ridiculous.

  19. New York City Beaches and Boardwalks

    From October 1 through April 30 each year, leashed dogs are allowed on the sand and the boardwalk at certain beaches. These beaches are Rockaway Beach, Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach, Midland Beach and South Beach. Dogs are not allowed on the sand at any New York City beaches between May 1 and September 30. Leashed dogs are allowed year-round on the boardwalks and promenade at Coney Island, Brighton, Midland, South and Manhattan Beaches. Please check the website at http://www.nycgovparks.org for updated information and changes.

  20. I own 2 dogs and am disgusted about the amount of dog poop on the streets. I am glad dogs are not allowed on the beach. Could you imagine the mess it would be? Dog owners begged for a dog run. They got one by the rec and the 1st time I took the dogs there there were plops of poop all over. That ended that.

  21. there are enough dogs and dog owners in LB to start a Dog Owners Association. Members should be willing to pay dues that will go toward encouraging good dog ownership – how to teach good dog behavior toward non-pet owning residents, set up “cleanup” kiosks to hold extra bags and waste bins, politicking for not just one dog park but multiple, small, local parks or runs that allow dogs to socialize daily, get rid of pent up energy and even allow their owners to enjoy their pets together.
    As dog owners we are as disgusted by bad owners that don’t clean up after their pet as we are by non-owners who don’t appreciate the positive roles that dogs play in the life of the human family. Doing nothing but talk is what has contributed to the sad state of a dog’s life in
    Long Beach. Other towns and cities have made dogs and dog ownership a positive part of their community, and there’s no reason it can’t be done here.

  22. Just take a walk on W Beech by Maryland school. Snow has melted and now you can see about 10 occurrences where the dog owners must have “forgotten” to pick up. In front of a school. Shame.

  23. Miss Liz, fortunately so much of these improvements are already underway or will soon be realized. Please note that most improvements don’t require $, just improved behavior by people.

    The City officials I’ve spoken with have been quite helpful. They recognize that a cleaner, more beautiful city is better for our residents, visitors and businesses. Let’s all work together…so much can be accomplished.

  24. very comprehensive. very articulate. unfortunately, very unrealistic as history will bear out in LB. the only true catalyst is the tolerance enforcement issue. if the City wants to tolerate this, then it never goes away no matter how many volunteers you enlist. Rockville Centre, Garden City, Manhasset would never tolerate this quality of living to rear its head. Try running a business in those towns and leave cigarette butts, pizza paper or beer cans behind. the towns would run you out. it starts with strict enforcement on all levels. then, people understand that if your habits don’t change, your pocketbook will. it becomes a way of life after that.
    just my opinion, but it seems to work elsewhere. will LB try?

  25. Informa Tuttle, sorry to hear that you believe the habits of the past limit the capacity to change in the future.

    Cleaning up Long Beach won’t be that hard. We don’t need an army of volunteers, just a small group of dedicated people with the right attitude. And let’s not blame the City Council for this, since it’s not them littering.

    The City recognizes the value of a clean (beautiful) town. Recently they contacted civic groups, enlisting their help. And I’ve found that they listen to, and act on, recommendations to beautify the city.

    One key step in improving Long Beach is believing it can be done. Don’t remain mired in the past…a better future is ahead of us.

  26. I came onto the site today to ask advice and saw this post which is right in line with my situation. I too have read this blog for awhile and really enjoy the thoughts of many people. I do not own dogs (only cats and kids) but my challenge is with neighbors who let dogs out on their porch all day long and in their back yard for long periods of time. What then happens is a barkathon. Two large dogs in the back of me start barking for periods of time which sets off the two small dogs in the front yard on the porch next door and all I hear for 15 minutes is barking dogs. This goes on all day long in the warm weather. I have even been woken up at 1am with the back yard dogs being let out. They then seem to bark for a period of time until they are let back in. Is there any noise ordinance law or a printout somewhere that I can obtain to maybe place in these neighbors mailboxes to gently remind them of their neighbors? And I feel for these dogs because maybe if there was a great place for an owner to walk the dogs they would not be barking all day long in a small backyard or porch.

  27. LEASHED is the key word. Not running loose on the beach to scare other people who are also on the beach. Consideration is lacking by dog owners on the beach in LB.

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