J. Hood Wright Park Dog Run needs a makeover, pet owners say

The J. Hood Wright Park Dog Run in Washington Heights has been a popular spot for dogs and their owners to get some fresh air and a look at nature for more than a decade. But with time comes aging and unfortunately, the dog run is not immune. 

Dog owners who frequent the park spoke to FOX 5 New York and shared their concerns about the park’s overall safety, saying they believe the park’s deterioration over years of foot and paw traffic has rendered it unusable. 

The dog run’s gravel floor is almost impassable and some residents have even said some dogs and their owners have been injured traveling the dog run. 

"The edge of the slab hit the back of my head. It sliced through the skull and I ended up with eight staples" Amanda Bastian told FOX 5. 

Bastian began taking her dog, Gigi, to the park last year. But in December, while taking a jaunt with her dog Bastian, was knocked over by another dog and hit her head on the exposed cement slab. 

"I don’t think my head would have been hit at all because my neck was up," she said. 

The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation told FOX 5 that there has been no capital funding to fix the dog run. 

A spokesperson said some issues have been addressed and that "we will be leveling and spreading new gravel in the coming days, in addition to our recent barrier installation to minimize gravel migration." 

Councilwoman Carmen De La Rosa, who represents the Washington Heights community, is holding a virtual meeting next Tuesday with Community Board 12 in an attempt to make the play area for dogs safe, once and for all.