Pet owners: Dogs are getting sick after visiting Nesconset park

Several dog owners tell News 12 that their pets contracted kennel cough shortly after playing at the Nesconset dog park on Smithtown Boulevard.

News 12 Staff

Aug 23, 2022, 11:23 AM

Updated 643 days ago

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A Suffolk dog park is now being seen as a possible breeding ground for disease.
Several dog owners tell News 12 that their pets contracted kennel cough shortly after playing at the Nesconset dog park on Smithtown Boulevard.
Cindy Mantione, of Smithtown, says she takes her dog Mickey to the park since she doesn’t have a backyard. However, she says she’s staying out of the dog enclosure after hearing that at least two dogs who played there came down with kennel cough. 
“That's why I make sure he has all his shots, he's up to date on seeing the doctor, and I don't like let him drink in the water that is the common water with everybody,” Mantione says. 
After hearing about the sick dogs, Town of Smithtown officials responded by saying park crews maintain the dog park by raking and replacing mulch, cleaning out water bowls and testing soil samples for bacteria. 
“They are here not just daily but hourly cleaning up, not just in the dog park but in the facility,” says Nicole Garguilo, a spokesperson for the Town of Smithtown.
Denise Vibal, from Smithtown Animal Control, says the animal shelter has not seen any outbreaks of kennel cough. She says when pet owners bring dogs to dog parks, it's a risk they choose to take.
“Sometimes people don't even know the dog has kennel cough. They will come to the park, but they don't show signs for weeks. It's brewing just like a cold…and then your dog is introduced to another dog,” Vibal says. 
If you take your pet to dog parks, veterinarians recommend making sure your pet is vaccinated, not sharing water bowls and avoiding puddles and feces.
“We take every precaution to make sure animals don't get sick, humans don't get sick. It's personal for us as well, we all live here too,” Garguilo says. 


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