JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – The City of Jacksonville Beach has seen an increase in complaints of beach goers not having their dogs on leashes.
It comes after the beach recently changed the rules for having dogs on the beach. The new rules allow dogs on the beach 24 hours a day from October 1 to March 31. From April 1 through September 30, dogs are allowed on the beach only before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m. Dogs must remain leashed at all times and leashes can be no longer than 16 feet.
"There are a lot of folks who just have an irrational fear of dogs, and when they're running down the beach it scares people," Jacksonville Beach Mayor Charlie Latham said. "This keeps things under control but still allows others to bring their pets out after 5 o'clock."
Latham said police will typically give a warning, but repeat offenders might receive a citation. Julie Trednick lives at the beach and loves taking her dog for walks along the shoreline. She supports the time limitations.
"I think there's a time and a place for dogs to be on the beach and I'm OK with not allowing the pets between 9 (o'clock) and 5 (o'clock)," Trednick said.
As long as people are responsible and clean up after their dogs, most people News4Jax spoke to support having dogs on the beach.
If people want to report a dog issue, Latham reminds people not to contact the city, but call the non-emergency police number: 904-270-1661.
Neptune Beach has the same rules as Jacksonville Beach. Atlantic Beach and St. Johns County beaches allow dogs at all times as long as they are leashed..