August 12, 2010

Should Racine have a dog beach?

Here's one from the rumor mill ... Racine officials may be considering a dog beach.

No one is saying much publicly on the topic - unless it's to remind people that dogs are not allowed on North or Zoo beaches - but it's an idea that some officials privately support. One even shared they've taken their dog down to one of the city's lesser-used beaches.

There's two early candidates for dog beach. One is Samuel Myers Beach where the Dragon Boat races are held every year. Never much of a human swimming beach, it could be a candidate for canines. There's certainly enough parking to support people bringing their dogs.

Another possibility is tiny Carrie-Hogel Park at the end of Main Street on the city's south side near 17th Street. It's a hidden gem of a park with a small beach that may be a good fit for dogs. Hard to say if there would be enough parking on crowded days, and it could draw a lot of attention to a neighborhood that's fairly quiet.

Water at both beaches is being tested. Reports on both are due back later this year.

Dogs are prohibited from North and Zoo beaches, in part, because of the poop issue. The city works hard to keep the beaches - and its neighboring water - clean. Poop can wash into the water and raise the level of unhealthy toxins. Plus, it's kinda gross.

No idea on what kind of rules would be enforced at a Racine dog beach, but other cities have worked them out. A big issue appears to be whether animals can be let off their leash to swim. Some cities require leashes at all times, while others require leashes only when a dog isn't swimming.

Should Racine have a dog beach? Post comments below.

And, just for fun ...

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