It’s a dog-eat-dog world and right now, French bulldogs are at the top of the food chain— at least on the Upper East Side. The popular breed is at the center of a viral debate pitting neighbor against neighbor— those in favor of the weekly Frenchie meetups at Carl Schurz Park and other dog owners who think the crowded dog run takeover puts pets and people in danger.
Late last month, an instagram account called ‘Move the Meetups’ began posting their concerns, blasting the French bulldog gatherings hosted every Sunday at the park since last September.
“Every week, the small dog run in Carl Schurz park is subjected to 30+ Frenchies (plus owners) during high traffic times, reads one post from the ‘Move the Meetups’ account.
“Dogs from all over the city, including Chelsea, Brooklyn, even as far as [New Jersey], are regularly invited to and coming to these meetups. The run is too small for this!”
Posts from the account even took shots at the organizer of the meetups, the creator of another Instagram account, ‘Frenchies of UES.’
“The owner of the ‘Frenchies of UES’ account is rude and looks down on other breeds of dogs that are in there,” she ‘Move the Meetups’ account wrote.
“Some have said that she ‘holds court and acts very holier than thou.’
The ‘Move the Meetups’ account and its mission to move the meetups to a larger dog run went largely under the radar until a series of tweets by NBC News reporter Kalhan Rosenblatt detailing the drama went viral on Tuesday— getting tens of thousands of likes and was even reposted to meme accounts on Instagram.
“Guys, would you like to hear about the drama going on in the Upper East Side French bulldog community?” the thread begins, explaining how the meetups go and defending the crowd size as well as the temperament of the pups.
guys, would you like to hear about the drama going on in the upper east side french bulldog community?— Kalhan (@KalhanR) July 19, 2022
“I’ve never seen this person be rude or dismissive of a different breed!” tweeted Rosenblatt, who attends the meetups with her Frenchie named Nacho.
“This is such a wild amount of energy to devote to people who just want to meet up once a week!”
When reached by Upper East Site, the ‘Move the Meetups’ account’s creator, an Upper East Side woman in her mid-30’s, shared her side of the situation.
“I love Frenchies, I just think the meetups would be better suited to have less frequently or in a different area of the UES, like Andrew Haswell dog park, or even Central Park, where most other dog meetups happen,” she explained.
“It’s a hot topic of conversation among nearly all of the non-frenchie owners in the area.”
Once the reporter’s tweets went viral, the dog run debate immediately turned sour with the ’Move the Meetups’ account facing a deluge of hostile comments and messages.
Still, some came forward to defend the account and its intentions.
“I feel that I’ve been pushed out of my favorite place to play at the dog run because the Frenchies meet up is too overwhelming for me. I’m only 7lbs and can’t risk being run over by Frenchies who are pure muscle,” commented one dog owner, who wrote in the voice of their Maltese.
“So many dogs in that run is overwhelming to other dogs, much less Frenchies who tend to be aggressive. I avoid the dog run [during the meetups] because it’s intimidating and I’m literally afraid that me or my dog will be overrun by the bulldogs,” said Amy Magdalin, echoing their sentiments.
Rather than spurring a discussion that she had hoped, the creator of ‘Move the Meetups’ says the attention from the viral thread had spawned too many ugly personal attacks, forcing her to turn off commenting.
The NBC News reporter later told her nearly 30,000 followers that they should not message, bully or antagonize the ‘Move the Meetups’ account, but the floodgates were already open.
“I’m actually going to close this account after the amount of bullying that’s happening,” the account’s creator told Upper East Site.
“It’s too much for me mentally with the rude comments.”
In a final post announcing she would be deleting the ‘Move the Meetups’ account, the creator revealed she received threats of violence.
“This has gone way too far,” she wrote, “there is no reason to be sending me physical threats.”
The final post also revealed she would be meeting with organizer of the Frenchie meetups, the creator of the ‘Frenchies of the UES’ account, to privately discuss “how the communities can come to a better solution.”
The creator of the ‘Frenchies of the UES’ account tells Upper East Site they are “confident we can have a respectful and productive conversation about how to make the space better work for everyone, and she agreed to meet.”
While the ‘Move the Meetups’ account is scheduled to be deleted this weekend, a new page advocating for an end to the Frenchie meetups has already taken its place.
‘Stop Frenchy Meetups NYC’ has amassed nearly one thousand followers in under twelve hours— mostly posting news headlines about Frenchie owners being mauled to death by their dogs.