DOGS: Beach policy is sensible

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I am writing in support of North Tyneside Council and its dog policy.

I feel that it has made sound decisions and has considered both dog owners and members of the public who prefer not to be near dogs.

By having dog free zones on Whitley Bay beach and Longsands, it gives people a choice. Banning dogs on King Edwards Bay and Cullercoats Bay in the summer is sensible as the areas are small and can become crowded.

The new rules about dogs on leads in areas such as busy sections of parks and on promenades also make sense as even the nicest dogs can become over-enthusiastic.

With the park runs, triathlon, tough mudder, kite festival, food festivals, music events, fairground and much more, it is a real pleasure to see everyone using the beaches and benefitting from our beautiful coastline.

It is shameful, therefore, that some people do not clear up after themselves and, unfortunately, some irresponsible dog owners fall in this category.

However, as a local dog owner, I find it upsetting and frustrating that some people can only see the negative side of dog ownership.

Our dog is walked on the beach about 1,000 times a year, every day and in all weather. There are many people like us. This activity, far from causing a public nuisance, provides exercise, builds friendships and creates a sense of belonging and community.

For some people who live alone it is an important part of their life. It is increasingly well documented that pet ownership is beneficial to people of all ages.

For a large part of the year, and in the early mornings, dog owners are frequently the only beach users.

The restrictions that North Tyneside Council has put in place are reasonable. Further restrictions would be draconian and mean-spirited.

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