A portion of the shore at Huntington Beach will remain open to dogs for at least another year.
That was the decision of the city's Community Services Commission on Wednesday after hearing testimony from people who opposed a plan to limit or deny dogs access to the popular pet spot.
"We're delighted," said Martin Senak, president of the Preservation Society of Huntington Dog Beach, which helps maintain the city's dog-friendly stretch of sand. "This is one of the very few places where dogs can sense freedom--it's doggy heaven."
One of only two beaches in Orange County open to canines, the area had been the target of complaints from beachgoers unhappy with what they described as its excess of dog feces. Those complaints prompted city officials to recommend that the three-fourths-mile stretch of beach from 21st Street to Seapoint Avenue be closed to dogs.
But the city panel rejected that recommendation Wednesday after hearing the testimony of, among others, a doctor who said that dog feces on the beach does not pose a major health threat to humans.
"The commission was very good tonight," Senak said. "All the dog people are overjoyed."