Regulations are not properly enforced

I believe that the former ‘dogs allowed on beach’ hours were very fair

Re: Pet pollution a nuisance, Oak Bay News, June 13. I want to thank the writer of this letter to the editor.

As a long-time resident who lives and works within a block of this rugged, yet beautiful, small bay, I too, was both stunned and deeply disappointed that our Oak Bay council has yet again, decided in favour of the ardent dog owners’ persistent demands to have more and more access for their pets on our beaches and in our parks.

I believe that the former ‘dogs allowed on beach’ hours were very fair and a compromise we could all accept. Dogs allowed on McNeill Bay; sunrise to 11 a.m. and evenings until sunset. I was so relieved to know I could take my book and blanket down to McNeill Bay during mid-day hours and enjoy a peaceful time at such a lovely spot.

During the dogs-on-beach times, in the past I have been trampled by wet, exuberant, untrained dogs more than once. The dog owners are invariably far down the beach, calling or whistling to their dog, to no avail.

Too often while searching for ‘angel glass’ on the beach, I have unearthed dog excrement. I want my grandchildren to be able to safely play in the sand at McNeill Bay without dog excrement on their hands and feet. Is this too much to ask of our Oak Bay council and mayor?

Please, Oak Bay council and Mayor Jensen, in your efforts to appease and please dog owners, remember you are charged with the responsibility to also represent those of us who contribute to our community and simply believe we have a right to peaceful periods of time at McNeill Bay. When else can we enjoy the beautiful varied species of birds and their songs?

I know there are many responsible dog owners in our neighbourhood. I want to thank each one of you for picking up after your pet, keeping them on leash where requested, (Anderson Park during bird nesting season, April 1 to June 30) and for realizing that while your dog’s bark may be music to your ears, it is not thoughtful or considerate of others.

I agree with the letter writer that current dog regulations and bylaws are routinely ignored and never enforced.

Please do so and move to protect our McNeill Bay jewel from further degradation and devastation of its fragile ecosystem and the species of wildlife that are drawn to it, that is, when they are safe from being chased away by dogs on the beach.

Sharon Fairchild

Oak Bay