Dogs could soon be allowed on Cocoa Beach

The City of Cocoa Beach could officially go to the dogs.  The beachside community is about to wrap up a trial run for a dog beach.  

Commissioners are voting Thursday night whether to make the dog beach permanent or whether to pull the privilege.

“The data just doesn’t lie. It’s been a great plan, it’s worked out. It’s good for the community, it’s also good for morale,” said Commissioner Ed Martinez.  

The commissioner is so passionate about bringing his pooch to the beach, part of his campaign promise was to get a dog beach ordinance.  Since July 15, Cocoa Beach has been giving a dog beach a try.  

“I can’t go anywhere without anyone saying thank you thank you thank you, it’s been 40 years since I’ve been able to walk my dog on the beach,” said Commissioner Martinez.  

Newman, a Chocolate Lab, was one of the four legged guys hanging out with his human on Cocoa Beach Thursday morning.

“We’ve liked it. We bring him out here at night, sometimes early in the morning. It’s a good way to get out, get some exercise, walk along the beach. We enjoy it,” said Matt Luthi, who lives in Cocoa Beach.

There are rules for the pets and their people.  Dogs are only allowed between 4th and 16th Streets. They’re allowed on the beach from 6-10 in the morning and from 5 to 7 at night.  During daylight saving time, it’s extended to 9 p.m..  

Leashes are a must and waste has to be bagged and thrown away properly.  According to a memo from the Cocoa Beach Police Chief to city commissioners, they’ve only had 179 violations total.  That’s down 18 from this same time period the year before when there was not a dog beach.  Just two of the violations are for owners who did not pick up dog waste.  

Luthi hopes city leaders vote in favor of keeping the dog beach so he and Newman can continue enjoying their favorite place together.  

“I think it’s just very good for the animals and the people of cocoa beach to have a place to walk their dogs and it’s absolutely beautiful. I think it would be good for tourism too,” said Luthi.

All of the beach goers who spoke to The News Station said they felt comfortable having dogs on the beach, as long as their owners follow the rules.