Los Angeles County recently had a victory for the third of us who are dog owners, formalizing a long-used dog beach as such. The city council had approved a year-long pilot program but are thinking of shutting it down early because, according to DailyBreeze.com, response to the program “appears to be beyond what is appropriate and sustainable for the site, especially given the apparent pent-up demand for this type of facility in the greater Los Angeles area” (emphasis added).
The article continues: “Rangers reported up to 60 people and 35 dogs on the beach in one weekend alone. On average, some 15 people and 15 dogs visit the beach on weekdays. But once the weather warms up, officials believe larger crowds will descend on the 5-acre area. Parking and enforcement issues seem to be the major concerns.”
While it is understandable to be concerned about overuse, how can officials ignore the fact that there is so much “pent-up demand for this type of facility in the greater Los Angeles area”? It seems to us that the clear solution here would be to start by identifying the problem (“pent-up demand”) and defining a solution such as designating a portion of beaches, some little used, along the coast of Los Angeles County as dog beaches, thus speaking to the demand without overtaxing just one small area.
Dogs have been with us for some 10,000 years, and they’re not going anywhere. In urban overcrowding, it’s impossible for dogs to be happy and healthy without places to run around and be dogs off-leash. The third of us who own dogs want access to our natural assets as well and are more than willing to be good neighbors and caretakers of what’s rightfully ours: the beach, in controlled and designated areas.
Other coverage of this issue can be found at LAist.com and InsideSoCal.com (headline: “Too popular? Seems Rancho Palos Verdes Dog Beach is a victim of its own success”). We hope that there are some local officials who are brave enough to see that this is but a small indication of a much-wanted resource for their citizenry.
To consider the premature rescinding of the pilot program, there is a Rancho Palos Verdes City Council meeting on Tuesday, April 3, at 7:00 p.m. at Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Blvd., Rancho Palos Verdes.