Gov. Cuomo gives green light to open public pools, playgrounds

Friday was for the dogs in the Town of Oyster Bay.

After Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that he'd leave the reopening of pools, parks and playgrounds to local municipalities, Oyster Bay wasted no time making plans for its residents' four-legged friends.

Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino said, "A lot of family fun during the pandemic has been surrounded by our pets. They bring us happiness, they bring us love and unconditional loyalty— especially when we need it most."

He added that the reopening of beloved playgrounds and dog parks brings a sense of normalcy back in to the community.

Residents who raced to the popular Town of Oyster Bay Dog Park in Massapequa agreed.

A group of friends and their pets who met everyday before the pandemic were waiting when the gates opened to get back inside. Some said they weren't sure who quarantine was harder on.

Sean Pryor of Massapequa explained, "I have high-energy breed and I'm here for three hours every morning and it's been really rough since the park closed down."

Fellow dog owner Sue Horgan added, "It was tough on the dogs because they are used to the exercise. They are so used to that pack mentality that now they almost have to be reintroduced to one another again because they've been home with their people."

The town said it will continue to clean parks regularly and install sanitizing stations. It asks that residents continue to observe health and safety guidelines put out by the state, and when it's not possible to stay 6 feet apart, wear a mask.

"We social distanced before social distancing was a thing because you can't stand next to another dog owner because then your dogs are in between your feet," said Horgan.