August 27, 2007

Dear Neighbor:

As the State Senator and Council Member representing Chelsea, and area dog owners ourselves, we wish to share information our offices have gathered about the recent reports of dogs apparently ingesting toxins at the Chelsea Waterside Park's dog run.

Our offices have contacted The Hudson River Park Trust (HRPT), which oversees the dog run, to express our concern and offer our help in whatever capacity may be beneficial. We have learned that HRPT has taken many steps to address this situation, including:

* Posting cautionary signs at both entrances to the dog run warning of the problem.

* Contacting local veterinarians in order to obtain the relevant toxicology reports, which will be useful in establishing the cause of the illnesses, and creating additional and appropriate enforcement mechanisms with the New York Police Department regarding substances or toxins that may be involved.

* Working closely with the 10th Precinct to increase police presence.

* Locking the dog run entrances when Chelsea Waterside Park is closed.

* Assigning a Park Enforcement Patrol (PEP) officer to inspect the dog run in the early mornings.

* Meeting with HRPT's sanitation force, the Doe Fund, to review, reemphasize, and enhance the cleaning procedures and standards that HRPT has in its policy.

* Changing the cleaning time, at the request of the Dog Association, to 8:00 am every morning.

* Creating a temporary dog run on the Upland area at West 17th Street for the hours between 6:00am to 9:00 am.

Our offices have also contacted the 10th Precinct to request additional oversight of Chelsea Waterside Park, given recent events.

There are also several things that you, as dog owners and park users, can do to help protect your own dogs and others:

* If you observe laxness in cleaning procedures by the Doe Fund employees, please report to our offices specifically what you saw, or what caused you concern, and we will coordinate with the Chelsea Dog Owners Coalition to get the information to HRPT. You can contact either Colin Casey from Senator Duane's office at (212) 633-8052 or Melanie La Rocca from Speaker Quinn's office at (212) 564-7757 extension 104.

* If your dog has fallen ill, or does so in the future, and you believe the illness to be connected to using the dog run, please contact the 10th Precinct at (212) 741-8211 to ensure that the Precinct is fully informed as it continues to respond to the incidents.

We are hopeful that the aggressive response of HRPT and the 10th Precinct will go a long way to improving the safety of the dog run for our canine friends in Chelsea Waterside Park . However, we will not stop working on this issue until the cause is determined and a plan that specifically addresses the problem is devised. As additional measures are decided upon, we offer our assistance in whatever way our offices can be useful.


Thomas K. Duane
New York State Senate
29th District

Christine C. Quinn
New York City Council

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