UPDATE: Dogs on the Beach

In 2015, there was a proposal to allow dogs on leashes there from sunrise to 10 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to sunset on a 1.2-mile stretch of beach south of Cocoa Beach and north of Patrick Air Force Base, for a six-month trial period

Commissioners voted 3-2 against the plan April 2015.

Two years later, the argument is back on the table. Cocoa Beach City Commissioner Ed Martinez proposes to designate a dog beach for people who register their pets at City Hall.

On Thursday March 16, a city commission discussion on the topic took place at 7pm.

Mayor Ben Malik heard comments from residents – there were over 20 supporters and opponents – the mayor also stated he read through over 100 emails on the subject and apologized for not responding to each one.

“I’ve probably got 100 emails, and I apologize I just didn’t get back to everybody. It’s roughly 50-50. I think we have to do a little more due diligence before I’m ready to make a decision,” said Mayor Ben Malik.

Police Chief Scott Rosenfeld raised some valid concerns:

“We may have to increase the beach ranger staffing, adjust their hours. We have eight now. How can we overlap their shifts to enforce this?” Rosenfeld asked commissioners.

“I can tell you now, our response to an animal on the beach is going to be similar to our response to fireworks on the Fourth of July: We’ll get there when we get there,” Rosenfeld said.

The dog beach debate lasted nearly 1.5 hours and will continue to be researched and considered by city officials.

14 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Connie White March 30, 2017

    No dogs on the beach!! People will not pick up after their pets where they live so they will definitely not pick up after their dogs on the beach!!4

  2. Ken March 30, 2017

    I do when I drive to Melbourne Beach where it is allowed as do all the others.

  3. Marilyn March 30, 2017

    People cannot police theirselves. There will be NO consequences for violations, please! There are dogs on the beach now, don’t condone it further.

  4. suzie h March 30, 2017

    Please consider allowing leashed dogs on the beach during limited early morning and evening hours on weekdays only. If a poop bag station is available people will pick up after their dogs.

  5. Milton Marrone March 30, 2017

    I am strongly against allowing dogs on the beach. People are not obeying the law now as it is. Dogs don’t stay on leashes. Are you going to come and pick up the poop?

  6. kelley March 30, 2017

    Dog POOP is the potential problem, not the dogs. People leave trash, cigarettes, (I’ve even found used condoms !) on the beach but we continue to allow people. Punish the problem owners NOT all of us who bring poop bags and clean up after not only our dogs, but pick up trash every day on OUR BEACHES! Never limit the freedom of the consciencious many because of the problem few.

  7. John March 30, 2017

    I live on 16th Street South and let me tell you there a lots of unleashed dogs all day long. Dogs do not have the same rights as their human owners.

  8. Nan March 30, 2017

    How is a visitor supposed to know that the dogs “allowed” on the beach have to be registered at City Hall? If I am visiting and see dogs on the beach I am going to assume I can let my dog run on the beach, too…and I won’t be happy if I am ticketed for what it looks like everyone else is doing.

  9. Cathy March 30, 2017

    Please allow leased dogs on the beach anytime and install signs with rules and make poop bags and trash containers available for cleanup. It will be awesome to be able to bring our dog somewhere with us. There are limited dog parks in the area as it is.

  10. Karen March 30, 2017

    I am against dogs on the beach,. Even with residents paying for a tag, you will have dogs from Orlando to Titisville bringing their dogs without a tag.
    There is a leash law in the state of Florida. People think that law excludes beaches we will have dogs unleashed chafing frizbees and balls.
    We all know the poop will be left by some and the worse would be if a human gets bit or mauled. I’ve heard this too many times, ” he /she has never bit anyone before’.

  11. Chris Hamilton March 30, 2017

    I’m dead set against allowing dogs on the beach. They are already there and shouldn’t be. I see people letting them run wild and leaving dog excretion for others to walk in. The dog park is the place for animals.

  12. Charlie Donovan March 31, 2017

    I don’t own a dog, but I think we should them on the beach. I live on the beach and see dogs often. Why make dog owners drive so far south.

  13. Robert March 31, 2017

    Too many restriction all over Florida, concentrate on the series crimes and let people have some fun!

  14. C April 5, 2017

    Contact flagler County and St Augustine with all pet allowance concerns their beaches are pet friendly there are beach restrictions around the Flagler Pier area Fl Lauderdale has beaches allowing only permitted dogs and set hours – see how these other counties and municipalities are handling it

    Dogs don’t belong in a dog park case closed, we all pay taxes and access to beaches and parks should not be so heavily restrictive – I used to donate my time ( not mandated) picking up trash around cocoa beach pier, here I was out at sunrise very few people on the beach my girl goes everywhere with me and I had to leave her home to pickup after those that left trash etc even though there are cans and dumpsters at every beach access point – maybe we just shouldn’t allow any people on the beach because they leave trash butts glass etc.

    My last day volunteering – I picked up 11 diapers walking between pier and park where 520 ends, To be honest we filled a lot of bags on Monday morning after the weekend I couldn’t allow myself to judge otherwise I would incur a piss poor atttitude over the months I did this each week that last day I just couldn’t continue anymore it was simply heart breaking

    Leash laws are leash laws regardless of on or off the beach it’s not just that a dog has to be on a leash there is a recall component to it unless otherwise stated

    Why not try a pilot program where a few dogs and handler teams are registered they sign a commitment and are willing to leave the beaches better than when they got there by picking up a bit of trash while walking

    There can be an honor log of dates and times and area of beach along with what was picked up – with all the smart phone a pic is pretty easy way to validate – sure sure there may be those that look for a way around the system, yet for those that embrace such a system everyone could be better off

    And the beaches and floating debris etc would be reduced
    how many raccoons cats birds crabs fish etc poop in the water or on the beaches -the idea of a beach as pristine is ideological and simply not true

    The park in Cocoa Village allows dogs.. Sure I see a poop left behind occasionally it’s not the norm talk to them, years ago the park in Titusville had a lot of poop, no idea why

    I went to a park in Alabama where the ducks and swans had poops bigger than my pups all over the park, they didn’t seem to ban the wildlife

    This conversation while I appreciate addressing non dog owners concerns, there doesn’t seem to be any willingness to workout a resolution allowing for sharing access only a very loud no and baring any further discussion .

    Every citizen in the county and the state should have free access to the beaches

    Btw the State Parks allow dogs talk to them they do observe a few restrictions

    Thank you for your time and attention, I don’t think this will change anyone’s mind, though maybe it will allow for a more open conversation

Leave your comment