By Margie Plunkett
Boca Raton’s beaches may be going to the dogs.
Deputy Mayor Susan Haynie asked city staff to look into piloting a dog beach, where pet owners can take their pooches for sun and fun.
“It’s another step toward making us more dog friendly,” Haynie said at the Nov. 14 council meeting.
The request came about after Haynie spent time with the Riviera Dog Walkers Club and their leader asked if Boca Raton could follow Fort Lauderdale in designating a beach. “They all seem very enthusiastic about it,” said the council member.
In Fort Lauderdale, an area is specified as a dog beach for a limited time. “You have to buy an additional permit to utilize it, which provides [resources] to patrol it and clean up after it,” Haynie said.
“It’s just another park amenity we don’t have,” Haynie said.
Mayor Susan Whelchel, who noted she was a dog lover, responded: “Whooooo. There’s an opportunity for lots of controversy.
“Maybe we could have a trial run to see how many dogs are going to want to be on that beach,” Whelchel said.
In its online “Doggie Guide to City Parks,” Fort Lauderdale lists the beach from Sunrise Boulevard to 100 yards north as the designated area for dogs. The beach is open to canines Fridays, Saturday and Sundays. Winter hours are 3 to 7 p.m., with summer hours during daylight saving time from 5 to 9 p.m.
An annual permit costs $30 for residents and $45 for nonresidents, according to the website. A one-weekend permit is $7. The permit also allows leashed dogs to be walked on the west side of A1A from Sunrise Boulevard south to Seabreeze Boulevard from 6 to 9 a.m. daily.
Beach rules require dogs to be on a leash. Any excessive barking or other frowned-upon behavior will get them booted off the beach.
Owners must bring their per-mit, as well as a poop scoop.