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Pooch owners' complaints of dirty dog run catch officials' ear


p Credit: RJ Mickelson/amNY

They’re feeling sick as a dog down on South Street.

Dog owners are grumbling that their pooches at the new 4,300-square-foot dog run are getting ill because of dirty conditions, prompting city officials Tuesday to sit up and take notice.

“The situation [at the dog run] is horrible,” Debbie Weiss, 45, who lives in Peck Slip, told

Weiss said her 3-year-old Havanese poodle, Amelia, vomited repeatedly and had diarrhea after visiting the run last week. She said her dog had never been sick before.

“There are tons of dogs, and they’re all roaming around in each other’s pee and poop,” Weiss said.

Dog owners said because of the run’s intricate design, it can be difficult to monitor where animals relieve themselves.

Despite workers dousing the park daily, the situation is exacerbated because “people don’t clean up the poop, and there’s no hose to clean,” griped Emily-Jane Finigan, 28, whose puggle named Rocky vomited following a visit to the run last Friday.

A spokeswoman for Councilwoman Margaret Chin said she reached out to the Economic Development Corp., which maintains the dog run, about installing a hose.

The EDC said that they’re looking into the situation and ask concerned dog owners to contact 311.

The run, which opened last June and features a giant dog house and bone, a fountain and a sculpture of a squirrel, is part of the city's $165 million East River Waterfront upgrade.

Other dog runs in the city have been periodically shuttered over cleanliness. Warren Street Dog Park in TriBeCa has been closed since last week while a contract with a cleaning service is settled, said Dan Rubenstein, a board member with the park’s association.

While other dog parks are funded and maintained by the city, the Warren Street Dog Park relies on private donations. It could reopen as soon as Wednesday.

“We’d rather shut it as a precaution so that dogs don’t get sick,” Rubenstein said.

(With DNAinfo)

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