Even as the nature centers, historic houses, and kayak launches of New York City temporarily shuttered to limit the spread of the coronavirus, dog runs and parks staunchly remained open. But that’s all over now, too. As of Monday, the city’s dog parks and runs are all closed until further notice.
The city’s Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver said in a statement on Sunday, “We understand how important dog runs are to our furry, four-legged friends, but because of ongoing overcrowding, dog runs and dog parks will be closed starting tomorrow.” Silver added, “Our parks remain open otherwise and they are great places to get fresh air and exercise for New York City pups, but it is very important to keep them on their leashes according to park rules and to social distancing.”
The city is in the midst of closing a host of public facilities. Tennis and basketball courts will all soon be locked. The city’s 1,010 playgrounds will be closed by Friday. But as the commissioner’s statement attests, parks are still open for the time being, as are soccer fields for some reason. Dogs love both of these.
Still, the directive represents a blow to dogs. After hours cooped up in their tiny New York City apartments with their love-starved owners, where will they go to unwind with an assortment of large and tiny canine friends? Unfortunately, it looks like their social lives, much like our own, are going on hiatus.