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    Posted September 8, 2013 by
    gailpowell
    Location
    San Diego, California
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    OFF LEASH DOGS DESTROY BEAUTIFUL BEACH AMBIENCE

     

    A recent story on Santa Cruz (CA.) Patch.com described my problem perfectly:

     

    "There's nothing like a quiet walk on the beach to settle nerves jangled by the daily commute, office politics, disturbing news of far-off political intrigue. The rhythmic swoosh of the waves, the cries of seagulls, the gentle ocean breezes.

     

    But wait. What's that smell? Eeeeeew!

     

    All too often, idyllic walks along our local beaches are disrupted by loud barking, the threatening rush of bright teeth & furry bodies, the unexpected presence of smelly dog droppings underfoot. Our beaches have become playgrounds & toilets for unleashed dogs, turning a treasure for all into an exclusive domain for the few."

     

    I have been recreating along the shores of San Diego Bay since I was a child. I cherish my time along the beautiful Bay waters. As a college student, I would chug my text books down & study for hours--enjoying the cooling beach breezes and lack of looky-loo's who hit on lounging ladies. When my own children were young, they grew up, played & swam along the shores of what is commonly known as "Mother's Beach."

     

    The lack of big waves, family-friendly atmosphere and opportunity for kids to play safely was always a big draw for parents who did not care for the wild and crazy ocean beach scene.

     

    But little-by-little, I noticed that the formerly pristine patch of beach was sadly turning into an off-leash dog park. The city & county of San Diego has several near-by open spaces for dogs to enjoy: Dusty Rhodes Park &  Dog Beach in Ocean Beach are two places canines can run unrestrained.

     

    Probably certain elites that own million dollar homes along the shoreline overlooking Shelter Island emboldened many of the first of a long line of dog scofflaws. Seeing rich people open their gates & let their Fidos run free on the beach made some lesser folks feel, they too, can take their scratching, mangy pups down & let them roam. Not every wealthy person with a dog along the shore is guilty of setting this bad example and getting visitors to start thinking they can also run their dog on the Bay.

     

    The only problem here: COUNTY LAWS that state that ALL DOGS MUST BE ON A LEASH & PICK UP AFTER YOUR DOGS,. There are signs posted all along the area that state this! And unless you cannot read, then unhooking your dog and leaving it's bowel movements behind is not an excuse! Taunting long time beach-goers and abusing them is also against the law. The last time I checked, bullying a handcapped person IS A HATE CRIME!

     

    You might ask: How come the Port District DOES NOT DO A BETTER JOB of POLICING the desirable beach area and making sure DOGS ARE ON LEASHES & THAT PEOPLE ARE NOT DRINKING & SMOKING on PORT PROPERTY? (also against City Law.) THAT IS A GOOD QUESTION!

     

    As the years passed & the dog problem became a real crisis, I would sometimes ask the worst offenders to PLEASE PUT THEIR DOGS on a LEASH. These were pets that ran amuck--defecated and urinated on people's towels and electronics. The dogs terrorized small children and yacht club students from nearby Southwestern Yacht Club,, who learn how to sail every summer along the shoreline area. Inattentive owners allow the unleashed dogs to enter into the yards of mansions that spend thousands to maintain fancy green lawns and well-tended flower gardens. I have watched as the canines tear it up and dig in the grassy areas. One lady who lives along there and agrees with me about solving the dog problem told me that she has had her house door open on hot days and loose dogs RUN INTO HER MILLION DOLLAR HOME ALL THE TIME.

     

    Not only do the dogs cause problems but certain people have also discovered HOW TO DRINK & get DRUNK along the beach & not get busted. They bring their dogs and unhook them and pull out a beer bottle or can and hide it in a bag or cooler holder. These drunks are so busy getting high. they don't watch their dogs and all hell has broken loose. A VERY WEALTHY man who lives part-time along the beach owns a pit-bull. Last summer, his step-daughters ran that pit bull loose all over the beach. Many times it would break out of their yard and scare the heck out of people. One afternoon last year, I was reading and the tide brought up a dead sea gull near me. The pit bull ran out of the house & came right next to me, growling, baring it's teeth & trapping me--alone on the beach. I was afraid to even try to reach for my cell phone & call for help.

     

    Finally the wife came out & I let her have it.  This same pitbull, which guards this lavish residence, also attacked and injured a Huskie dog being walked along on a leash.

     

    A few years back, a friendly golden retriever that lived nearby came on the beach and attacked and grabbed a mother duck (ducks live and have babies under the Yacht Club Pier) and was strangling her. That's ANOTHER GOOD REASON to maintain control over these pets: they will often chase, catch, terrify, injure & kill shorebirds--SOME OF WHOM ARE CONSIDERED ENDANGERED. I was so aghast at what I saw that retriever doing that I chased it and forced it to open it's mouth to free the poor mother duck. She got away THAT TIME.

     

    Now I am known as "the lady that hates dogs," which is not the case at all. I love all kinds of animals and have had many dogs as pets over the years. BUT, i would NEVER take my dog down to a beach and let them RUIN OTHER PEOPLE'S RELAXING DAY. By my asking people to LEASH THEIR DOGS, I have been called names, bullied, harassed, spit upon & had my car defaced.

     

    This past summer alone, people who come down and unhook their black Labs have made it a habit to damage my automobile whenever they see me. In May,. a crazy man who talks to himself had 3 big black dogs running around. I asked him to leash them as they would jump up on people. He said "Oh, you're that bitch." Later when i returned to my car to leave, he had thrown coffee all over it. A few weeks later: same thing. A girl comes along with a black Lab. I ask her to obey the law and leash the dog. She calls me a "whale" and despite the handicapped placard hanging on my car, she squirts sunscreen all over my car windows. A few weeks later, same thing again. A man in a big white van has got his dogs running all over the place. I ask him to leash them & he uses surf wax to leave a message on my driver's side window: It said "GO HOME."

     

    Thankfully, I have a wonderful friend named Tanya who now works in Public relations with the Port District. She steered me in the right direction on who to call for help. I emailed the Harbor Police for assistance. John Forsythe, an Airport/Patrol Lieutenant for the San Diego Harbor Police Department . He said he understood my dilemma and reassured me that the Port Police cared about the problem. Lt. Forsythe forwarded a request to Lieutenant James Jordan, who "submitted a work request through the Port's General Services Department for new (dog leash) signs regarding the Kellogg Beach." The new signs now line the area along the beach access points & they have helped somewhat but the hardcore leash-law breakers still feel free to do as they please. I do not go looking for trouble, but if I don't like a situation, I will try and do something about it.

     

    Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, was a beautiful sunny weekend, and the beach was full of little children & families enjoying the area. Who was there, but a weekend warrior with his surfboard, black Lab and rude girlfriend who called me "an old lady." They were insulting me & telling other people with dogs running loose to ignore me because I '"was crazy." They insisted that because "they have been coming down to the beach for years", that they could do whatever it is they wanted..

     

    I called the Harbor Police & made a report asking for an officer to come down and "educate" the pet owners at the foot of Perry Street in Point Loma. THE OFFICERS NEVER CAME. I called back & the Harbor Police employee said they already came out. I said that I was sitting right there & NO ONE had arrived from the Police Dept. About the time that I was trying to get a straight answer from the Harbor Police, I was able to watch my car carefully,  to make sure the girlfriend  didn't throw anything or write on it, although she made sure to flip me off.

     

    I suppose now the game is to say that the Harbor Police is "sending someone" but then who knows? On the phone the second time, I asked for a supervisor and spoke with a Cadet who told me the officers had gone to another part of the beach. GAMES from the very people who are sworn to help ENCOURAGE LAW-ABIDING BEHAVIOR.

     

    SOUND-OFF? STOP THE DOGS FROM WRECKING a beach where they do not belong (except on a leash) is all I ask! SAVE OUR BEACHES! JUST SAY NO TO SELF-ENTITLED LAW BREAKERS who ruin the day for people that are only looking for a little peace along our city beaches!

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