Cocoa Beach Surf Dogs

Cocoa Beach Surfing Dogs are a unique breed

By Local Resident Tim Chastain

They stand out and should be recognized within the Dogs on the Beach conversation.
Surfing Dogs bring with them responsible humans and a specific wholesome family friendly beach activity that fits our community. This was demonstrated during a recent Easter Surfing event.

A question that begs an answer, how can our dogs train for a surfing event when they cannot have access to the waves? Throwing the Baby Surf Pups out with the bath water if the Ordinance fails to pass would be a shame. Please consider Cocoa Beach Surfing Dogs for their uniqueness.


Written by: Isle of Cocoa Beach staff

Dogs on the beach update: Last week the commission met and were unable to come up with a decision. There was a well thought out plan presented to the commission. The plan addresses many of the problem areas of allowing dogs on the beach. Some of the commissioners were unable to make a decision because there were many very vocal voices for and against making any changes. Therefore, the next meeting is May 3rd at 7:00PM. It would be great for our elected officials to once again see AND hear from residents on both sides of the issue.
Commission Meetings are the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of every month. The agendas are posted ahead of time on the city website.
The ordinance proposed establishes a one-year trial period and dogs would only be allowed on two sections of Cocoa Beach: the southern half of Lori Wilson Park and from 4th Street South to the north end of Robert P. Murkshe Memorial Park near the city limits.
The dogs would also only be allowed on the beach from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Please email your elected officials and make sure to attend the next meeting scheduled for May 3rd at 7pm.

44 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Ed Boston April 27, 2018

    I love my dog & the beach . It’s not the dogs, it their irresponsible owners at issue. Smokers leave butts all over CB & lazy owners will leave turds in the sand or ocean. Sorry but no on this one.

    • Linda Rivera April 27, 2018

      I agree Ed. We are constantly picking up cigarette buts from the sand. The thought of small children romping around barefooted in the sand and stepping into dog poop actually sickens me. Building castles and digging only to unearth dog poop is awful. I know most dog owners are responsible but their are always a lot who aren’t. The unleashed dogs are another problem. I want to know who will be on duty during those times to police this ordinance.

      • Michael De Simone April 27, 2018

        Why not take the kids to parts of the beach free of dogs if you are concerned? The proposal is for a very limited area.

      • Renee Hurley April 29, 2018

        Just came back from Ft Myers beach and Sanibel Island and they both are dog-friendly on leash all day every day. Those beaches are so much more crowded than the beaches that are in the Cocoa Beach ordinance. I didn’t see any dog poop on the beach.

    • Formerly of St Simons Island April 27, 2018

      Having lived in a very dog friendly beach community for 9 years before moving here, I can guarantee you that the dog owners are a very vigilant self policing group. My former home is a tourism based beach and golf community that allows dogs on beach prior to 9 and post 6 May through September and all day the rest of the year. (And they are even allowed GASP… offleash) I have yet to see a problem with someone not cleaning up after their pup.

      • Deb April 28, 2018

        Thank you, a boice of trason!

    • JimP April 27, 2018

      Someone who makes sense.

    • Michael De Simone April 27, 2018

      You can’t fairly compare dog owners with smokers. The dog owners I know are vigilant about picking up after their dogs.

  2. Keith Barto April 27, 2018

    The ordinance is well thought out and needs to pass.

    • Linda Rivera April 27, 2018

      I disagree.

  3. Ed Frady April 27, 2018

    How about stiff fine on pet owners who fail to pick up after their dog, ie $500.

    Also set limit on number of dogs per owner, ie 1:1.

    • Linda Rivera April 27, 2018

      Good points, Ed. Someone has to be there to levy the fine and dog owners must be required to carry identification in case their dog bites someone or another dog.

  4. Barb April 27, 2018

    Good article and good points Tim. I say YES to allowing dogs on our beaches to practice their surfing as well as jogging, walking and enjoying the water. A piece of Lori Wilson Park beach is not big enough!
    I hope supporters show up and voice their opinions at the next commissioners meeting on May 3rd.

    • Linda Rivera April 27, 2018

      Lori Wilson Park can be very crowded on summer weekends with little children playing. Please keep your dog on a leash.

  5. John J. Alexander April 27, 2018

    I feel the compromise for the dog issue is to confine the dogs to the beach at Lori Wilson Park, and adjusting the hours so the dogs would not interfere with sea turtle nesting or hatchlings. The hours of 5:00pm the sunset and sunrise to 9:00am seems reasonable. It is not reasonable to open up 12 blocks of south Cocoa Beach to dogs. Currently the only beach available for dog owners is the 700 feet of beach at Canova Beach Park. Both sides have give a little on this extremely emotional issue. See you at the meeting on May 3rd.

    • JBrady April 27, 2018

      The ordinance as proposed at the last meeting was a compromise… The anti dog crowd does not want any dog at any time at any location under any circumstance. The city did a great job listening to all concerned and presented an issue addressing, compromising, mitigating ordinance. Again, this is NOT the entire beach, NOT all the time and NOT without specific restrictions!!

    • Michael De Simone April 27, 2018

      I think you would be surprised at how few people are on those 12 blocks of beach during the proposed times.

  6. cg April 27, 2018

    if you look at the amount of diapers and trash left on the street around the minuteman area,
    you’re telling me dogs are worse ??????????????????

  7. DOMINIC SCAFETTA April 27, 2018

    This is simply unbelievable! Why do we need dogs on our beaches? Take them on your next flight, or bring them to Walmart or to the restaurant where people are eating. This seems to be a very disturbing trend in our society. Not sure when dogs rights overcame human rights.
    There is no good reason to take your dog on the beach or any other public area.
    The only way dogs can be allowed on the beach is in a fenced in dog area. This worked fine at an apartment complex I lived in, and can work here too. Charge a $50 annual tag fee per dog, to pay for the fence, enforcement, and upkeep. Allowing dogs on Cocoa Beach (for effectively the ENTIRE South Cocoa Beach) is insane! Humans have rights but dogs don’t. Let’s keep in that way.
    BTW… Why are the residents of South Cocoa Beach (like me) being punished, penalized, and discriminated against. If you want the beach to go to the dogs, why just South Cocoa Beach? Let the entire community enjoy the fun and open the entire beach.

    • JBrady April 27, 2018

      Read the ordinance…. It will alleviate your concerns.

      • JSC April 27, 2018

        This would be a trial to opening up the entire beach to dogs, per the dog ppl

    • Renee Hurley April 29, 2018

      First, you can’t call it discrimination as you are not a protected group just as us dog owners thought we were being discriminated against. It is a stereotype. And initially, back when this initiative started we wanted all beaches dog-friendly but a compromise needed to be made so the commissioners came up with S4th through S16th and S Lori Wilson Park, on leash of course and before 10am and after 6pm. Very few people on the larger beach area of S4th through S16th. I have been to many dog beaches in Florida and I have never seen any dog poop left behind. I grew up in Europe and we took are dog everywhere including restaurants. I just came back from Ft Myers beach and Sanibel Island and those beaches are on-leash dog friendly and I didn’t see any poop. And those beaches are more crowded then the areas being discussed here.

  8. lawrence j. scalzo April 27, 2018

    no way dogs on cocoa beach with sand covered poop, whip.hookwors, urine all over, bites, tourists and local people have a right to not be chesed or bit by dogs when everyone and many kids running around, keep dogs in dog parks in dirt /grasss where absorbtion better for urine, , many forigenrs coming in bringing dogs , let us enjoy the beach without dogs, , will not be enforced too little man power , cops too busy , bad idea, i went to town hall meeting 99% agreed with me, and keep building hight low too , these whimpy politicians espec. Martinez want there own dog fun but they are minority, if anything let this be a vote on the ballot for 2018 nominations and during presidential one too , Go president trump . i am alocal native and want this a family fun beach , I like dogs but not on the beach.

    • Renee Hurley April 29, 2018

      99% of what or who agrees with you?

  9. Cb April 27, 2018

    We have a no dog policy right now and there are dogs on the beach every weekend. Have never seen enforcement. I love my dog but I have seen too many dogs down at the beach with irresponsible owners it is too hot and they have no water for them and they have little shade. do them a favor and leave them home. Sand is too hot for their feet and so is the pavement. That being said if the ordinance is passed who is to say that coming to the beach with the dog outside the hours isn’t still going to happen?

    • Renee Hurley April 29, 2018

      Ordinance is for before 10am and after 6pm.

  10. c.grassa April 27, 2018

    No, to dogs on the beach. The dog owners claim they pick up after their dogs, many do and just as many don’t. Poop can be seen left on the grass, imagine how easy to kick sand over the pile of poop. Having a time frame when dogs can be on the beach doesn’t stop the problem of poop and pee. Florida beaches are visited year round. There is no down time like up north when its cold and the beaches are less visited and can rejuvinate. Beautiful, clean, florida beaches are one of the reasons people vacation here. Don’t ruin one of the most beautiful assests of Florida.

    • Renee Hurley April 29, 2018

      And there are at least 31 dog-friendly beaches here in Florida. Just visited Ft Myers beach and Sanibel Island and they are dog-friendly on-leash all day long. Didn’t see one pile of poop anywhere. Think of it as losing tourist dollars as many families travel with the family pet, they will opt for dog-friendly over Brevard’s non dog-friendly.

  11. c.grassa April 27, 2018

    And in regard to self-policing dog owners: they are the rudest. I have been cursed at, and told to mind my own business when mentioning to dog owners that havent picked up, and I am a dog owner!

    • JSC April 27, 2018

      Please email the commission your concerns. Its very important.

  12. JSC April 27, 2018

    Dogs make great pets but they are just that, a pet. They should be enjoyed in the owners personal space at home. The public shouldnt be force to tolerate their pets while trying to relax on the beach. People have real fear and serious allergies to these pets. Dogs carry 132 different bacteria in their feces that remain where ever they deposit. Even if the owner picks up the poop, the bacteria remains in the sand to incubate. Hook worms and ring worm would thrive on the beach and would spread to ppl through bare feet. Many say their dogs do their business on the dunes before their walk. Dog poop and urine have similar properties as fertilizer. What we dont need is to be addressing an issue in 20 yrs like we are currently facing with the lagoon. There are no positives to the general public and no benefits to those who live between 4th St and 16th. That is one-third of our residential beachfront. Do we really want to make it a giant doggie box? And what about the sea turtles?

    • Renee Hurley April 29, 2018

      Just visited Ft Myers beach and Sanibel Island, Sanibel is a wildlife sanctuary. Both are dog-friendly all day every day. Oh, and they have nesting sea turtles. I do believe if it were a real issue then these beaches wouldn’t be dog-friendly any longer. There are at least 31 dog-friendly beaches in Florida and all these beaches are home to nesting sea turtles. If it were a real issue do you think these beaches would still be dog-friendly? Oh, and I didn’t see any dog poop on these beaches. These beaches are much more crowded then the larger area that is being requested in the ordinance.

  13. Apollo Corapi April 27, 2018

    I completely disagree. Dogs should not be allowed on the beach at any time that humans are there. Who is going to pick up the feces? It is bad enough that there is so much trash left by the visitors to the beach, do we now have dodge the feces. No No No

  14. Ed April 27, 2018

    You already have the feral cats, raccoons,possums,and birds leaving their waste on the beach. None of them are vaccinated, but the dogs are, but they are a problem?? Let’s do the one year trial, if it doesn’t work so be it.

  15. Dr. Jeannie Langan Heins April 27, 2018

    It makes me sick to think of dogs on Cocoa Beach. I own beach front property, purchased on a beach where dogs were supposedly outlawed. I do not want my beach walks ruined by dogs, on or off leashes. Don’t want to have to worry about dogs off leash — I’ve seen many more off than on. Don’t want dogs urinating & deficating where I walk barefoot.
    This issue shouldn’t even be on the table. I’ve heard City Commissioners say half the people feel one way, and half, the other. What half are you representing? Why aren’t you representing all the people? Half isn’t even close to enough to make a difference in a democratic decision.
    I’m betting way more than half don’t want dogs on the beach. Test that by putting it on the ballot.

  16. Bruce April 28, 2018

    I average going down and walking on Cocoa beach at least four times a week and I can tell you from experience people don’t clean up after their dogs. Why do I say this, because over the years people have been sneaking them on the beach in the mornings and evenings and do any of them have clean up bags with them? NO!! I have lost count how many times I got told to F off or got the finger for telling people to clean up their mess. Look people are naturally lazy period!!! Just look at all the trash left on the beach everyday even when there is a garbage can 3 feet away!!! “Just remember if this is passed you get good and bad dogs together you can’t discriminate” BAD BAD BAD IDEA!!!!

    • Renee Hurley April 29, 2018

      Um, I go to the beach every day two or three times a day and I have seen people pick up their dog poop. just went to Ft Myers Beach and Sanibel Island, both dog-friendly and didn’t see one pile of dog poop during my visit. And those beaches are far more crowded then the area being proposed here.

  17. Bruce April 28, 2018

    Ok, look people don’t even pick up their trash 2 feet from the garbage cans, how can you expect them to clean up after their dogs!!!!! Just remember if this passes you will get good and bad dogs together, no discriminating!!!

    As the song goes “GOD IS GREAT, BEER IS GOOD, AND PEOPLE ARE LAZY” ok maybe it’s “PEOPLE ARE CRAZY” but you get my point….


    Sent from my iPad

  18. Tim Prichard April 28, 2018

    Absolutely no to dogs on the beach. Instead of trying to change laws or ordinances that offer some protection to our fragile environment, perhaps time would be much better spent figuring ways to improve it. Case in point our Banana River Lagoon is in a death spiral. I am very proud of our City management’s current recognition and attention thus far but it falls way short of what can be done.

  19. PETER N VALENZUELA April 28, 2018

    I ask for your support of the ordinance allowing dogs on the beach. Most dog owners will treat the beach responsibly and I, for one, would gladly pick up after anyone that was inconsiderate.

  20. Nancy Doherty, Yorkie Friends Rescue Inc. April 28, 2018

    I am a dog advocate and I would hope that you would not allow dogs running free on our beach. I love dogs, but it is too hot for them,they breathe thru their paws ! All dogs should be kept on a leash, how would you ever know which ones were vaccinated and which ones were not. Dangerous idea for children and families coming here to have dogs charging at them even if they are friendly! People will not pick up after them I have seen it time and time again. If any of you ever walk these beaches you will see it.
    Who is going to patrol this?? VERY BAD IDEA!

    • Renee Hurley April 29, 2018

      The oridnance is for before 10am and after 6pm when most beach goers are gone. We are asking for leashed. I just came back from Ft Myers Beach and Sanibel Island and they are both dog-friendly on-leash all day all the time. I didn’t see one pile of dog poop or experience any issue.

  21. Toni Giovino April 29, 2018

    NO No No dogs on the beach. They are dogs not people and should be home on a leash. The beaches are full of trash as it is. There are many dog owners that are not responsible and will not pick up after them. I see this in my own front yard owners letting thier dogs relieve themselves. I have done beach clean ups and sea turtle strandings the beach is no place for animals except the ones that live in the ocean!!

    • Renee Hurley April 29, 2018

      There are at least 31 dog-friendly beaches here in Florida and apparently there isn’t the issues that are being brought by those that are against it here, as these beaches have been open for years. And some for decades.

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