Making Dog Friendly Beaches More People Friendly

FEBRUARY 14, 2006 -- On warm days it's not uncommon to see people enjoying the beach with their dogs, but what some are leaving behind is prompting complaints. How to make sure pet waste doesn't spoil the beach has been a bone of contention that can make canines and their owners feel unwelcome.

Jeff Proetsch and his dog Elvis opted Monday for the decidedly dog-friendly barking lot in Kure Beach.

"It's not a big deal from what I've seen. In fact, I was on the beach day before yesterday and didn't see anything," says Proetsch.

Proetsch says he and his family always carry bags when they take Elvis out, but he knows not everyone is as responsible.

"I'm sure there are a few people who don't care. There might be some who don't know they're supposed to."

Education is a key part of Carolina Beach's clean-up plan. Another part is adding more places for dogs to just be dogs. Mike Chappell Park is a recreation facility for people, but the task force is hoping to change that by adding a dog park.

Other parts of the plan to clean up Carolina Beach include more signage, a good neighbor program where fellow dog owners remind one another to do the right thing, and a clean-up day is in the works. People who don't pick up after their dogs could face a $50 fine.

Reported by Sarah Warlick