Mayor Eric Adams, I am a Brooklyn home owner who takes pride in my Bed Stuy brownstone and community. I am so infuriated, though, by having to constantly tell the new residents of the neighborhood to stop allowing their dogs to foul and urinate in the tree beds. All that acid—sometimes 50 dogs or more a day—is killing the tree. Is there not a law to protect the trees? We are constantly talking about sanitation, clean streets, and your crackdown on quality-of-life crimes or misdemeanors.
I’m watching dogs coming up-and-down my Halsey Street block all day. It’s not a 5 minute span between one dog and another.
Trees are not designed to assume so much acid, it’s killing the trees.
The city installs tree guards around a tree to protect it. They have fines for damaging a tree or killing a tree.
As a homeowner, who has had trees planted on my block, I want to know what your message is about people who allow their dogs to relieve themselves on our tree beds. I grew up with pets—dogs and cats—but there’s too many people with dogs out here who are training their dogs to urinate on trees. I am not trying to sound crazy or anything out here, but I am a regular man, who loves nature and believes that my community deserves to be beautified like any other part of the city. The wealthy parts of the city do not have to worry about the issues that we are confronted with everyday, but that does mean that we can not focus on issues on other levels that do not get public and media scrutiny.
The people that are normally doing it are not the people who live on the block. They are just too selfish and too lazy to go to the dog park, or just curb their dog. Curbing your dog does not mean going to another part of the area and releasing your dog daily outside someone’s house. I speak on it, because I see it every day. And when I start telling the owner to stop allowing their dog to urinate or move their bowels, they come up with a million reasons why it is okay. I ask them what if it is diarrhea? They do not come with a water bottle to wash that stuff into the same gutter they should be having their dog use in the first place.
None of them are responsible for having these trees planted. They don’t maintain the trees, they don’t beautify the tree pits, but they are responsible for causing damage to the trees in our community. They are just irresponsible period. As I am writing this, I have just had a bag of fertilizer delivered for me to use on my trees in the back of the house, and the one out front on the city street.
New York City has a law that says curb your dog, and curb your dog means pull your dog to the curb to relieve itself. You can train Fido to do this in the same way you train them not to urinate in your house, or to not to eat food that’s sitting out. Once a dog smells another dog that makes it easier for them to use the same area like their public toilet. The city is flooded with dogs, you actually probably have as many dogs as you have rats.
I want the mayor to enforce the laws in the same way he is complaining about and enforcing laws against people jumping turnstiles or playing music on the subway.
I’m saying don’t be selective when it comes to enforcing New York City laws or guidelines just because the majority of people that you see walking dogs are not people of color.
You don’t have to follow them around. You can just step out of your house and you will see all the violations. Not so long ago there was a whole press conference about the same thing I’m talking about: that you should curb your dog or be fined. I am not a tree hugger, but I do believe in life, and trees have a right to live. They have a right to exist, they can’t vocalize that so sometimes it takes people to vocalize it for them.
Mark Lawton is a Bed Stuy Brownstone-owner, and concerned NYC resident. Tiquewood@aol.com