Calls to expand dog access to Brevard beaches

- Renee Hurley's favorite activity is walking the beach. She does it twice a day, but she wishes should could bring along her dog.   "He's five months old, and I love him to death, and he loves the beach and the water," she says.

So much so, that she's organizing a signature drive to make all of Brevard County beaches dog friendly before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m.  Currently, Sandy Paws at Canova Beach is the only dog-friendly beach in the county, but dog owners are restricted to the nine-acre park.

"I'm hoping to open it up bigger than just Sandy Paws. I don't know if you've seen it, but it's a very small beach," Hurley says.  "Yes, there's going to be issues; you deal with them as you come. Hopefully, you have owners like me that will correct those in the wrong."

Last year, a similar county dog beach proposal was brought forward for the beach, between south Cocoa Beach and Patrick Air Force Base, but it was voted down, because of a lack of available parking. The county is also concerned with the cost to enforce dog beach specific rules: like leash requirements and waste pickup.

Hurley says she would support paying a fee for a special county dog tag to help pay for enforcing dog walking rules on county beaches.  "If it be more than the $10 tag that we have to have yearly, so be it, to offset having beach patrol for the county to approve this."

Hurley says she's hoping to reach 5,000 signatures of support. If she does, she plans on submitting her proposal to her local county commissioner.
 

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