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Your Thoughts: Dogs on Local Beaches

Some residents would like to see a designated beach for a dog run, others would like to see sections of different local beaches available to dogs.

Dogs just might be able to run legally on certain beaches at certain times in Southold Town since the first time since 1981. Southold Town Board members will present an updated version of an antiquated town law regarding the issue for public hearing later this month.

The board voted during a meeting last week to set the public hearing for Jan. 15 on amendments to Chapter 193 of town code, which Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell said last summer was written in 1981 and did not allow dogs on beaches or any recreational area at all.

Here are some thoughts from readers on the issues:

“I think it is a good idea but I would like to hear more about the pros and cons. I am a dog owner and believe that dogs should be able to run on the beach as long as they do not pose a threat to others, particularly children, and people clean up after their pets. Since this is primarily an issue that affects summer enjoyment at the beach, I think summer residents/property owners should have more notice and time to weigh in.” — julie vasady-kovacs,

“With all the beaches we have in this town, we could certainly dedicate a section of one -- in each hamlet -- to man's best friend. And re: the dog park. I have seen a dog park where my daughter lives, that has a man made lake as part of the park for water loving dogs.” — Ditty51,

“I see more dog owners allowing their dogs to use the beach like a litter box. The owner walks over and just buries the mess with sand like nothing happened. It is impossible to police proper behavior of dog owners. Now some dogs are just wonderful as are their owners, other dogs can be more aggressive breeds that by nature are protective of their owner at the peril of another person using the beach. You have some well-trained dogs and others who have never been trained. Your only option is to pass a law to ban dogs which is too bad.” — Concerned,

“I spend a good amount of time at Bailie Beach, and have never seen dogs ‘harassing’ anyone, and think this is a great place for folks to take their non-aggressive dogs to play, socialize and exercise.. But, I do believe there should be stiff penalties for not picking up dog waste.” — mhorine1,

peter cameron January 07, 2013 at 07:34 AM
agree that the beach is a great place for people to take their non-agressive dogs. problem is that some people are fearful and their dogs reflect this. and some people are just obnoxious and their dogs are often obnoxious as well. i've been harassed twice by agressive dogs running loose at Bailie beach, dogs whose owners looked on with some mixture of irresponsiblity, indifference and hostility. It is the bad apples that have a disproportionate effect on the freedom of good spirited folks. leash laws are a satisfactory solution. but at Bailie people let their dogs run loose.
richard appel January 07, 2013 at 11:30 AM
dogs should be kept close to their owner .Leash laws is a must.Igot attacked by a dog badly hurt .
Paul Silansky January 07, 2013 at 02:09 PM
I go clamming as a hobbie, make clam chowder and baked stuffed clams for picnics and gatherings. Already many creeks are closed to shellfishing due to the presence of e-coli bacteria. When dog feces wash down the road during rains into creeks and bays the bacteria "bloom" or multiply. It only takes a few parts per million for the DEC to consider the water unsafe. I still notice dog feces along the roads even with signs (can we teach the dog to read) and campaigns to pick up after your dog so what makes us think we wouldn't be stepping in it on the Beach. Dog owners who believe it will "just wash away" are polluting. Dog parks at waters edge will diminish water quality for swimming and shellfishing. Our neighborhood enjoys a large private beach with 2 member's rules affecting dogs: Leave Only Your Footprints (litter, pet waste, personal property etc. must leave with you.) and Dogs must be leashed during the summer season (May 1st until October 1st).
Andrea Kavajian January 07, 2013 at 08:06 PM
With the amount of beaches on the North Fork, dogs should most definitely be allowed on some of them. Designate some beaches for dogs and others for those who don't want to be bothered. But yes, no matter how many signs you post, no matter the affluence of the area, there are going to be irresponsible dog owners who don't pick up after them (gross!). A possible solution would be to post plenty of doggy bag dispensers and trash cans. But in an area as rich in natural beauty as the north fork, dogs should absolutely be allowed to partake in the fun of going to the beach.
dave allison January 07, 2013 at 08:55 PM
People walk their dogs in my neighborhood all the time, both on the beach and in the street. Those dogs on a leash present no problem, those that are not (on a leash) can be intrusive, and sometimes threatening. Coincidentally, the owners of dogs who do not have their dogs on a leash are pretty much the same way.
Localtucker January 08, 2013 at 04:18 PM
as long as you pick up after them!!!! fat chance!!

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