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Pet owners say they expected more improvements at Selden park

Brookhaven Town officials say they could not afford to put in water fountains for both pups and humans.

Janet Spano, with her dog Patches on Thursday,

Janet Spano, with her dog Patches on Thursday, May 10, 2018, said she was expecting new fountains with spigots for both dogs and people at the Selden dog park. Photo Credit: James Carbone

Some patrons of a Selden park for pooches say it has gone to the dogs.

Brookhaven Town officials recently announced the completion of a $10,000 effort to spruce up the Selden dog park on Boyle Road, adding new water fountains, fencing and landscaping.

But some users of the 4-year-old park say the improvements are far less than what town officials had promised last year.

Janet Spano, the owner of Patches, a 10-year-old bichon-poodle mix, said she had expected new fountains, with spigots for both dogs and people. Instead, the town installed only faucets at doggy level, she said.

“It’s just ridiculous,” Spano said Thursday. “They spent all this money and accomplished nothing.”

“How can we be proud of it?” Irene Rabinowitz of Selden said in a phone interview. “It’s an eyesore. It does absolutely nothing for the dogs and visitors. . . . What they gave us was landscaping and flowers.”

Town officials said park improvements included new signs, fences to create separate areas for large and small dogs, and brush clearing to improve the park’s visibility for drivers on Boyle Road. The work was paid for with the help of a $10,000 grant from PetSafe, a Knoxville, Tennessee, maker of pet products.

Town officials promised to clean up the park more frequently, and officials waived an annual $25 fee to use the park.

Councilman Kevin LaValle, who represents Selden on the town board, said in an interview the improvements were made after discussions with park users.

The town announced last year the PetSafe grant would help pay for dual fountains, at levels for both dogs and their owners. LaValle said town officials found those fountains would cost more than what the grant would cover — about $13,000 total, including concrete and drainage.

“The price of everything went up,” LaValle said. “That’s something we do want to put into effect. We have to find money for it.”

For now, the town has installed two pooch-level water faucets, including one each for the small and big dog sections. The fountains were not running Thursday; LaValle said the Suffolk County Water Authority is expected to turn on the water supply soon.

Other park users say they — and their furry friends — are happy with the facility. Pet parents say their dogs can run free without leashes, and play with other canines.

“She seems to like it,” Theresa Almazan of Centereach said Wednesday of her dog Piper, a 4-month-old Havanese. “She gives it a paw up.”

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