Mitch Sommers, San Clemente
Allowing dogs on the beach has been controversial for a very long time. I wish to put forth an idea that I think even people whom do not like dogs may find acceptable. Under the following conditions, allow dogs on the beach: Hours 4 a.m. to 7 a.m., dogs must be on a leash, with retractable leashes up to 30-feet permitted. Clearly, be considerate of bringing your dog close to oneself when passing by people with or without dogs and/or wildlife. One exception: well-behaved dogs, under direct supervision of their owners, may be off their leash, while engaged in playing with other dogs, and/or playing fetch or retrieving balls, sticks or toys from the ocean, so long as there are no birds or other wildlife within 300 feet or so in each direction. Use good judgment. The salt water is very good for the dog’s skin; dogs really need to get into the ocean to help keep their skin healthy. San Clemente beaches are already clean but doing this too would make them exceptionally clean. To be allowed to take your dog or dogs on the beach, the owner agrees or promises to do the following: Every time you walk, run, play with your dog on the beach, the owner/handler needs to bring along a trash bag or container and pick up trash, cigarette butts and animal waste, even if it does not belong to your dog, then dispose of the garbage in a trashcan at the conclusion of your time with your dog spent on the beach. Allowing dogs on the beach should probably only be available to the residents of San Clemente. Dog owners who do not play by the rules will be forbidden to continue to utilize the beach with their dogs. I think this is something that could be tried out for six to nine months and see if it works out.