Overheard on the web: The debate over dogs on the beach

Published: Sunday, January 6, 2013 at 05:02 PM.

Walton County's revised beach activities ordinance will come before the commission for approval at its Jan. 8 meeting. Interim County Administrator Gerry Demers says the most significant change is the ability for visitors to purchase a permit to let their dogs on the beach.  The Sun posted about this to Facebook, and there was plenty of conversation.

Michele Stadnik: We spend 4 months on 30A (January till the 2nd week of May) and I promise you I always pick up after my pet! I've never left anything on the beach — from me or my dog. But I have found and picked up the following left by humans: Dirty diapers (numerous times!), beer and soda cans, broken beer and pop bottles, empty food containers and water bottles, childrens' toys of all types, used condoms (Ick!), discarded clothing/shoes/towels, and spent fireworks, among other refuse. And this doesn't begin to note the hundreds and hundreds of cigarette butts that litter the sand and surf's edge! I have (politely) requested that children and adults stay off other beach property owners' dunes to protect them. I walk the beach almost every day and the amount of human refuse and garbage that is left is appalling! On the very rare occasions when I have seen animal waste (from others' pets), I always pick that up too! In my opinion, the humans leave far more waste than do the pets!

Chase Johnson: I think they need to show proof of current vaccinations when purchasing a pass.

Candi Jerkins: Gross! No way! We allow our children to play on the beaches and do not want them digging sand with dog pee in it. Take them to the area dog parks. I have seen SO many people who walk their dog blindly on the beach and do NOT pick up the pooh or cover the pee!

Mary Elsberry: Yes. Is my opinion! I live here and find that most owners do pick up and cover urine. My thoughts are this is one of the most unfriendly pet areas I have ever lived in for past 10 years, and yet they try to promote the area as pet friendly.

Jim Harris: Would rather have dogs than nasty smokers and their filthy cigarette butts.

Tammy Douglass Smith:I love dogs, but children do not need to play and dig in sand where dogs use the bathroom. The germs remain even if their waste is covered or removed by the owner. Perhaps there could be designated areas where visitors are allowed to take their dogs. Then people can choose which beach to visit.

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