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Nassau County hosting a dog day afternoon at splash parks

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Although Nassau County’s splash parks will close after Labor Day, three will open again on Sunday, Sept. 13 and, this time, they’re going to the dogs. Guests could bring their dogs to Eisenhower Park, in East Meadow, Cow Meadow Park, in Freeport, and North Woodmere Park, in Valley Stream, for a free day of splashing and playing with their dogs and puppies.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced the county’s first event, dubbed the 2020 Water Bark, in front of Eisenhower Park’s splash park on Sept. 4. “We want to make sure that every creature that lives here could make the most of what Nassau County has to offer,” Curran said.

There will be a session for small dogs from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., a session for medium-sized dogs from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and a session for large dogs from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“It’s not just human beings that have been cooped up inside during the pandemic, pets have too,” said U.S. Congresswoman Kathleen Rice, who attended the news conference with her dog Pearl, who she adapted from the North Shore Animal League roughly a decade ago, and her sister’s dog Abbey.

The county will be partnering with the North Shore Animal League America to host the event, which will also offer onsite adoptions. Curran and Rice were also with State Senator Kevin Thomas, who was at the news conference with Sirius, a Siberian husky he’s had for nine years.

"Water Bark is a great opportunity for our residents and their pets to play, splash, and enjoy the last weeks of summer at our County’s beautiful parks,” he said.

The three officials took turns cradling three newborn puppies that are up for adoption from the Port Washington-based agency. As Curran spoke, one of the puppies began to yelp into the microphone. “My new friend has a lot to say on the subject,” she said with a laugh.

According to Curran, dog adoptions and sales have spike across the county since the pandemic hit. Similar to the housing market, she explained, there has been an increase in demand to take in pets and no shortage of supply. “As an increasing number of residents are turning to new furry friends for entertainment as the pandemic continues, we want to urge everyone to adopt — don’t shop,” she said.

The adoption agency will have its Mobile Adoption Unit onsite at the event and allow attendees to meet puppies and dogs that are up for adoption. “These are difficult times we’re in and we all need a little companionship and love,” Rice said.

The county will be waiving the “no dogs” policy at participating parks. Anyone participating must wear a mask and, to ensure social distancing, two guests are allowed per dog. All dogs must be on a leash when entering and exiting the facility. Entry is on a first-come first serve basis. The water is not chlorinated at the splash parks participating.

The adoption agency also announced the launch of its fourth Walk & Wag event, one of its biggest fundraisers, which will take place virtually through Oct. 31. To learn more about participating, visit https://bit.ly/3h1rJvy