Fort Greene

Kath Hansen

Kath Hansen and a few friends formed the Fort Greene Dog Owners Alliance to unify the dog owners that frequented Fort Greene Park in order to keep off-leash rules legal in the park. Now named the Fort Greene Park Users and Pets Society, PUPS encourages responsible dog ownership, allowing dogs to exercise and socialize in an urban environment, while sharing space with neighbors.

Kath believed that having dogs regularly in the park would mean less crime. PUPS also serviced the park to make it a better place for dogs and owners. They bought trash cans, installed poop bag dispensers, and organized park cleanup and hole-filling days. They had poop pickups where the person with the heaviest bag at the end of the day would win a grand prize. 

Kath also started the Great PUPkin Halloween costume contest, with a group of friends and ten dogs. Now entering its 20th year, it has become one of the most anticipated Halloween events in NYC, with hundreds of dogs entering each year. 

However, PUPS’ greatest achievement was being a key player in the 2007 citywide effort that codified the courtesy 9:00 p.m.–9:00 a.m. off-leash rule into law. 

Kath’s advice to get neighbors together? Make it fun! 

The Great PUPkin 2018 will take place October 27, 2018.

Portrait by

Geralyn Shukwit

Geralyn Shukwit is a photographer straddling the line between photojournalism and fine art. Originally from the Detroit area, she has called Clinton Hill home for 18 years and counting.

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