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Pea-Sized Gravel Getting Stuck To Dogs' Paws At Brooklyn Park

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Dog owners in Brooklyn claim their pets dread play time at a popular park because of something that could be replaced.

CBS2's Valerie Castro reports small, pea-sized gravel are getting stuck to dogs' paws at the Pier 6 Dog Run in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

"Right in between his paws. They get stuck in here and they're webbed feet and so he's had like abscesses grow," said Joanna Ford. "I've found them in there where it's stuck in to his skin."

Some dogs avoid it completely and run along the concrete benches instead. The black lining underneath has been torn up over time, exposing larger sharp rocks.

Park goers said the gravel is disappearing.

"Every time you pick up poop, you pick up a handful of gravel, so it depletes," said Sandy Balboza.

Time came to renovate the park last year so Balboza, armed with 200 signatures on a petition, asked for a pet-friendly alternative.

"There's a product called k-9 grass, it's made for dogs," said Balboza. "It's got drainage, it's a turf."

It is costly to install but Balboza said it lasts longer.

"It's easy to maintain," she said.

Her own dog Bode seems to like it, but Brooklyn Bridge Park officials aren't buying, and say "it has no track record in highly-trafficked public dog runs in New York City, and it's maintenance requirements are extremely labor intensive."

"There's new technology now and we're in the 21st century," said Balboza. "It could be good if we could have something that's made for dogs."

Park officials said they plan to move forward with using more of the gravel and renovations will start this winter.

The park has a second dog run near the Manhattan Bridge. It is made of a flat material, not gravel.

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