After a string of recent deaths, the Coast Guard is warning residents and visitors to Northern California’s coast not to try to rescue their dogs from the ocean.
Five people have drowned since November as they tried to save pets swept into the ocean by rogue waves.
Coast Guard, National Park and SPCA officials held a joint press conference Friday, aimed at spreading public awareness about water safety for pets and their owners.
Allison Lindquist, executive director of the East Bay SPCA, was among those advising pet owners not to go into rough ocean waters to save their dog.
“Dogs are naturally better swimmers because of their horizontal body mass,” Lindquist said. “They are built better for riding out the current.” She said the best thing to do is to follow the dog parallel to the shoreline and call its name.
“Just let the dog do its thing,” Lindquist said. “When the current subsides, the dog will swim back.”
Rogue or “sneaker” waves have claimed five lives in three separate incidents this winter, according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.
In each case, their dogs survived.
In November, a powerful surf swept a family dog out to sea at Big Lagoon Beach near Arcata in Humboldt County. The teenage son swam out to save the pet. Then the child’s mother and father noticed him struggling and swam out to save him. All three died. The dog made it back to shore.
On New Year’s Day, Charles Quaid, 59, of Richmond, died after attempting to rescue his wife and dog.
Last Sunday, Susan Kay Archer, 32, of Shelter Cove, was walking on Little Black Sand Beach with her boyfriend when she was swept out to sea with her dog and drowned. The dog made it back to shore.
Gabe Pulliam, a 13-year veteran of the Coast Guard and rescue swimmer, said most citizens they lack the equipment and training to rescue a dog from rough and frigid waters.
“People who walk their dogs on the beach and notice strong surf should stay above the line where the water laps up,” Pulliam said. “It’s fun to watch the waves roll in, but respect the ocean and never turn your back on it.”
Pulliam is featured in a handout about pets and ocean safety released by the Coast Guard.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 5th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, beaches, california, coast guard, dangers, deaths, dogs, national park service, northern california, ocean, pacific, pets, rescue, rogue waves, safety, sea, sneaker waves, spca, swept, trying, warning, waves
The council, while nixing plans for a dog beach in the California town, instructed staff to start working on a plan to allow leashed dogs in more parks and build more fenced open space for dogs to run. The city now has one dog park.
The council’s main concerns seemed to be that dog waste could compound existing problems with bacteria levels on the city’s beaches, and that its limited and eroding beach space should be reserved for use by people.
“I do think we need to increase the amenities for dogs and pets,” council member Tim Brown said at a Tuesday council meeting. “[But] we don’t have an abundant beach line — we have a strand that has been disappearing over the years.”
Tom Bonigut, assistant city engineer, said any increase in bacterial levels in San Clemente’s coastal waters could result in steep fines from regional water quality agencies.
Even Councilman Bob Baker, a dog owner, was against letting dogs run on the beach, according to Patch.com.
“Your dog should be on a leash at all times when you’re in public,” Baker said. “If you’re letting your dog run around on the beach without a leash, you’re making a big mistake.”
The strand of beach in the proposal runs from Dije Court to Mariposa Point and would have been open to dogs from 4 a.m. to 10 a.m.
“I don’t want to swim in dog poop water,” Mimi Lane (pictured above) told the council, according to the Orange County Register.
About a dozen residents spoke against the beach plan, while about two dozen spoke in favor of it.
The city estimates it is home to about 16,000 dogs, only about 5,000 of which are licensed.
(Photo: Fred Swegles / Orange County Register)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 8th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: against, animals, bacteria, beach, beaches, california, city council, concerns, dog, dog beaches, dog parks, dogs, eroding, erosion, feces, leash free, limited, meeting, parks, pets, poop, proposal, rejected, san clemente, unleashed, waste
Among the honors the documentary “100,000” has received is an Emmy award. Director Juan Agustin Marquez is shown here accepting it, and asking Puerto Ricans to take a pledge.
“We set out to change the world with this film, starting with our island, Puerto Rico,” he said.
“100,000 represents the specific number of dogs who live in the streets of our island nation. But the .. title of the film is more complex than that. What I truly wanted was to reach 100,000 people, humans, with the message of the film. I wanted 100,000 people to sign a pledge at the endof the film to learn about humane treatment for animals, especially dogs — to pledge that they will take care of their pets for as long as they live.
“We have a long way to reach our goal, but I will not rest until I get my 100,000 people to pledge to Puerto Rico’s dogs.”
Here is the pledge.
“100,000,” unfortunately, isn’t available for purchase, and it has yet to appear on American television.
But there is a way to see it, with English subtitles. The director says on the documentary’s website that he will provide a private link to watch it to those who email him. The email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 6th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 100000, abandoned, abused, animal cruelty, animal welfare, animals, award, beach, beaches, director, documentary, dogs, education, emmy, juan agustin marquez, movie, neglected, pets, pledge, puerto rico, responsibility, stray dogs, strays, street dogs, view, watch
In yesterday’s clip from the award-winning documentary “100,000” we met a man named Anibal who — though virtually homeless himself — struggles to feed some of the stray dogs that populate the town of Guayama in Puerto Rico.
In today’s, we meet another man named Anibal, this one a shelter worker who sincerely believes he is doing dogs a favor, too – by killing them.
He lethally injects about 100 a day; sometimes the sick or aggressive ones, sometimes, when there are no more empty kennels, the healthy ones. At Puerto Rico’s other shelters — and there are only a handful — the same holds true.
Across the territory, about 500 dogs are euthanized a day — 92 percent of those that enter shelter, according to the documentary.
All this week on ohmidog! we’ve been featuring the documentary, which looks at dog overpopulation in Puerto Rico and some of the people and organizations — such as Island Dog — that are working to solve the crisis.
“100,000,” directed by Juan Agustin Marquez, depicts the bleak existence stray dogs face on the beaches and streets of Puerto Rico, where they are commonly abandoned and abused and often die slow, cruel deaths.
“That’s why I prefer euthanasia before these animals end up like they really end up,” Anibal Rodriguez explains as he goes about his duties, hoisting another dog from a kennel to be injected. “If this animal hadn’t been picked up … this animal would have died in agony on the streets.”
As he sees it, he’s preventing suffering.
“When I first started working, it was hard. As a human being, one has feelings. I have seen so many abuses cases that I prefer that it’s done through small lethal injection rather than a dog getting brutally killed by a person…
“It’s a job that has to be done.”
(Tomorrow: Director Juan Agustin Marquez accepts an Emmy award, and asks Puerto Ricans to take a pledge)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 5th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 100000, abuse, anibal rodriguez, animal cruelty, animal welfare, animals, beaches, documentary, dog, dogs, emmy, euthanasia, euthanize, island dog, juan agustin marquez, killing, lethal injection, neglect, pets, puerto rico, rescues, shelters, stray dogs, strays, street dogs, streets, suffering
This week, we’ll be bringing you clips from the Emmy-winning documentary “100,000,” an investigation into dog overpopulation in Puerto Rico.
It’s a stunning look at what has led to the problem, the staggering heights it has reached, and what’s being done about it. (In three words, not nearly enough.)
The movie’s title, “100,000” refers to estimates of the number of strays roaming the streets and beaches of Puerto Rico. (Some others suspect the actual number may be twice as high.)
The video above is a trailer for the documentary, but in each of the next three days we’ll bring you substantial clips from it, including a look at a villager who tries to help street dogs; an organization (our friends at Island Dog) that patrols the beaches, frequently used as a dumping ground for unwanted dogs; and at how the handful of shelters on the island rely heavily on euthanasia.
Directed by Juan Agustin Marquez, the documentary has been broadcast in over 17 countries and has won numerous honors at film festivals.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 2nd, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 100000, abandoned, abuse, animals, award, beaches, clips, cruelty to animals, director, documentary, dogs, emmy, epidemic, euthanasia, island dog, juan agustin marquez, movie, neglect, neuter, overpopulation, pets, puerto rico, rescues, shelters, spay, stray dogs, strays, street, street dogs, trailer, unwanted, winning
(Which is why we didn’t stop there during our travels across America.)
Now, with conditions, the California coastal city may let them back, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reports.
The impetus? Not so much love for dogs as love for sales — specifically, those of downtown merchants who say they could use the boost, and that visitors who arrive with dogs often pull out once they learn their dogs aren’t welcome.
At the request of merchants, the Santa Cruz City Council on Tuesday will consider temporarily overturning the rule banning dogs on Pacific Avenue. The Sentinel says there appear to be more than enough votes to make it happen.
The council is expected to approve a three-month trial, during which licensed, leashed and vaccinated dogs would be allowed on Pacific Avenue and several feeder streets during daylight hours.
If passed, the revised ordinance would kick in within 30 days and be made permanent after Nov. 30, unless the council changed its collective mind.
“I think the economic benefits to our downtown merchants will be most welcome,” said Councilman Tony Madrigal, who owns a miniature dachshund named Shortie and is one of three council members proposing the rule change. “My hope is that by allowing dogs on a trial basis that more people will feel welcome to come downtown with their pets, many of whom they consider part of the family.”
The Santa Cruz Downtown Association board voted unanimously this spring to pursue a change.
The city banned dogs on the Pacific Garden Mall in 1976 and side streets several years later after numerous complaints about out-of-control dogs and unscooped poop. Merchants may allow dogs inside, but dogs are not permitted on the street, which, short of beaming your dog in, would seem to make it difficult to get them into a store.
The city council will hold a discussion on instituting the trial period Tuesday night.
During the trial period, the ban would be lifted for three-months in the area bounded by Water, Laurel, Cedar and Front streets, and including the Town Clock and Scope Park.
The rule change would not affect dog bans in effect on some beaches and at the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 11th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, ban, beaches, business, california, city council, dogs, downtown, leashed, lifted, merchants, ordinance, pacific, pacific avenue, pets, revised, revision, santa cruz, tony madrigal, tourism, trial period, wharf
On our last west coast afternoon, Ace and I were wearily headed back to the motel after spending the day touring Monterey when the beach beckoned.
Knowing our route was going to take us inland, that there’d be no more Pacific Ocean views in our travels, I decided we should soak in all we could before we left. Ace didn’t object.
Marina State Beach was nearby, so I pulled in, only to see a sign that said dogs weren’t allowed. Hang gliders have dibs, it seems. So I headed north, probably less than a mile, and saw two trails leading to the beach. With more than an hour until the sunset, I grabbed a dog-hair covered blanket from the car and we hiked up a sandy path to the highest dune I could find, overlooking the ocean.
Winds had blown its surface smooth, so there was not a track anywhere to be seen, except those we left behind us.
I curled up under the blanket, and the sun came out from behind the clouds, providing some warmth, but not quite enough considering the cold winds that were blowing. I also noticed, even with my eyes closed, that something kept blocking the sun out — not for long periods, like clouds do, but in quick flashes. I opened my eyes to see what it was — a hang glider.
Then I re-situated myself, head on my camera bag. Ace curled up next to me, then nosed his way under the blanket. I rearranged it so it would cover us both.
I thought a pre-sunset nap was in order, but Ace, after a few cozy minutes, felt otherwise. He decided it was playtime, so he started squirming around under the blanket, then sat up and looked me straight in the eye. I stared back, knowing that he was in perfectly still alert mode and that the slightest movement I made he would interpret as playing.
So I got up, and he ran circles around me. Then he repeatedly charged at me, veering at the last possible second, looping around and coming back again. It’s our version of bullfighting — violence, blood, bull and cape free, though he does sometimes playfully snap at me when he passes by.
After 30 minutes of that, the sun began a quick descent. Ace lay still on the dune — which our playing had turned into a pockmarked mess — and watched with me.
Part of me, a very small part, felt as if I should smooth the dune out before I left, like I should have one of those little sand trap rakes golfers use and return it to its original condition.
The larger part of me said, naaaah, they were joyous divots, and merely temporary ones. Overnight winds would blow the dune smooth again — just as sure as the sun sets over the Pacific.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 25th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: america, animals, bay, beach, beaches, california, coast, dog, dogs, dunes, hang gliding, marina, monterey, nature, ocean, pacific, pets, photography, play, road trip, sunset, sunsets, travel, travels with ace
We didn’t cover too much ground yesterday — progressing only from Biloxi to New Orleans, but we did get in some beach time in a town called Waveland, Mississippi.
Good thing, too, because it was a sweltering day on the gulf. As Ace splashed about on an isolated sliver of beach in Hancock County — where dogs, on leashes, are allowed and unleashed ones don’t raise too many eyebrows — I wondered, between the oil approaching our shores and global warning, if the day might come when seafood can be hauled out of the gulf pre-fried and ready to eat. For our side order, we could toss in a basket of fries, which would emerge golden brown, salted and only slightly toxic.
But seeing the ominous sight of spill workers combing the beaches with large plastic bags, just a few hundred yards from where children played, I realized it’s clearly no laughing matter. It’s truly a hellish one.
The suffering already caused, to both wildlife and humans, and, as we’ll see tomorrow — even dogs — has likely just begun.
But for parts of Mississippi, and much of the rest of the gulf, particularly New Orleans and other areas still getting over Hurricane Katrina, the combination of natural and man-made disasters is almost too much to bear.
“What’s next?” the motel manager was saying to the front desk staff. “Maybe a sandstorm? Or a rockstorm. That’s what it’ll be, a rockstorm.”
(For all of our continuing series, “Dog’s Country,” click here.)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 10th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace does american, america, animals, beach, beaches, bp, disasters, dog friendly, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, gulf, gulf coast, hancock county, hurricane, katrina, mississippi, new orleans, news, ohmidog!, oil spill, pets, relief, road trip, shores, tourism, travel, waveland
Mississippi’s coast has so far been spared from BP-sponsored black tides, with most of the oil that has leaked since the rig explosion appearing to be headed for the coastlines of Florida and Louisiana.
Despite that, Biloxi’s wide white sand beaches seemed relatively empty when Ace and I pulled into town yesterday.
Maybe Biloxi is a reflection of how skewed our priorities can get. Drilling in the gulf? No problem. Casinos on the beach? The more the merrier. Dogs on the beach? No way.
They, or so I guess the reasoning goes, might taint the pristine shores.
Meanwhile, the welcome mat is laid out for high-rises and high-rollers and those seeking oil from beneath the gulf, even though the potential mess they might bring can mount far higher than a pile of dog poop.
I’m just sayin’.
We didn’t know that, so Ace and I just sat on a bench under the 96 degree sun and stared longingly at the water.
We stayed at a Motel 6, which we can now add to our truly dog friendly list.
The room was a bit spartan, but the staff went gaga over Ace, and his poundage — despite the silly obsession so many motels have about a dog’s weight — was not a factor at all. The staff even came up with a nickname for him, BAD, standing for Big Ass Dog.
Today, after a day driving south, Big Ass Dog and me head west. Possibly we’ll stop at one of Mississippi’s dog-friendlier beaches, maybe we’ll spend some time in New Orleans before taking on Texas. In any event, we plan to dip our toes in the water — avoiding, we hope, the big ass oil spill.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 9th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, ace does america, animals, beaches, biloxi, bp, coast, coastline, dog, dog friendly, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, explosion, gulf, mississippi, ohmidog!, oil, oil spill, pets, rig, road trip, spill, travel
Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis has been named the No. 2 dog-friendly beach in the nation in a listing released by the pet website, Petside.com.
The “Top 10 Dog-Friendly Beaches” were selected for their “outstanding features and promise of fun for dogs and their owners alike.”
The folks at Petside chose Cape San Blas, in Port St. Joe, Florida, as the No.1 dog-friendliest beach, due to its “year-round, leash-free policies and plethora of dog-friendly activities,” including a sailing program that welcomes dogs aboard.
As for Quiet Waters, Petside didn’t go into much detail, praising only that it was a “fenced off area” and sponsors the annual Howl-O-Ween Barkin Bash costume parade for dogs and their owners.
Here’s the rest of the top 5, which, strangely, include one where leashes are required.
3. Block Island (Rhode Island) is a small dog-friendly island open year-round. The beach has a relaxed leash policy, and bans all motor vehicles, making it a safe haven for your furry friend to roam around.
4. Cannon Beach (Cannon Beach, Oregon) is a four mile stretch of beach along the Pacific conveniently located near a town filled with dog-friendly hotels, restaurants and shops. Dogs must stay on-leash, but the view is worth it.
5. Fort De Soto Park (St. Petersburg, Florida) has the unique Paw Playground, consisting of fenced-in areas for both big dogs and small dogs. The park provides dog showers, a dog beach and fresh drinking water.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 21st, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: annapolis, beaches, block island, cannon beach, cape san blas, dog, dog friendly, dog friendly beaches, dogs, fort de soto, leisure, list, pets, petside, petside.com, quiet waters, recreation, top ten, travel