Doggone laws: Patrols will curb dogs on North Shore beaches |

Doggone laws: Patrols will curb dogs on North Shore beaches

Ryan Salm/Sierra SunJet Black patrols the beach for dogs in Kings Beach.

A gun-toting and tattooed Jet Black surveys the Moon Dunes beach in Tahoe Vista on a sunny Thursday looking for violators of the law.

“Nope, no dogs here,” said the Placer County Animal Control Officer Supervisor.

After increased complaints from beach-goers in Placer County last summer, Black and the two other animal control officers who work out of the Tahoe office will increase patrols of North Shore beaches this season where dogs are not allowed.

“We’ve stepped up the patrol,” said Animal Control Manager Mike Winters. “We’re hiring an intern to do beach patrol on dogs.”

The intern, who is scheduled to begin Memorial Day weekend, will be charged with informing dog owners on which beaches they can and cannot take their dogs, but will not issue citations, according to Black.

“As it stands, I have to enforce the law,” Black said. “This summer it will be absolutely insane. We want to get the word out that it won’t be tolerated.”

The animal control officers enforce the no-dog rule, but it’s the owners of the public beaches ” which vary from the North Tahoe Public Utility District, Placer County, U.S. Forest Service and the California Tahoe Conservancy ” that implement the law.

Ray Lacey, program coordinator for public access for the California Tahoe Conservancy, said his agency usually goes with what Placer County wants and has actually added beaches where dogs are allowed, including the rocky part of Coon Street Beach and a beach in Carnelian Bay. But dog owners who do not abide by the leash law or pick up after their four-legged friends can ruin it for everyone, according to Bob Kingman, a program analyst for recreation access for the conservancy.

Kingman said that Patton Beach in Carnelian Bay was a designated dog beach with signs and baggy dispensers until the end of last summer.

“We don’t encourage dog usage on that beach. We were getting complaints from home owners and visitors,” Kingman said, noting that Patton Beach is used for weddings and other events. “It’s not a good mix when you have dogs running around when there’s a wedding going on.”

For the Forest Service, the determination of which beaches are dog-friendly depend on how the beach is classified. For a designated swimming area like Meeks Bay, dogs are not allowed because of health and safety issues. However, leashed dogs are allowed in designated picnic areas like Kaspian, according to the Forest Service.

Some dog owners will take chances and let their dogs go free on a no-dog beach, but others say they abide by the regulations.

“It’s not a big deal to me because she doesn’t really like the beach,” said Kings Beach resident Jane Gaube, who brings her mixed-breed dog Toby to Coon Street Beach. “She has to go out on rocks ” it’s not a sandy beach.”

Black, who owns five dogs himself, said he would love to see dogs be able to roam Tahoe’s beaches, but he has to enforce the law.

“I would love to see people be able to have their dogs here, but I need to make my boss happy,” Black said. “We aren’t the bad guys, despite what people think.”

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