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Tag: town council

Oak Island to consider beach dog ban


Whether one of North Carolina’s best known dog-friendly beaches will stay that way is coming up for discussion.

The Oak Island town council will discuss changing the rules at Oak Island Beach at its next meeting, including a proposal from one council member to ban dogs entirely.

Currently the law permits dogs year round on the beach, and requires them to be on leashes between March 15 and October 15.

The ban was proposed by Councilwoman Carol Painter after receiving an email complaint from a beachgoer who said “a dog made aggressive actions toward a child,” according to the Wilmington Star-News

“One of the kids stood up to walk towards the tent away from the dog and the dog starting barking and lunged toward the children in an aggressive manner,” the email said.

No chidren were harmed by the dog, or even touched by the dog apparently.

The proposal to ban dogs from the beach during daytime hours will be heard at the council’s next meeting, along with a proposal to make it easier for animal control to enforce nuisance laws on the beach.

Oak Island Mayor Betty Wallace told the Star-News the city receives few complaints about dogs misbehaving.

“As many dogs as we have all over Oak Island, there have been very few situations that involve any issues with dogs,” she said. “Most often the complaints we get are people not picking up a dog’s poop. Or dogs barking excessively.”

The town’s reputation as dog-friendly is what draws many tourists.

“The whole reason we wanted to come here was because of the dogs,” said one visitor, who drove from Colorado to visit. “It’s one of the few beaches that allow dogs.”

One resident of the town told the Star News she thinks there is plenty of room for dogs and people at Oak Island’s beach. It could even be sectioned off, she said, to allow additional areas where dogs aren’t allowed, and where dogs could run leash-free.

“We have enough beach for everyone,” she said.

(Photo: OakIslandPets.com)

First dog park approved in Loudoun County

    After eight years of citizen lobbying, the town council in Leesburg, Va., has finally approved plans for its first dog park.
    The park, on three-quarters of an acre at Olde Izaak Walton Park, could be built by December and open in May, officials said.
    While neighboring Fairfax County is dotted with dog parks, this will be Loudoun’s County’s first public dog park.
    If you’re keeping score, that’s Fairfax 7, Loudoun, 1.
    As an article in yesterday’s Washington Post points out, dogs have had it rough in Leesburg, a town so full of townhouses and apartments that there isn’t much space for dogs to roam.

Instead, many Loudoun pet owners commonly travel to Reston to use a dog park there.

Leesburg Parks and Recreation Department officials began looking at possible sites for a dog park in 2005. First, they considered allowing designated off-leash hours at one of the town’s 16 parks. Then they considered building a 10-acre dog park at Morven Park, but neighbors protested, and the council was concerned about the cost.

The dog run approved for Olde Izaak Walton Park is a far cry from that. It will be enclosed by a fence and include two picnic tables, trash cans and room for maybe 20 dogs at once.

The town will use about $18,500 in developer proffers to pay for construction. Maintenance will cost $12,500 to $13,500 a year, officials said.

Supporters of a dog park said a small area was fine with them.

“We’ve always wanted a very modest, manageable site,” said Dale Goodson, an ardent proponent of a dog run. “This site fits those needs. The fact that it’s not taking tax dollars to get it running is a good thing.”

A group of dog park supporters led by Goodson has committed to raising funds to help with the maintenance and to volunteer as park monitors.

The Post article notes that communities nationwide have been struggling to find adequate sites for pets, which are competing with users of trails and ballparks for space, according to the National Recreation and Park Association.

(Photo: A Fairfax County dog park, from Fairfax County Park Authority website)