Tag Archives: dogs

Handouts inform dog owners of LIC waterfront rules

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Images courtesy of DOG LIC

Two Long Island City groups have come together to help spread the word to dog owners visiting the waterfront parks on how they can help keep the neighborhood as a safe and responsible dog-friendly community.

The Hunters Point Parks Conservancy and DOG LIC, made up of local dog owners, have started to hand out postcards in the western Queens neighborhood informing people of “The Rules of the Road for Dog Owners.”

“Hunters Point Parks Conservancy was very pleased to partner with DOG LIC to help educate and promote proper dog ownership,” said Rob Basch, president of the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy. “As stewards of both Hunters Point Park and Gantry Park, we recognize the need to clarify where dogs are allowed.”

In these postcards, which the groups have printed out over 5,000 copies, dog owners are advised where their furry friends are welcome along the waterfront and where they are not permitted.

For example, dogs are allowed at Hunters Point South Park, Gantry Plaza State Park, Gantry Plaza State Park Pier #1, Gantry Plaza State Park Garden, and the Anabel Basin Inlet along North Basin Road. However, they are not permitted at Gantry Plaza State Park north of Pier #1, the turf field and sandbox in Hunters Point South Park, Gantry Plaza State Park Piers #2, 3, and 4, or on the Community Sports Park Turf Field on Center Boulevard and 47th Avenue.

“We’re really trying to be responsible and help get the message out to the community,” said Jessica Masters, DOG LIC co-founder. “We thought if we could organize and get together this flier that we could start spreading the news of responsible dog ownership to keep the waterfront beautiful and a nice place for everyone to enjoy.”

Masters added that these postcards might help incoming residents who are new to the neighborhood and might be used to more dog-friendly rules found in other parts of the city.

The postcards, which were passed out during an event called “LIChenge” in May and can be found at local businesses, also remind dog owners that their pets must remain on a leash at all times and they must clean up after their dogs.

Pet owners are also advised of the locations of local dog runs where they can take their four-legged friends such as the Hunters Point South Dog Run, Vernon Boulevard Dog Run, Murray Playground Dog Run and New Dog Run.


Queens dogs to raise paws for favorite teams in World Cup

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

File photo

This year’s FIFA World Cup is receiving a ‘pawsitive’ reaction from four-legged fans throughout the borough.

Dog owners and their pets will be able to show their love for their favorite soccer teams Saturday in Jackson Heights, just less than two weeks before the big games kick off in Brazil, during an event called “Mi Mascota, Mi Seleccion,” translated to “My Pet, My Team.”

During the event, which will take place from 4:30 to 8 p.m. at the garden of St. Marks Church at 33-50 82nd St., both owners and dogs are asked to come dressed in their favorite team’s colors. The day will feature food and treats for dogs, a trainer, entertainment for the whole family and contests for both pets and their owners.

“It looks like we are going to have a large participation of Colombian, Mexican and Ecuadorian pets, which are the majority in Corona, Jackson Heights and Woodside in Queens,” organizer Mauricio Hernandez said in Spanish.

One of the sponsors, who will also be selling dog jerseys at Saturday’s event, is Dalila’s Petwear located at 90-12 37th Ave. in Jackson Heights. Some of the national team jerseys in doggie sizes include the United States, Colombia, Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil and many others.

“I’m very excited,” said Miguel Rodriguez, owner of Dalila’s Petwear. “This idea came out last year. It’s amazing.”

Proceeds from “My Pet, My Team” will go toward St. Mark’s Church, which recently had to deal with a flooded basement.

After the event, photos of the best-dressed pets will be available on www.MyPetMyTeam.com. For more information call 718-644-7072 or 347-447-4433. To purchase a jersey click here.



Rego Park man has heart attack after complaint about neighbor’s dog

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Police, who were initially called to for a noise complaint in Rego Park, sprang into action to save the complainant from a heart attack.

Cops responded to Felix Royzman’s complaint about a neighbor’s dog at about 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, when Royzman started to have chest pains and collapsed to the ground in cardiac arrest.

Officers responding to the complaint started chest compression on Royzman, and called for EMS.

EMS transported the man to North Shore Long Island Jewish Forest Hills Hospital, where is in stable condition.

The man was lodging a complaint about his  upstairs neighbor’s dog, according to reports, which allegedly makes loud noises as the pet walks through the house.



Puppies ease finals stress at Queens College

| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos and video by Melissa Chan

Dog-tired Queens College students, cramming during finals week, put their studying on “paws” to pet some fluffy pooches.


Nearly 3,000 scholars visited the “Puppy Room” at the college’s library this week to de-stress with the help of some cute canines.

“The response has been overwhelming. The demand is incredible,” said Matthew Louie, president of the Student Association, which created the pet fest. “Students seem livelier. Some are actually coming down to the puppy room before every final.”

Six pups and two adult dogs from Puppy Paradise, a pet spa and resort in Brooklyn, were on hand from Dec. 16 to 18 to help students unwind.

They helped sophomore Samantha Mustafich momentarily forget about her upcoming three finals, including a dreaded calculus exam.

“I’m just so stressed. I [came here] all three days,” said Mustafich, 16, of Fresh Meadows. “The puppies put me in such a good mood. I feel like I can do it.”

The tail waggers ranged in age from 12 weeks to 13 years old. They included a Boston terrier, dachshund, Yorkshire terrier-poodle, a one-year-old Australian shepherd named Edward Scissorhands and Jimmy, a 13-year-old Golden Retriever.

Rolf Swensen, the college’s acting chief librarian, watched in amazement.

“Have you ever seen so many smiles during finals week?” he asked. “The grades will go up — watch.”



Celebrate Halloween with your pet at LIC Flea

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos Courtesy Spoil My Bitch

Our four-legged friends are coming to LIC Flea & Food for an early Halloween.

With just two weeks before the spooktacular holiday, LIC Flea is hosting a pet costume contest this weekend. On Saturday, October 19 and Sunday, October 20 visitors will be able to bring their four-legged furry friends to participate in the first pet costume Halloween contest.

If you don’t have a costume for your pet, LIC Flea vendor Spoil My Bitch mobile pet boutique will have a selection of costumes for small to big dogs you can purchase. Options include a fantasy dragon, duck, sailor, basketball player, sailor and even a cow.

“I’m so excited,” said Spoil My Bitch owner Roger Quesada, whose two-year-old Miniature Schnauzer Nina will also be at LIC Flea in costume. “When I started this business I wanted to sell cute outfits and I didn’t know how big the costume business was for dogs. It will be really fun to see people coming to the event and dressing up the animals.”

Kiki Pet Photography will be taking photos of all the participants and a winner will be awarded on Saturday, October 26. Prizes include LIC Flea & Food Bucks, a gift card from Ricky’s, a free 20-day potty break packaged from LIC Dogwalk, a free dog consult from Pooch Pals, a free office exam from City Vet and a discounted photo session with Kiki Pet Photography. The contest is also sponsored by LIC Doghouse and TF Cornerstone.

Visitors will also be able to donate clean dog items and unopened food and treats to “Rock & Rawhide” for dogs in need. Those people looking for a furry friend to call their own will also have the chance to adopt a pet through the pet adoption agency Zani’s Furry Friends, which will be at LIC Flea.

Even with the cute pets in costumes, people will not be left behind. The following weekend on Saturday, October 26 and Sunday, October 27 visitors of all ages are welcomed to come in their best Halloween costume and have their pictures taken. Winners will be selected to get LIC Flea & Food Bucks and the chance to be published in The Queens Courier.

You can sign up for the contest online or at the LIC Flea, located at 5-25 46th Avenue in Long Island City.



Displaced pets find comfort after Sandy

| aaltman@queenscourier.com


Caring for five dogs requires patience. Caring for five dogs during a superstorm requires a miracle.

When Sandy struck, Kathleen Fessmann and her quintet of dogs — Yogi, Java, Rannie, Katie and Mocha — remained in their Broad Channel home, waiting out the storm. With nowhere to take the pooches, she figured they would stick it out until the rain and wind had passed. The storm wasn’t supposed to be that bad, she thought.

The water rose seven feet, flooding her house, knocking over the fence in her backyard and capsizing the fuel tank in her basement. When two of the dogs became sick from breathing in fumes from the spilled fuel tank, she knew they needed to leave.

Since the storm hit, nearly 300 animals have been rescued by American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) responders, and through pet supply distribution and mobile wellness clinics, the organization assisted nearly 16,000 animals in New York City and Long Island.

“We recognize the great need to help pet owners during this difficult time by temporarily caring for their animals while they get back on their feet,” said Tim Rickey, senior director of ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “The ASPCA is working with local and national animal welfare agencies to assist animals affected by the storm, and we’re grateful to have these valued partners helping us manage the emergency boarding facility and provide relief for both people and pets alike.”

Temporary shelters constructed in the Waldbaum’s parking lot at 112-15 Beach Channel Drive in Belle Harbor and Rockapup at 145 Beach 116th Street in Rockaway Park held displaced Queens pets for several weeks after the storm before they were moved to the more permanent kennels in the Bedford–Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, which will remain open until December 17.

“The emergency boarding facility allows pet owners the ability to get their lives back together while knowing that their pets are being taken care of,” said ASPCA spokesperson Kelly Krause.

All five of Fessman’s dogs were sent to an interim home at the Sean Casey Animal Shelter in Windsor Terrace before being moved to the ASPCA shelter in Bedford–Stuyvesant. While at the shelter, veterinarians discovered that two of the dogs had enlarged lymph nodes, a side-effect from breathing in the fuel fumes. The ASPCA provided free treatment for both ill animals.

Fessman, a registered nurse, visits her canine clan in their temporary Brooklyn home several times a week. She recently hired a contractor to begin repairs on her home, estimating the dogs will be back in their rightful residence in three weeks.

“It’s been terrible. It’s been bad. I just feel bad for them,” Fessman said. “I can talk about it and get it out of my system but it’s them I feel bad for. It’s just really sad for them, but they’re being taken care of really well.”

Puppy Love: Pet photographers capture our best friends

| SKakar@queenscourier.com


Landscapes and portraits are usually the subjects of professional photographers. At Kiki’s Pet Photography, the lenses aim at a different subject.

Kiki’s has been centering its focus on the local pets of Long Island City, particularly LIC’s precious pooches.

The company is owned by two photographers, Junenoire Mitchell, 27, and Arianys Wilson, 32, who began their business together more than a year-and-a-half ago.

Mitchell and Wilson met while photographing an event at Brooklyn’s Third Ward. The duo admired each other’s work and decided to partner up.

“[Long Island City] is where we started. We wanted to come together and do something together. We saw so many dogs in Long Island City and it’s such a dog friendly neighborhood, we thought it would be really fun,” said Mitchell.

The pair initially wanted to photograph children and their pets, as Mitchell has a background in shooting models and Wilson has experience photographing families. As their business grew, their specialty shifted into solely shooting pets, partnering with dog day cares and other local pet businesses. However, he photographers don’t rule out snapping people with their beloved pets.

“We’d like to photograph cats and other pets but it’s primarily dogs in Long Island City,” Mitchell said of the neighborhood’s canine-crazy mentality.

The duo uses the streets of LIC, dog parks and homes of clients as their studio, working on every shoot together — Mitchell situating the doggy models and Wilson taking the shot.

“It’s definitely a two person job. You can ask anybody who has taken a picture of a dog, it isn’t the easiest thing to do,” said Mitchell. “Arianys focuses on the pictures and I focus on the creative direction. Arianys has great timing to catch a lot of the great expressions.”

During shoots, Mitchell and Wilson go back and forth between posed photos and candid shots, doling out treats to keep the pups pleased.

The photographers said filling a niche, even in a neighborhood as dog friendly as Long Island City, isn’t always easy.

“We don’t have tons of business but the few people we have, we really work for their needs,” said Wilson.

The team is hoping to eventually expand the business throughout Queens, snapping puppy portraits all over the borough.

Tips before you adopt a pet

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

By Debbie Graham

How adorable is that doggy in the window? Did you ever pass by a pet store that sells puppies and kittens and find them hard to resist? A friend of mine did. Because she made a spontaneous purchase of a weimeranner puppy without first doing her homework, she ended up with an uncontrollable animal with no money or knowledge about how to rectify the situation. If you are thinking of adopting or purchasing a pet, think about this:

• Does everyone in the family agree on getting a pet? If not, ignoring their wishes may very well cause damage to your relationships.

• Make sure it’s okay with the landlord to have pets.

• Decide who will care for the pet before you get one and make sure they stick to their promise. Many animals are surrendered to shelters because the people who were supposed to care for them lost interest.

• Determine before you acquire a pet that no one who will be coming in contact with it is allergic. This is another reason animals end up in shelters.

• Do your research. If you’ve never had a cat, but are thinking of getting one, talk to people you know who have one. Find out what the pros and cons are. Can you live with the worst of it?

• Maintaining a pet can be an expensive proposition. Make sure you can afford the price of food and litter. If you want to get a dog, it needs a license. There may be times when you will need emergency vet care. Your new puppy will need a lot of training. You may need to hire a professional to work out the kinks.

If you have a penchant for a pooch or a pussy cat, these are just a few tips for becoming a responsible pet owner. Follow them and your family, neighbors and pet will love you for it.

Soldiers reunited with four-legged friends

| mchan@queenscourier.com


Trading in sand for grass, they now have a stamp in their passports and a new home in America.

Rio, Beethoven, Gus, Liberty and Charlie were among the 14 stray dogs from Afghanistan anxiously waiting, with wagging tails, to be reunited with their now official owners — U.S. soldiers who befriended and “adopted” the pooches while serving halfway around the world.

On Wednesday, November 16, the tarmac of JFK Airport saw a heartwarming event, as soldiers and pups embraced with hugs, kisses and slobbery licks.

The project, “Operation American Reunite,” was led by a group called Nowzad Dogs — the first and only dog rescue organization serving stray animals in Afghanistan. With the help of American Airlines, American Dog Rescue, and Cathy Kangas, CEO of PRAI Beauty, the four-legged friends were first transported by a freight operation from Kabul, Afghanistan, to Dubai, and then to London.

From there, American Airlines Cargo flew them to JFK, where more than a dozen soldiers — who were also flown in from their respective hometowns across the country — anticipated taking home their furry companions.

Each dog was taken to a veterinarian prior to the reunion.

The troop members had taken in the pups while serving in Afghanistan, but had to leave them behind when their deployments ended. According to reports, the soldiers said the canines were unwavering companions who helped ease the stresses of war and homesickness.