Rat sightings and complaints have been on the rise throughout the pandemic, and over the past year, cases of leptospirosis, a bacterial disease spread by rats, have been ticking up in New York City among both humans and dogs. Recently, several dogs have died from allegedly catching the disease after visiting the McCarren Park dog run in Williamsburg, and although the Department of Health is still investigating those deaths (the cases are currently unconfirmed), they worked with the Parks Department this week to make some immediate improvements at the popular Brooklyn dog run.
This work included improving the drainage, installing rodent resistant garbage cans, and applying new mulch and top soil, which they are continuing to do throughout the week (the dog run will be closed until sometime next week, as a storm moves in that may delay additional work). An exterminator has also been on-site, and will continue to monitor the area weekly. However, the Department of Health determined the dog run did not have a serious rat infestation.
The Parks Department oversees 84 public dog runs throughout the city, and while they would not comment on whether they would be rolling out the recent improvements at McCarren Park to other dog runs they oversee, they told WNYC/Gothamist that many already feature recently reconstructed drainage systems.
With some of these dog runs better maintained than others and/or more spacious, we’re asking for your help to identify the best and worst public dog runs across the five boroughs. (Note: There are also dozens of private dog runs, but we’re only looking at those managed by the city.)
Email us at email@example.com (subject line: Rate Your Dog Run) or @Gothamist on Twitter using the hashtag #RateYourDogRun and include: the name, location, and neighborhood of your dog park, a photo (if you have one), and a letter grade you would give your dog park (A, B, C, D, F), along with some details as to why you thing that grade.