OPINION: Dog Beach Is a Boon for San Clemente

Council will vote March 6 on whether to allow dogs on a small portion of beach in San Clemente.

Editor's Note: This is a letter from Don Slater, a staunch advocate of designating part of San Clemente's coastline to allow dogs. He and his wife are founders of the nascent Friends of San Clemente Dog Beach.

It seems that change is in the air in San Clemente. The pier area is fixed up beautifully, the new sports park is now open, Max Berg Plaza Park is expanding, and many more improvements are in the works.

Now, the City Council will vote on expanding the dog friendliness of the community. Already many business and restaurants have set out bowls of water and welcome dogs in outdoor seating areas. Such practices are kind to the animals and make good business sense, as they have found out.

A majority of homes have a dog as a pet; this is a large devoted segment of the population. These people spend money on and for their pets at an ever increasing rate. When they visit this community, our businesses and tax rolls will benefit. People and their pets go where they are wanted.

A small, little-used piece of beach is all we ask. By comparison to the earlier mentioned improvements, it is little to ask. Every recreational activity the City provides has potential of abuse, danger and ongoing expenses. We all pay taxes here, yet a majority of people are not served with dog friendly activities.



Stay in your yard, the sidewalk or the street is today’s mantra. If you have a problem with a dog beach, don’t go there; go to another of our fine beaches. You can only be on one beach at a time.

People will learn through fines and peer pressure to clean up after their pets, and then take this habit with them elsewhere in the city. The end result will be cleaner urban runoff and cleaner water. Friends Of San Clemente Dog Beach (visit us on Facebook) will promote responsible pet ownership and assist the city with keeping the beach clean.

We ask all in favor to email the City Council or better yet attend the meeting on 6 p.m. March 6 in Council Chambers, 100.

If you come, they will build it.

Don Slater February 29, 2012 at 11:05 PM
Do the unicorns get to have a beach or do you hate unicorns also.
Lindsey Hanson February 29, 2012 at 11:25 PM
No Don, Unicorns don't exist. And for the record I do not hate dogs. Quite the contrary. However the proof is in the pudding. The facts are in and more dog poop equals more dog poop. I try not to let emotions drown out scientific fact. Want and need are two very different things. Not getting what we want to do what we need is not always the most joyous conclusion however it is a integral part to being a thoughtful human being. Avoiding the facts and condemning me a dog hater just proves you have no argument. And while we are back on topic I was just pondering how many chewed dog toys and tennis balls will be strewn about the beach. Lets even equate that all the pet owners responsibly clean up after themselves and think only of the ones that swept away in the surf beyond Fido's reach to later wash ashore of sink? It's definitely another form of pollutant to consideration. MORE is MORE
george gregory March 01, 2012 at 01:33 AM
most dogs go their whole lives without ever swimming or pooping on the beach and they don't seem to mind pelicans can poop on anybody's head and pet giraffes' can poop on most tall men's heads only cars at north beach left in the way of the street smearer arounder get tickets , because people at north beach have malice for clean water and streets,,,, canine fecal matter on the other hand does not have malice but is just plan ass nasty,,,except my coco's
george gregory March 01, 2012 at 01:46 AM
Donna McGuire May 08, 2012 at 08:46 PM
All these what ifs make me ill. Take a look at the dog beaches that are up and down the coast. Are they a mess/polluted? No. Are the cities closing them? no. And I don't know about your dog but my dog has to find "the perfect place to poop", and in the water would be his last choice. This is senseless and San Clemente is ridiculous when it comes to providing for dogs. Every park has two or three baseball fields that are used a couple afternoons a week for 2 or 3 months. A vast waste of recreational real estate. Replacing a couple as decent dog parks would get them used year round, all day. But then baseball is much more important, right?


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