Ocean City pol abandons dogs on the beach proposal after public raises stink

    Creative Commons image.

    Creative Commons image.

    An Ocean City councilman who recently floated a proposal to permit dogs on municipal beaches during the summer will no longer pursue the idea, according to a published report. 

    Ocean City Councilman Keith Hartzell tells OCNJ Daily that he is withdrawing the proposal “because it’s generating a lot of controversy.”

    Hartzell previously said he felt that dog friendly beaches could attract more tourists to the community, dubbed by Coastal Living Magazine earlier this year as the “best beach town” in the United States.

    He informally proposed a “dogs at dusk” regulation that would permit canine access between 6 and 9 p.m. The municipality currently prohibits dogs on the beach all year round.

    Anyone seeking to bring dogs to the beach would need to purchase a $10 beach badge in order to defray the costs of signs displaying rules for canine patrons and plastic bag dispensers.

    According to the OCNJ Daily report, Hartzell said that opponents were “vehement” in their concerns about dog owners not picking up after their pets. 

    In a recent Jersey Shore Hurricane News posting on the topic, the overwhelming majority of commenters expressed similar concerns about dog waste. 

    “Hell no,” wrote Kathryn Huemmer Sabatini. “I live in OC and love being able to take my dog for walks on the beach….IN THE OFF SEASON! And yet it is still surprising and appalling to find piles of poop left behind. Can’t imagine how bad it will be year round. Heck, people can’t even clean up after themselves when they’re here!”

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal