Do not close the beach to dogs

Ed, This letter is in response to the article “Dog Owners in the Poop” in last week’s local media. I do find it strange that apparently all the complaints that were received about dogs on the dog-free beaches were in our “highest tourist season”. I ask that everyone do their maths on that, regarding how many more dogs were on the beaches, and I’m sure it was not just the locals. In the holiday season I for one do not take my dog down to the beach because of the amount of people down there in the holidays. But during the year we do go south on Pippi beach for walks, when basically it is only the local folk and their best friends walking and enjoying the beach for some exercise. I agree that people need to be responsible and pick up after their dogs poop. I purchase my own environment friendly dog pick up bags, but once again dog owners are punished by Council by not providing bags because of “continual malicious damage” to the dispenser. Could this also be by some one that doesn’t want dogs on the beach? But in saying that, on occasions out of the high season I have come across some folk that don’t like dogs running up to them. Then I think, how many other beaches are in Yamba that are not dog friendly, so why can’t they walk north on Pippi beach instead of south or go to the other beaches if they don’t like dogs? South on Pippi beach is about the only dog friendly beach around and it is loved by locals and visitors who own dogs that come here because they can walk their dogs on a beach. Lets face it, it’s them who are spending their money in town, which is wonderful for the businesses. But don’t just blame the locals, and perhaps if Council could spend some of our “rates money” and put up serious enforcement signs advising the fines which can be applied if the owners don’t pick up perhaps that could help; especially if Council can’t do bag dispensers. Just a thought……. perhaps our Council could make the dog bags available free to registered dog owners, like Port Macquarie’s Council supplies the residents with their free green bags. Not like us who have to pay and when they first came in I can remember our Council at the time didn’t endorse those bags, but they have now changed their minds. But don’t get me started on our Council! But please do not close the beach to dogs. That was one of the reasons I chose Yamba after leaving my previous residential property on the coast in Victoria, because dogs got blamed for everything. I think everyone needs to think twice about that suggestion by an “anonymous non dog lover”. Lee-Anne Jones, Yamba