Oct. 22, 2014 By Michael Florio
The Astoria dog community is continuing to put pressure on local officials for a dog run—with a leading advocate calling on the Community Board 1 for support.
Bill Peloquin, the chairman of The Astoria Dog Owners Association, addressed Community Board 1 last night and said that the neighborhood is in desperate need of a quality dog run—given the canine population in the area.
Peloquin cited a 2012 study by the New York City Economic Development Corporation that revealed that Astoria is home to roughly 30,000 to 40,000 dogs and cats, making it one of the highest populated neighborhoods in the city. The study did not provide a breakdown as to the number of dogs and cats separately.
The dog advocate also came to the meeting armed with a petition calling for a dog run that has already garnered over 600 signatures.
Peloquin said that the options for dog owners are currently very limited.
He said that dog owners are able to bring their canine to Astoria Park during off-leash hours from 9 pm until 9 am. However, he said, for many dog owners those times are not convenient. Furthermore, “Bugsy’s Dog Run,” which is located at 12-10 Astoria Park South, is not up to standard, he said.
“The Astoria community needs an adequate area to allow their dogs to socialize and exercise off leash throughout the day,” he said.
He said the association believes that the best location for a dog run would be at the Triborough Bridge Playground C and D. These sites are located below the Triborough Bridge and are bordered by 23rd Street, Hoyt Ave North, Crescent Street and Hoyt Ave South.
Peloquin said the association has received support from the Old Astoria Neighborhood Association (a civic association), the Astoria Park Alliance and from Councilman Costa Constantinides.
“Astoria residents should have a place to take their dogs to get exercise and run around outdoors,” Constantinides said in a statement in September. We are in the early stages of researching this issue and are considering possible locations for a good dog run in Astoria.”
Peloquin said if a dog run is built his association would ensure it is kept clean, while the Old Astoria Neighborhood Association has agreed to sponsor the dog run, therefore taking the responsibility of park maintenance.
Community Board 1 Chairman Vinicio Donato said the board would review the request before voting on a recommendation.