DOGS: People must come first

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I am writing with regard to the letter from Steven Coates (News Guardian, January 5), who seems to have a misconstrued view of a gentleman who decides to keep himself fit by running on the beach, which is a right of any person.

I cannot understand the opinion of winter months being ‘designated time’ to the hundreds of dogs who run free on the beach.

There is no ‘designated time’ for people’s pets, and people should always come first.

I am sorry to say that beaches, and parks in the coastal areas in North Tyneside, are being ruined by the sheer number of dogs.

They should not take priority at any time of the year over people wishing to keep fit, including walkers, runners, football and rugby teams, school visits and people like myself, who take young children there just to have a run around without being pestered by other people’s pets.

It just doesn’t make sense to have dogs and children running around in the same space together. I hope there isn’t an incident, which will then make North Tyneside Council change its policy towards the dog rules on the beach.

The problem lies with North Tyneside Council as it seems afraid to make decisions at the risk of upsetting dog owners, who are, after all, just 20 per cent of the population. The other 80 per cent of people who do not own a dog for a reason mainly suffer in silence.

Dogs are constantly imposed on beach users by people of the opinion of Mr Coates, who no doubt regards his dog as his best friend and part of the family.

The beaches of North Tyneside should be dog-free all year round, not just the summer months, and people should be encouraging their children to use them to keep them healthy and avoid obesity.

An alternative would be to let dog owners have the entire north end of Whitley Bay beach so they can enjoy each other’s company and let the rest of us – the 80 per cent majority – enjoy the tranquillity of our beaches in peace, without the nuisance of dogs.

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