City of Naples to hold public meeting on possibility of dog-friendly beach

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Our four-legged friends could soon be beach bums if some dog owners get their way.

“Where I’m from, they let the dogs on the beach early in the morning and they go back out again late at night so they don’t have a problem with interfering with people enjoying the beach,” said Joe Caruso.

He and his family visit Naples every year from New Jersey. He says even if Lowdermilk Beach turns dog-friendly, it would still be paradise.

“I don’t think the dogs would bother me…as long as the owners take care of cleaning up after them,” he said.

The City of Naples will take public comment about the possible change at a meeting on Tuesday. Its service advisory board will talk about allowing dogs on the beach from sunrise to 8:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea,” said Kevin Bourque. “This is where the public dogs can make a mess and it would be hard to clean up with the sand.”

Bourque has been living in Collier County for about a decade. He says the city and county beaches are clean for a reason. If dogs are allowed, that could quickly change.

“It would be very hard to police because once people get down here with their dogs and dogs start playing, running around, trying to get them back to the car or whatever, it would just be hard to do, I think,” he said.

The city has talked about it in the past and so has Collier County, but still, not a single dog-friendly beach has come to fruition.

Bourque says, don’t get him wrong. He’s a dog lover, but, “if somebody doesn’t pick up the mess then it’s a health hazard…and we don’t need another one.”

In the past, county leaders have said because of sea turtles and shorebirds, the dog parks haven’t had much popularity for approval at county parks.

The meeting will be held at City Hall on Tuesday, Nov. 19 at 2:30 p.m.

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