Spence Riggs at the last city council meeting on July 13 made a proposal to the city leaders to be more inclusive as to where dogs would be allowed on the beach in the city limits.  Currently, there exists a dog beach in a little armpit beach just south of the Loomis Street Boat launch.  Riggs, representing the group Mason County Mutts (MCM), a self-professed "non-profit organization that advocates, rescues and cares for animals within our community", requested that the city allow dogs to legally utilize the beach facilities between the west end of Ludington Avenue and the north breakwall that the lighthouse is on.  Here is a map showing the applicable areas, north is to the left:

This proposal by MCM allows some strict stipulations to apply in this area.  First, the dogs must remain on a leash while in this area.  Second, the owners would be responsible for the clean up of dog waste in the area.  Third, violations of the first two stipulations, and other city laws involving dogs, would be enforced.

MCM would for its part would fund the signage for this dog accessible area and provide a dog waste receptacle.  Furthermore, it would pay for replacement waste bags and do a beach sweep up to two times a month.  The City itself would be responsible for enforcement of the laws and emptying the waste receptacles, when needed; they alone would benefit from the fines received. 

The city manager and the Parks Committee has reviewed the Mason County Mutts proposal over the last two weeks and have come back with a reply where City Manager John Shay has expressed that he 'feels' this use of the beach would be ill-suited for the population overall:

Before proffering the question as to how you feel about a dog beach in that area, I would just like to point out that this area in question for the new dog beach coincides with the area that is to be used for the first phase of the West End Project, the concrete walkway between the breakwall and Ludington Avenue.  If the project ever gets Michigan DNR Trust Fund money coming in to help build it. 

Shay and the Parks Committee obviously know this fact and seem to overlook explaining their desire for this half of a million dollar project and Mr. Riggs simple request may clash.  Seeing dog poop containers, signs, and dogs doing their business on the beach, is not something they want in the limited amount of beach left in that area if the first phase is ever funded.

What is hopeful is that Shay, and by extension the City's Parks Committee, admit that this area of beach is precious to those locals who want quietude and calm waters, something they have turned a deaf ear on during the public's almost unanimous decrying of the project in wanting to keep that area intact and as it is.

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LOL Aquaman! When I started to read your first sentence I immediately thought you were saying to spray the DOG with the hose!! Actually, not a bad idea if you catch him in the act. He may not come around anymore to poop in your yard.

Dog bites are not the only concern that exist regarding canines. Round worms are just one of the inflictions humans can get from dogs. When dogs crap in someone's yard they can infect that area with round worms which can live in the soil for years. Round worms can invade the eyes and other parts of the body causing severe damage.


Attached is a photo at the top of the dunes where the beach "dog park" is being considered. If the beach is allowed to become dog accessible will the dogs be allowed to run through this area? My other question is will the area be fenced off like the "dog park" at Cartier Park. If not then why the need for the fence at Cartier Park when there are far less people for dogs to come in contact with.

Will the dogs below be allowed to run free at the beach

Pitbull (Photo credit: maplegirlie)

Pit Bulls are at the top of the list of the top 10 most dangerous dogs. It was reported that approximately 67 percent of fatalities from dog bites could be attributed to this particular breed. Weighing about 25 to 30 kilograms and sporting an extremely powerful jaw, a pit bull can take on just about any opponent, stubbornly bite on its victims, and maul them to a painful and final death. Because this breed of dogs is known to be aggressive, fearless, and superior fighters, Pit Bulls are one of the most sought after for dog fighting

Rottweiler (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Next on the list of most dangerous dog breeds is the Rottweiler. This is based on studies conducted by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Humane Society, as well as the Center for Disease Control. With a weight that ranges from 46 kilograms to 59 kilograms, Rottweilers pack a lot of stopping power that surely no one wants to put to a test.

The territorial instincts of this particular dog breed is second to none, while the power of its jaws is unrivaled by any other dog all across the world. Rottweilers are remarkably smart, but you’ll have to devote a ton of attention and love to them. A poorly trained Rottweiler can be quite defiant and hostile.

Then there's the Doberman, German Shepard, and we can go on and on. I too think the fenced-in idea where Spence proposed some more space is reasonable. Still tired of the dog profiling. Maybe we should also profile human beings as off limits in many public areas due to their bad reputations too. 

Does the City own the beach in front of the Water Treatment Plant? If they do this might be an ideal spot for a fenced in dog  park. Since the City will soon be upgrading there  anyway why not put  parking  south of the Plant and a fenced in area to the beach.

The other area is too "peopled" to put it there. Plus if Shay's West End Scheme ever goes through there will be parking problems and since this is the location for the permanent "moveable" beer tent I just see this as a bad mix. Beer and dogs, what could go wrong here.

According to the city assessor site's entry for the WTP city assessor site's entry for the WTP, it is lakeside property, but it seems to lack a map of the lots it sits on.  Your replacement location idea has merit, but would likely be overlooked because the MCM group and the WTP techs would not want it there.

If Shay and other officials who want the West End Project money were taken out of the picture, this new dog beach would have been a done deal already. 

That's a very good idea shinblind but the "dog people" have their sights set on one of the busiest parts of the City beach and common sense is not going to be a factor in this decision. People think of their dogs as family and nobody is going to treat their "family" unfairly. I liken this to people bringing their most spoiled family member to a function thinking or demanding that everyone else must approve of them no matter how ill mannered they are. Again, I am a dog / animal lover but I wouldn't force my pets on the general public. I would never take my pets to a public area where unknown dogs run freely. There are to many highly contagious diseases that can easily be transmitted between dogs. Parvo is one that comes to mind.

(MCM) and Spence Rigss certainly does not speak for me, nor probably the majority of local dog owners. I would much rather hear a new idea for a dog park addition at a beach area be somewhere everyone could agree on in a low-key area without a bunch of people. This one at Stearn's wouldn't be my choice, nor probably the majority of us. Contagious diseases is a concern for any dog owner, and I usually have options to take my own dog to open acreage where few if any dogs are around. Some parks have large areas where a fenced-in area could also be added. Copeyan has a lot of open spaces nearer Oxychem that is usually vacant, and PM Lake is right at it's edge. It's not Lk. Michigan, but it's water that is nice to bath and cool off in. Not to worry, the local "dog people" here are NOT going to have their way. Shyster Shay has to have HIS WAY, no matter what else happens, his WAY Trumps everything and everybody else in this town nowadays, isn't that rather "spoiled"? Might just as well put a King's Crown on him now, no need for a Mayor, with this clown running the entire City Council, and defrauding the coffers of both the State and City. Since some are posting their most feared dog pictures, why not see the owner's real dog.

Good idea Aquaman. Another beef I have with some of the dog owners is with their male dogs. I watched a dog walker yesterday at the little park between the PM channel and south of the boat launch who allowed his dog to raise it's leg and piss on every single bench along the walkway, leaving each area soaked with urine. Of course other male dogs that follow will also leave their scent to let other dogs  know they were also there. What would happen to a person if they were to piss all over those benches?  


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