NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. – With the first of the month comes changes for dog owners who frequent Jacksonville and Neptune beaches.
Dogs will not be allowed on Jacksonville and Neptune beaches between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting Monday through Sept. 30, which includes the busy summer season. Dogs can be on those beaches from 5 p.m. to 9 a.m. during those dates, but they must be on a leash.
Neptune Beach police tweeted a reminder Monday about the restrictions, saying Animal Control officers will be strictly enforcing the leash laws. The tweet prompted News4Jax to look at the rules at other beaches in Northeast Florida.
Mayport Beach welcomes leashed dogs daily until dusk.
Atlantic Beach; Nassau County beaches, including Fernandina Beach and Amelia Island; and St. Johns County beaches, including Ponte Vedra Beach and St. Augustine Beach, allow dogs at all times as long as they are leashed. Anastasia State Park does not allow dogs on its beaches per the Florida State Parks' pet policy.
According to the city of Jacksonville, pets are permitted in designated areas at Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park and must be on a leash no longer than 8 feet long.
Both Jacksonville and Neptune beaches allow leashed dogs on the beaches 24/7 from October through March. Neptune Beach borders Atlantic Beach to the south and spans from Atlantic Boulevard to Seagate Avenue. Jacksonville Beach borders Neptune Beach to the south and stretches from Seagate Avenue to just south of the intersection of Duval Drive and Ponte Vedra Boulevard.
News4Jax went to Neptune Beach on Monday and spoke with people about the seasonal change.
Jacksonville resident Adam Fishchbaugh said his German shepherd puppy named Atlas likes visiting the beach.
"Until I get yelled at, I am going to take my dog wherever I want to," he said.
Neptune Beach resident Elliot Hindman also brings his 15-year-old dog named Cider to the beach regularly and said he will continue to do so.
But Neptune Beach resident and dog owner Ron English voiced support for the rule.
"There's lots of people during the summer, creates a problem sometimes -- kids, dogs running all over your cooler," he said.
English said he also plans to obey the rule.
"If I want to take her to the beach, I'd wait until after 5," he said.
Beachgoers are reminded to clean up after their dogs.