Cocoa Beach considers dogs on beach

There were lots of concerned Cocoa Beach residents at Thursday night’s City Commission meeting, who were worried that their beaches may be going to the dogs. Cocoa Beach commissioners got an earful from residents at tonight's meeting.

“Who's going to pay for me running to get away from the dog chasing me, and I fall and break a hip?” asked one resident who addressed the commission.

A proposed city ordinance would allow dogs on part of the city's Ocean Beach, from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.  It would be in-effect for a year so city officials could evaluate it. Dogs would have to be on a leash, and owners would have to clean up after them. The ordinance was put forward by Commissioner Ed Martinez.

“I have three dogs at home, so I'm passionate about it,” Martinez said.  "We'd like to have the same opportunities that other communities have. Just put them on a leash, we're law-abiding citizens, we'd like to have that opportunity.”

Residents at the meeting said they're worried about the threat to sea turtles nesting on the beaches, and also the waste dogs leave behind.

“Let this be a family beach,” Dr. Lawrence Scalzo appealed to commissioners. “Tourists come in here, let them enjoy the beach, without being harassed by dogs.”

Commissioners ended up voting to change parts of the ordinance and discuss it again at their next meeting on May 3.