Enforcing Newport Beach's Leash Law

December 08, 1985

Newport Beach has an ordinance against dogs on the beach without a leash--but it is either not very well understood or not very well patrolled. The ordinance states that from June 15 to Sept. 15, dogs can't do a thing on the beach or sidewalks; they are not even allowed on the beach if they are on a leash. From Sept. 15 to June 15, dogs will be allowed on the beach from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. if they are on a leash.

Of course, all of these good leashed dogs wouldn't dare make a mess on the beach, where people lay on their towels. I have witnessed people tippy-toeing across the sand to keep from stepping on the things that dogs do.

Now dogs are not supposed to do these things, especially when their owners have a firm grip on their leash (if they are on a leash). Most dog owners leave the mess for property owners or beach maintenance people to clean up.

Over the past 20 years (especially within the last 10), I have developed a reputation for being called a "deputy dog." Ask anyone in the area where Deputy Dog lives and they'll tell you. I divide my time between my place of residence in Newport Beach and in Anaheim, spending the entire summer in Newport Beach.

I call the police several times a year because of the dogs doing their thing on the beach, with their owners standing by watching. And I'm not speaking of visitors who don't know the ordinance. I have grown frustrated. Calling the police to complain doesn't get anywhere. They are either too busy or transfer the responsibility for enforcement (of the ordinance) to me, asking me to arrest the dog and hold it until they get there.

A person of authority with the Orange County Health Department has told us that dog deposits on the beach, where people lie, can cause many diseases (hepatitis being one of them).

I have a dog, and I am not a dog hater. I do not bring my dog to Newport Beach, because there is no place for the dog to go. I haven't got to the cat stage yet, because there is a big enough problem on the beach already. It's the "biggest sandbox in the world."



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