No dogs allowed?

The days of taking Fido to the City Beach during the summer may be numbered.
Alex Doty
Feb 21, 2014


Grand Haven City Council is considering a total ban of dogs at City Beach from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

“You’re (currently) allowed to have a (leashed) dog on the beach with a waste bag with you, (and that) has translated to Grand Haven has a ‘dog beach,’” City Manager Pat McGinnis said.

McGinnis said when people Google search “Grand Haven dog beach,” information comes up about the city’s beach being a designated “dog beach” — something it’s not.

“When our public safety officers approach a friendly tourist (with a dog at City Beach) who’s come to vacation … in Grand Haven, it’s not the easiest confrontation,” he said. “We don’t want to write tickets, because it is an easy misunderstanding.”

McGinnis said the city’s Parks and Recreation Board heard the request of a resident in the nearby Highland Park neighborhood that had the idea that prohibiting dogs from Memorial Day to Labor Day would solve the problems at City Beach. They claimed the actions of some dog owners have created issues for nearby residents and beachgoers. These problems include dogs that are unleashed and owners who don’t clean up animal waste.

Outside of the proposed summer-long restrictions, dogs on a leash would be allowed in accordance with the existing ordinance. The city ordinance states that no one is to have an animal in any park, beach or public place at any time where it’s is posted as an “animal-free zone.”

“The people down there who use the southern end of the beach, they have a legitimate complaint,” City Councilman Bob Monetza said. “I think it is really unfortunate because the ability to have your dog on a leash at the beach and clean up after it is a real privilege.”

Monetza noted that relatively few people ruined it for everyone else.

“We went into this with the best of intentions, but it has been abused,” he said.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.




So what are you clowns going to do about all the fat slobs that go down there and leave their beer cans and chip bags stuck in the sand cuz they're too da** lazy to carry them back to their car, or a garbage can? That's a bigger and more obvious issue on any day of the week during the summer than a couple dogs. Remember last summer's GVSU "research" project "why do seagulls hang out at the beach?" (hint?, it was the garbage).

While I'd agree there are some real moron dog owners, I do not think proclamations that penalize everyone because of a couple dipsticks are the way to go. I ran into one not long ago out at Hofma park....his dog, not on a leash, charged me and I ended up putting my boot in his face to stop him from attacking me until his idiot owner got to where he could do something. Then, he had the gall to yell at me for kicking his dog, who was 80lbs easy. Some people just shouldn't be allowed out in public, let alone breed.

Blanket laws are the lazy lawmakers' way to fix a problem, rather than addressing individual issues as they arise. Anybody here ever a big fan of having the whole class stay after school because one dummy did something and wont admit to it? This is the same deal.

then there's there going to be a "dog cop" patrolling the area for lawbreakers? or is it going to end up being another silly law with no teeth 9 times out of 10?

All that said, I don't take my dogs to the beach in the summer. It's too crowded and too hot for them, although we do spend some evenings sitting out on the pier, which they seem to enjoy.


Real nice! The Highland Park neighborhood is a drop in the bucket in comparison to the population of the tri-cities. Many Tri-Cities area residents, not only tourist, use this dog beach. In fact I witnessed several Highland Park dog owners dogs running loose at the beach this past summer. Also walking my dog leashed in Lake Forest Cemetery, I often witness a lot of dog owners not picking up their dog poo in fact I usually carry a couple extra bags that are available for "free" at the entrances to pick up after others. Some of the people not picking up the poo were also from the Highland Park area. If there is an issue with a dog & owner that the public service officer can't deal with there is always a animal control officer to back him or her up!!


How are aggressive dogs or owners leaving their mess on the beach any different than aggressive dogs or owners who leave the mess anywhere else?

With this illogical thinking all dogs should be banned everywhere except on their own property...what idiotic thinking…aggressive dogs should be removed and owners ticketed should they knowingly bring snappy to a densely populated area or let Mongo the Elephant dog leave a 3 lb. steamer and walk away.


Logic and reason have no place in this conversation. Please excuse yourself from further comment.




DOGS Should be banned everywhere except on their own property. Why should the general public have to deal with your dog. I watch people let there dogs run unleashed on harbor islands soccer field on a daily bases to let them run and use the field as a spot to leave there crap, very nice unless you happen to be playing soccer in find a bunch of s---t all over the field. A public park is no place to let your dog use as it's bathroom.


Us responsible dog owners didn't tolerate the last Mayor trying to pull this crap and we won't this time either. In every society there are irresponsible idiots that shouldn't be allowed to have dogs or kids for that matter because they don't take responsibility for them. This goes back to Kindergarten, Punish everyone because of the few. Dogs need a place to run and cool off also and those places are few and far between. The one group in this area that isn't afraid to fight back are us dog owners. Heck there is a Poo Bag dispenser right at the walkway for the lazy people to use when they don't bring there own.


A little saying I live by, "I wouldn't have to manage my anger if people would manage their Stupidity." Problem is there are more Stupid, arrogant, idiotic Politicians born everyday. I can't figure out how these people even get into office. There only seem to care about the few residents that have problems with something and not the majority that don't. Or a Tourist stepped in S # ! t and said they would never come back.


I like that saying watchingyou....mind if I use it or have you got a copyright? :-)


Use away LTA. You can pay me a Royalty if you want to though, I won't refuse it.


This has Roger Bergman written all over it. You are right watchingyou. It won't be enforced though, just like it is never, ever, ever enforced in Duncan Woods.


Part of the problem is that almost all dog owners think they are responsible. Almost all think their dog is behaving and being a good dog. And most if not all who call themselves responsible owners. Would not stand up for those convictions. By calling to account another dog owner who was doing something wrong, or allowing the dog to. So yes, sometimes the few can ruin it for the many. By the way, I am a dog lover but it's not the dogs that are the problem.


You some it up very well ( lazy dog owners)


Granted, there will always be people not as consider as others, so punish them. To let one neighbor’s suggestion ruin it for the responsible ones isn’t right. If this keeps up, Grand Haven will be a secluded member’s only club like Macatawa.


Many people do not care to have animals around them. Not everyone is a dog lover and some are afraid of dogs. Also who want to step into dog poo. There are areas for people to take thier dogs. I personally think that dogs sould not be allowed in crowed ares such as 4th of July, Coast Guard activities, etc. Not good for the dogs or other people. As stated a few have made is worse for those who do the right thing.


How do you clean up when your dogs pees? Pretty discusting too. Leave em home


Boy, I sure hope you've never had a kid and had to change their diaper in public......they should be left home too until they can defecate on their own. :-S


Humans and dogs are not the same


No kidding?? So then, you're OK with human poop on the beach? squishing your sensitive toes on s nice full diaper left on the beach by some slog too lazy to pick it up and take it to the trash?

Human beings leave more garbage and other assorted crap down there then a handful of dogs what is the real issue here. A filthy beach or just the fact some people hate dogs?

Why aren't you dog haters up in arms about the ton of crap that comes floating down the Grand River sewer channel every freakin' day? Too big a problem for you to deal with so you go after the little, insignificant problems instead?

So, let me see if I have this right, there's a (small) group of vocal people in this town that want to kill off all the deer, eradicate all the seagulls from the beach, (lord knows they poop too) and get rid of dogs from all public places because they suffered some trauma as a child,or their parents never let them have a pet and so now they want to get even.....

Makes more sense to me if we just get rid of the small (minded) group of animal haters in this town. I mean really, how many of you complaining about this topic even go to the beach during the summer. I'd bet not more than 1 in 10.

Poop is part of the circle of life......You don't like poop? then stop eating and that will solve your problem permanently.


LTA I love dogs, i have had dogs but never ever did i take them anywhere, not to the beach not for a walk downtown because it is an animal..... I am also all for shooting the deer on harbor island to prevent what i saw yesterday on my walk A DEER DYING OF STARVATION, Like you have heard people before say take your s--t somewhere else....


I call BS on your claim of starvation. I am out there on Harbor Island 4 or 5 times a week, keeping track of the number of deer i see, their condition and I photograph them to try and identiy individual deer from day to day.

Unless you've got irrefutable proof of starving deer then you need to knock off the lies. You're the one that tried to get people fired up last fall about the culling of the herd (20+ deer were killed last night and hauled away in pickup trucks...) but when someone asks you to validate your claims you disappear and don't show up to answer questions regarding your statements that I guess we're just suppose to believe without any proof whatsoever?

I call BS on your love of dogs too. If you loved dogs you wouldn't keep one caged up in your yard 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Dogs are social animals and need freedom to run and play, to explore, just like humans. Anyone that keeps a dog penned up for weeks on end should be arrested for animal abuse and be prevented from owning animals ever again.


Ok I will help you can find the deer that starved to death in the wooded area near the old dog pound ,take the bike path and look to the north you will see a make shift lean too type of shelter, look inside and there you will have your dead deer...... Our dog had plenty of running room (a good dog owner gets a dog that fits there yard) and does not need big brother to make special place for there dogs to play...keep you dog at home and get out of you mode of transportation and go and look for the starving deer out on harbor island

Back to the Wall

The deer in the city generally don't get a chance to die of starvation. The weak deer, especially on Harbor Island, get taken down by the coyotes before the lack of food kills them.


BS sirhansalot. No deer have died from starvation here. Stop the lies and sensationalism. No surprise that when you make your claims, you are unable to provide pictures and proof from the DNR . Shameful that your fabrications could result in loss of life.


Would you like to see. It might be best to keep your head in sand/snow. But I will take a pic for you stayed tuned


Call the DNR like you are supposed to and let them decide.


Call the DNR like you are supposed to and let them decide.


i think it is best i just pull the starved dead deer to the road side for all to see


I thought you were just all for following the law a couple posts ago? Call the DNR and let them handle it. You sure ain't qualified to.....shouldn't even own a dog.


What good is calling the DNR going to do? The deer is dead, it starved to death. The DNR will tell you the same thing. The deer died because of over population and lack of food. The DNR will also tell you the way to prevent this is to allow deer to be hunted. A staving deer is not a pretty sight for anyone.



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