Pets on Indian Rocks Beach

by BeachHunter on May 17, 2009

Taking the pet raccoon for a walk on Indian Rocks Beach????

Taking the pet raccoon for a walk on Indian Rocks Beach????

You just never know what you’re going to run into on the beach. We stepped out onto Indian Rocks Beach and saw a family with a young raccoon in tow. Indian Rocks Beach does not allow pets on the beach. However, some folks don’t pay any attention to the rules as we saw dogs on the beach as well.

Dogs are not allowed on Indian Rocks Beach, except by people who ignore the rules.

Dogs are not allowed on Indian Rocks Beach, except by people who ignore the rules.

It's true, pets are not allowed on Indian Rocks Beach. Note the symbol at the lower left corner of this sign at an Indian Rocks Beach access: No Pets.

It's true, pets are not allowed on Indian Rocks Beach. Note the symbol at the lower left corner of this sign at an Indian Rocks Beach access: Pets prohibited. I didn't make the rule, so don't get mad at me. I'm just reporting on it.

Here’s the text of the Indian Rocks Beach Municipal Code that prohibits pets on the beach:

Sec. 74-62.  Animals.

It shall be unlawful for any person to keep, harbor, have, or allow any dog, cat or any other domesticated or wild animals in his possession, custody or control at any time anywhere on the beach within the city. Service animals providing accommodation to the disabled are exempt from this section.
(Code 1989, §§ 4-29, 11-57; Ord. No. 591, § 1, 1-2-1996)
Note: I’m providing links below to Municipal Code sections and other resources. Since they are links to government maintained websites they my stop working after a few months or a year because government websites frequently move their content around without concern for who might be linking to them. If you find that a link does not work, please leave a comment and I’ll fix it if possible.
Once you’ve arrived at the Municipal code web page, the relevant code is buried under:
Chapter 74
Article III Beaches
Division 1, Generally
Sec 74-62 Animals

If you’d like to complain about the rules, call the City of Indian Rocks Beach. Here is the Indian Rocks Beach website with their contact information: http://www.indian-rocks-beach.com/contact.php

Don’t waste your breath complaining to me. I don’t make the rules, but I definitely support them. Pinellas County has excellent beaches where you can take your dog. For instance, Fort Desoto County Park has an excellent doggy beach as well as a large fenced enclosure and a doggy rinse-off shower. It is the only County park where dogs are allowed out on the beach. However, Honeymoon Island State Park has an excellent doggy beach at the northern reaches of the county.  Here is a link to the Honeymoon Island Pet Policy http://www.floridastateparks.org/honeymoonisland/docs/HoneymoonPetPolicy.pdf. It opens as a pdf document.  Here is a list of beaches and parks where you can take your doggy: http://www.pinellascounty.org/park/paw_playgrounds.htm

Now go and have fun!

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Guenther May 18, 2009 at 3:26 am

ok, rules are rules.

I understand you do not have a dog yourself, but what’s the problem if the beach is not crowded, and the dog is under control, if some guys sometimes bring their dog with them? They belong to their family also, and they take care about them.

Let ppl. live!

There are already so many rules, don’t put more oil on fire when not needed.

2 beachhunter May 18, 2009 at 7:17 am

Guenther,
I didn’t make any personal judgments or state my opinion about dogs on the beach. I just made a factual observation about what I saw. But I figured this blog post would bring out the dog owners with strong opinions. No problem. Glad you stopped by and threw in your 2 cents.

The reason dogs are not allowed on the beach is not a reflection on well-behaved dogs and their owners, it is a reflection on those owners who do not clean up after their pets and who do not keep them from bothering other people on the beach. That’s too bad, because I do understand that most people consider their dogs as part of the family. The dog in the photo above was very well behaved and was not bothering anyone.

I have been personally driven off the beach (Stump Pass State Park) by two aggressive pit bulls whose owners paid no attention and did not help.

I once saw an elderly German couple charged repeatedly by a large dog whose owners also paid no attention (Lover’s Key State Park).

Dogs also scare birds that are nesting on the beach. I once saw a dog running through the tern nests on Sand Dollar Beach on Marco Island. The nesting are a was marked with yellow tape and string with signs. The dog owners paid no attention.

A number of cities have provided beaches with great facilities for dogs, including showers to wash the salt water off as well as plastic bags for pet poop. Pinellas County has a great dog beach at Fort Desoto County Park just 30 minutes from Indian Rocks Beach.

Honeymoon Island State Park near Dunedin also has a very nice dog beach.

Its too bad a few irresponsible dog owners have spoiled it for everyone else, and I do understand your point of view.

3 Beachbum3803 May 18, 2009 at 12:35 pm

I am and have been a dog owner for most of my adult life but I have to agree that dogs do not belong on public beaches unless the beach is specified as a dog beach.

Aside from dogs disturbing wildlife and possibly people, some dog owners do NOT pick up after their pets. Doggy logs are potential health hazards just as human waste is.

4 beachbum July 29, 2009 at 9:24 pm

I think dogs should be allowed on all beaches so long as they are kept on a leash. I think the fines for unleashed dogs or not cleaning up after them should be very hefty and strictly enforced.

I do think there should be dog beaches where well behaved dogs can run and play unleashed in a dog friendly enviroment surrouned by dog lovers.

I would love to see a fine fo 300 community service hours given out for not cleaning up your dogs poop. Have the bad dog owner spend that 300 hrs cleaning poop and trash off the beach. Problem solved

5 Troy Bleeker August 9, 2009 at 7:08 am

I am reading these posts because I am visitor to Indian Rocks Beach someone just grumbled about my dog on a leash. So I went searching for the rules on the internet. The ONLY place I have found anything saying pets are not allowed on the beach or in any public place is this blog. The city ordinances only mention that pets must be on leashes in public places. The only place they can be off leashes is at the designated pet parks. So unless you can site the ordinance that says otherwise I don’t buy it.

6 beachhunter August 9, 2009 at 9:43 am

Troy,
Perhaps I can help clear things up. First, note that for your benefit and for the benefit of other dog owners like you, I’ve added a photograph to the above blog post. It is a photograph of the signs that you’ll find at all Indian Rocks Beach accesses. It clearly shows that pets are prohibited on Indian Rocks Beach.

Further, here is the municipal code that prohibits pets on the beach:
Sec. 74-62. Animals.
It shall be unlawful for any person to keep, harbor, have, or allow any dog, cat or any other domesticated or wild animals in his possession, custody or control at any time anywhere on the beach within the city. Service animals providing accommodation to the disabled are exempt from this section.
(Code 1989, §§ 4-29, 11-57; Ord. No. 591, § 1, 1-2-1996)

Next, you have to realized that Indian Rocks Beach is in Pinellas County, and the County has laws that govern Pinellas County parks, beaches, and public recreation areas. Here is the Pinellas County ordinance:

Sec. 90-20. Pets.
(a) Pets shall be excluded from playgrounds, swimming areas, beaches, (except for designated dog beaches), the Friendship Trail Bridge, any place where food and drinks are sold and consumed, and any areas designated by the county administrator.
(b) Pets, including but not limited to birds, ferrets, pot bellied pigs, monkeys, snakes, etc., shall be caged or on an adequate leash not greater than six feet in length. Pets shall not be left unattended or off a leash except in designated areas posted by signage.
(c) Seeing eye or guide pets and non-human primates of the genus Cebus, specially trained for the purpose of providing personal care services to individuals with disabilities, shall be excluded from these regulations, and shall be permitted on all park property.
(d) In the case of pet defecation, the owner or person in charge or in control of the pet shall remove all feces deposited by such animal and dispose of same in a sanitary manner.
(e) The owner or person in charge or in control of the pet shall be held at all times responsible for its behavior and actions.
(Ord. No. 02-7, § 2, 1-8-02; Ord. No. 04-45, § 5, 7-13-04)

Heres the link to the ordinance:
http://www.municode.com/resources/gateway.asp?pid=10274&sid=9

It’s in Chapter 90, Parks & Recreation

If you wish, you can call the City of Indian Rocks Beach on Monday to verify, if this still isn’t enough to convince you.

7 Jamie November 4, 2011 at 5:37 pm

I believe it is unfair for all of pinellas county beaches to restrict dogs from beaches. The other coast such as Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach, Ponte Vedra Beach and many other beaches allow dogs during certain times and some at all times during the day. The beaches there are beautiful and it is very rare to run across someone complaining about these policies. I believe that the banning of dogs on beaches in pinellas county is a direct reflection on the County’s poor ability to control and maintain a safe and beautiful environment for both humans and animals. I understand the protecting of bird habitats/breeding grounds but the other coast has many protected animals such as sea turtles and that doesn’t stop them from allowing dog owners to enjoy a walk on the beach.

8 beachhunter November 4, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Thanks for dropping by and voicing your opinion Jamie. Each beach community struggles with this issue. The vast majority of Gulf and Atlantic beaches in Florida do not permit domestic animals on the beach, but as you note, a few do. I’m not sure if you are aware of it, but Pinellas County has not banned dogs on all beaches in the county. Pinellas provides two excellent dog beaches. Fort Desoto County Park has an outstanding dog beach, and Honeymoon Island State Park also has an excellent dog beach.

Also, despite the fact that dogs are indeed banned on most Gulf beaches in Pinellas County, it is not at all uncommon for people to ignore the law. I have quite a collection of photographs of people with their dogs on Pinellas beaches in violation of the law.

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