The Sunnyside United Dog Society (SUDS) started almost a decade ago, Fall of 2001. We began pushing for a Dog Run in 2004, but were turned down by our local Community Board that year and the next. Then, in 2006, they came to us with a plan for an area within the park and we quickly jumped on the idea and were approved (34-5 vote) for the dog run within Lodati Park in 2006. We received 2008 discretionary funding from a local Councilman in 2007, but lost it, as at its discretion, the city can pull these funds back when the economy tanks. All along we never gave up hope, continuing to do the things that we always had: taking care of that park, pet owner education, dog training, fundraising for sick dogs, rescue/adoptions, etc etc etc. Finally, in July of 2010 new Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and Queens Borough President Helen Marshall each chipped in $700K to fix up the WHOLE park (which is what our goal was all along)! At the meeting, where the designs were to be voted on, the board voted and it was UNANIMOUS! Construction will begin in the Spring of 2012!
Pictured above, Rick Duro presents a “Letter of Intent” on behalf of SUDS to the community board pledging our support and care to the proposed dog run.