There's a movement afoot to change the city's health code to better reflect dog and dog owner habits. The Health Department will have a public forum and comment period to discuss off-leash hours in parks. Right now, while the Parks Department allows dogs to go leash-less between 9PM and 9AM, the city's health code doesn't allow that, a strange happening that's gotten attention since Queens civic group, the Juniper Park Civic Association, to sue and get off-leash hours eliminated by enforcing the current health code.
Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden says if dog owners want their dogs leashless, then they'll have to "show proof that their pets have been vaccinated against rabies and [are] licensed by the city to go off-leash", according to the Daily News. And the Juniper Park Civic Association's president Bob Holden told amNew York, "If this is passed it will be repealed in a couple of years. You'll see someone get killed or mauled during these off-leash hours."
Here's information on getting a dog license from the city.
Photograph of dog watching some park action by michaelbrandon on Flickr