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PCV residents’ online group for dog owners
Article and photo by Sabina Mollot, Town & Village

September 4, 2008

If you’re a resident of Stuyvesant Town or Peter Cooper Village who’s been accused of letting Fido run amok in the Oval or pee on the plants, two local dog owners have got your back.

Shortly after Tishman Speyer began allowing residents to have pets, Peter Cooper Village resident Howard  and his daughter Zoe started an online group that they hope will unite neighborhood pet owners as well as address the concerns of residents who feel that thanks to the presence of pooches, Stuy Town has really gone to the dogs.
“I’d like to be an advocate for dog owners,” said Howard, “and I hope this will be a venue for dog owners to organize themselves.”

Since the website, pcvstdog.com, was put up in May, it has gotten plenty of hits, but hasn’t yet taken off in terms of forum use or other interactive activity. Obviously, they are hoping that will change, because, said Howard, much of the tension between dog owners and non-owners is due to a lack of communication.
“There’s disconnect there,” he said, adding that he believes most of the irresponsible dog owners who walk their dogs on the grass in ST/PCV—which is not allowed—and don’t clean up after them, are non-residents.
Howard, a web developer by profession, designed the site, while Zoe, a student at Pace University, helps update its content.
So far, much of that content has focused on issues local dog owners and other residents have been wrestling with, from dog poop sightings around ST/PCV to whether or not the complex should have a dog run.
Howard, for one, thinks there should be a dog area and that the $250 fee market rate residents must pay in order to have a pet should be used to pay for it.
“It should offset the cost of additional maintenance to be incurred by having dogs running around,” he said.
Howard and Zoe have one dog, a Chihuahua pup named Lily, who also lives part-time in New Jersey with Zoe’s mother.
“She’s such a wonderful dog. I might have to get another,” said Zoe. She denied the pint-sized pooch was “an accessory dog,” which her father likes to say to tease her.
For Howard, dog ownership has been responsible for two of his longest-lasting friendships with other dog owners. Now, he’s hoping Pcvstdog will foster friendships for others through dog walking groups.
“Dogs can meet each other okay. They’re sort of magnetic, but people with dogs tend to stay in their respective macro-neighborhoods,” he said.
“There’s a dog group we see on 14th Street and more dog people on 20th Street. Dog walking is one of the oldest forms of social networking.”

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