“I thought I was going to die”

Multiple pet owners are concerned that their pets may become breeding grounds for the disease after their pets become ill shortly after playing at a dog park in Suffolk County.

The dog run at Charles Toner Park in Nesconsett is a popular place to exercise your pets and make new friends.

However, some residents say their dogs come home from the park with ailments such as kennel cough and stomach bugs.

Amanda Ackerly says she was horrified when her 10-month-old Australian Shepherd named Yeti developed severe kennel cough. According to her, her puppy fell ill shortly after visiting Nesconset Dog her park about two weeks ago and took about seven days to recover.

“Honestly, I thought I was going to die. It was horrible,” says Ackerly. “I was really worried about him. I was worried that he was developing pneumonia. .”

Paul Barron said his dog developed kennel cough about two months ago and needed antibiotics. He’s convinced she got sick at the park, but he’ll be back nonetheless.

“It’s the only time she really interacts with other dogs, so I absolutely think it most likely happened here,” he says.

Dog parks are great places to exercise and socialize your pet, but they also come with risks. Veterinarian Michelle Selmer shares some tips for staying safe at dog parks.

He makes sure your pet is vaccinated and is ready to leave if another dog appears sick.

Watch out for shared water bowls, puddles, or other hazards that can transmit disease.

“Keep your dog away from any poop or droppings you see at the dog park. Puddles are clearly a risk because another dog or wild animal may be urinating and they may be in stagnant water.” ,” says Selmer.

Charles Toner Park is operated and maintained by the town of Smithtown. A town spokesperson says they are investigating the situation but have no record of any illness attributed to the dog run.

Some other dog owners told News 12 that their pets never got sick after a visit.

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