Pensacola Beach neighborhood says dog park needs to move

Article Courtesy of The Pensacola News Journal

By Melissa Nelson Gabriel

Published October 19, 2017

Citing concerns about poorly behaved dogs and dog owners, a Pensacola Beach homeowners association is asking Escambia County to move a beachfront dog park to a more secluded area.


The association, which represents the De Luna Point neighborhood, wants the beach dog park located off Fort Pickens Road moved further west between Park West and Gulf Islands National Seashore.

"I want to use the beach across from my home without laying in an area where dogs urinate or defecate," she said.

During a Pensacola Beach town hall meeting earlier this month, Escambia County Commissioner Grover Robinson said he supports moving the park. Robinson said most of the complaints the county receives about the two beach dog parks involve the Fort Pickens Road park.

The county receives very few complaints about the dog park located on the eastern edge of the beach, he said.

Robinson said the Santa Rosa Island Authority, which oversees beach development and other beach issues, would have to approve moving the dog park. After numerous complaints about dogs on the beach, SRIA allocated $40,000 earlier this year for Escambia County animal control officers to patrol the beach.

Shiana and Liz Youngblood and their dog, Mako, enjoy a day at Pensacola Beach.


Since July, the officers have issued 17 tickets involving dog beach violations, said Joy Tsubooka, county spokeswoman.

But Dorfman, who lives across the street from the dog park, said she has seen many more people violating the dog beach rules.

"It would be great if they would really enforce the rules because it is a quality of life issue for everyone out here," she said.

Beach resident Mallory Margold walked her two dogs, Skinny and Nana, at the Fort Pickens dog park on Monday. Margold, who lives off Fort Pickens Road, said she prefers to take the two terrier mixes to the other dog beach near Portofino Island Resort because it is usually less busy.

"I like the idea of having the dog beach in a quieter area, especially if the dogs could have a little more room," she said.

Regardless of where she takes the dogs, she said that she always picks up after them.

"That is very important," Margold said.

Clay Thomas and his family from Ashland, Alabama, visited the beach with their German Shepherd puppy, Phoebe, on Monday.

Thomas said the family enjoyed playing on the beach with the dog.

"But it would be nice if it was a little more of a secluded area," he said.

According to county regulations, the fines for dog owners who violate park rules are $50 for a first offense, $150 for a second offense, and $300 for a third offense plus a mandatory court appearance.