Dogs of all shapes and sizes, along with their human companions, showed up Sunday in Massapequa to celebrate the opening of the town's first dog park.
Supervisor John Venditto and other town leaders, along with representatives of the Long Island Dog Owners Group, spoke about the need for the park and the efforts of citizens to create the space.
"This is much more about the resident than the town government," he said. Venditto said later the park cost the town about $375,000 to set up the space, which took over an empty lot.
Peggy Hickey-Heijmen, a board member of LI-DOG, cited the park's amenities, including fresh water, to keep pets safe. She also cited safety and the need for people to pay attention to what their dogs are doing at parks.
Venditto, a Republican, couldn't resist taking a poke at the political opposition. When one dog approached, looking a little less than friendly than Venditto would have liked, he joked, "I'll bet he's a Democrat, the way he showed his teeth."
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The project was moved along through the efforts of LI-DOG, which has worked with governments around Long Island to find open parkland space for people to take their dogs.
Town Councilman Joseph Muscarella offered what he called his one-line contribution to the day. Owners should "be the person your dog thinks you are," he said.
LI-DOG said the new park is approximately 50,000 square feet and divided into a large dog area and a small dog area. Each has shade structures, water stations, waste stations and benches.
The park is set on a 5. 2 acre site on Louden Avenue, bordered by Clocks Boulevard on the west, East Pine Street on the south and County Line Road on the east.