Public comments for: Animals - To Clarify Applicability of Section 161.03 of the NYC Health Code

Comments

Comment:
I've attached part of an email notice periodically sent out by Stuyvesant Town mgt. You'll see the last item describes "Dog Days". This is when a playground (literally a playground where kids or adults might play baseball or soccer) is turned into a dog run for about 90 minutes. I've made Rick Hayduk, the general manager here, aware of this hearing and have also made him aware of HC 161.03. There is currently no mention of HC161.03 in management policy statements. It seems clear that so far as STPCV management is concerned, the sidewalks are the very place for dogs to do their business in addition to the posted "pet friendly" open grassy areas and the Dog Days playgrounds.
Supporting Document:
Agency: DOHMH
Comment:
There are related issues I'm not sure how to address: 1. How will this change in the code be enforced? For example, I'm told by the Dept of Sanitation manager in charge of our area (Peter Cooper Village-Stuyvesant Town) he cannot send his inspectors onto private property. 2. There has been talk here about possibly having dog runs here in the future, and during limited times (2 hr periods once per week) various playgrounds have been used as dog runs. I can find no regulations pertaining to the creation of dog runs. Is the creation of a dog run freely permissible on private property? 3. Peter Cooper-Stuyvesant Town is on 80 well defined acres. Management does have a dog registration requirement. It was reported months ago that there were 1200 dogs registered then. There may be some dogs not registered and non-residents from surrounding areas also walk their dogs here. Management has indicated to me that it has no intention of employing a registration cap. At some point does the sheer concentration of dogs under our circumstances become a health concern? 4. There are open grassy areas in PVCST that been posted "Dog Friendly". I'll show a picture at the hearing. Would these be considered in violation of the clarified code? (Prior to being posted, dogs would relieve themselves in the open grassy area in front of my building, and children would also play in it. Since the posting I see fewer people playing in this area though a few do wander in from time to time.) 5. Published management policy indicates areas where dog owners are permitted to walk their dogs. The map issued implies and management policy states that all sidewalks are allowed for "walking". The use of the word "walking" is something of an obfuscation or an avoidance in this case. Dog walking per se is legal on most New York City sidewalks. What isn't legal is defecation and the like. Should the code be approved to clarify covering private property, I believe it would be tacit avoidance for management to continue the current "walking" language. In other words, in management policy, should there be some reference to the new HC 161.03 and what it means to dog owners? 6. There are several buildings here which have no easy access to streets for 'curbing'. Would there be any flexibility in the code that would allow management to set up acceptable areas for the dogs to relieve themselves? .
Supporting Document:
Agency: DOHMH