We need this dog park for the countless tourist that come to our resort area and the residents that live at the Oceanfront that do not have anywhere to take their dogs to play and exercise. We are looking for a park that anyone at the Oceanfront can walk to, instead of loading their dogs in a car and driving all the way to Damneck Road to go to Redwing Park (or the other alternative to Woodstock Park off Providence, a good distance away from the oceanfront). Many Virginia Beach dog owners are elderly and cannot make the drive to these parks. We are also one of a few states that border an ocean, bay, or gulf that do not have a dog park on the beach. Being the resort area we are, shouldn't we accommodate everyone that enjoys our oceanfront and have a park where people can go with their dogs? We have 20+ hotels/motels that allow dogs but nowhere to take them to play when they arrive.
The Virginia Beach Oceanfront is one of the few beaches in the United States that is not dog-friendly all year long. We have over 20 hotels along our ocean border that are Pet-Friendly, but not a close enough, off-leash dog park to accommodate these fury friends. We understand the tourist concerns and the safety of guests on the beach for not currently being animal-friendly during the beach season, but there are a lot of benefits to having a closer park to the Oceanfront, even directly on the beach. For one. visitors coming to the beach do not have the general knowledge of what’s pet friendly and what’s not. Many stores and shops do not allow you to bring pets in, so these animals get left in a hotel room all day and night (not a fun way to spend your vaca!) Also, if there was more opportunities for guests to bring theirs pets places it would be mean less work the hotel staff has to do in order to maintain a clean environment for future guests. There will be less noise in the hotel rooms and more happy tourists- happy tourists are often repeat tourists which means more money for the city.
Preferably, like our petition states, we’d like to see a dog park on the beach at the Oceanfront. But even somewhere within a half-mile radius of the boardwalk would surely excite the visiting tourists. It would make the dogs happier, the hotel staff less stressed, and give the guests a new reason to want to visit Virginia Beach year after year.
Some concerns you may have about this type of dog park:
Properly trained and obedient animals. After researching many of the other off-leash beach parks, and our own off-leash parks in Hampton Roads; dog owners practice a “common sense” mentality when it comes to public outings. There are rare occurrences of foul play between the animals and the owners are aware of the type of personality their pet has. We would like to suggest signs bordering the section so people wondering down the shoreline will be aware of the dogs at play. We would also like to see some sort of animal behavior monitoring to make sure the dogs are not being aggressive and remain people friendly. There will be a penalty for animals not behaving in a safe manner for all those using the park.
What kind of restrictions are you suggesting? We’ve thought long and hard about this, and first and foremost the dogs need to be up to date on their shots and vaccines. This is not unlike other dog parks, where the animals need to be registered and the owners will get a special tag from the city. We would like to see an employee monitoring the grounds asking for tags and giving information on how to obtain one. Visitors to the area will have the option to pre-register with their hotel and get guest passes upon sign in.
How do we keep the grounds clean? Dog owners are responsible for their own pickup, and the employee working will need to ensure this gets done. Virginia Beach will provide extra trash reciprocals and “doggy bag” stands that the guests can use to pick up after their pets. If guests are found to not be picking up after their pets there will be some sort of fine for this violation, all responsibility for this would be up to the employee working at the time.