Iíve lived in Miramar Beach full time now for four years, and I have a warning for Destin residents and leaders considering allowing dogs on their beaches. Currently, Walton County allows leashed dogs on the beach with a permit to full-time residents and/or property owners during designated hours in the morning and evening. 



I have a dog, so in theory, thatís a pretty cool idea. Except in reality, it isnít.



Unleashed dogs running around on the beaches at all hours leaving piles of poop in the sand is a common sight. Ninety percent of the dog owners Iíve observed do not pick up after their dogs but instead kick sand over it.



Unfortunately, the problem gets worse when the snowbirds come in during the winter. 



I was shocked to see so many of our older generation, who should know better and be good examples, not pick up after their dogs. Just today, I watched several elderly folks stop to let their dogs poop and then keep on walking, while I dodged three separate piles of poop on the boardwalk in front of the Maravilla condos.



To read more about the idea of dogs on Destin's beaches, CLICK HERE.



Walton County has no one who enforces the dog permit ordinances, so itís a free for all.  One would hope more people would be responsible, considerate pet owners and not need policing. But unfortunately, that is not the case here.  



Stepping on dog poop in the sand with your bare feet is as gross as it sounds, not to mention laying your beach towel over a covered up pile or having your kids building a sandcastle with poop in it. 



Now thatís a fun day at the beach.



 



Ann Esparza



Miramar Beach