I am not in favor of pets on the beach. My husband and I live across the street from the Manatee Public Beach. Often we walk along the beach and carry trash bags to do our part in keeping the beaches clean and beautiful.
On our walks we have encountered such items as empty cans and bottles, broken toys, dirty towels, worn-out beach mats, broken beach chairs, dirty diapers, empty bottles of sunscreen, clothing — need I say more? These items are left by fun-loving families, teens, college students and others who want to enjoy the beach for the day.
As a retired teacher, I know that since the 1970s and ’80s at least, schools have taught how important it is to reduce, reuse and recycle as well as to dispose of trash properly. The message has not gotten through to a large segment of our population.
Some people seem to be perfectly content to leave their trash behind and depend on the beach sweep to clean up the mess — in spite of the fact that proper garbage containers are just a few feet away.
I am an animal lover through and through, but I am not in favor of pets on the beach. What makes anyone imagine that only responsible pet owners will use the beach? Even if only a few people fail to clean up after their pets, the unlucky person who steps in it will pay the price.
And what about friendly pets who beg food from others? Or scare little ones who are not used to animals? What about flies that are attracted to pet waste? What about fights between dogs that are less social? Think about it.