GH becoming not pet-friendly

To the Editor: I am writing this in response to the front page of the Grand Haven Tribune on Feb. 21, “No dogs allowed?”
Feb 26, 2014

I cannot believe that Grand Haven would even think of doing this.

I would like to see an article on what humans leave on the beach — dirty diapers, garbage, beer cans, water bottles, etc. 

Grand Haven is supposed to be a tourist-friendly place to visit; at least that was what I thought. The responsible dog owners that live here in the Tri-Cities and the tourists that do travel with their pets should not be banned from a beach. I agree they need to be on a leash; and, yes, I have seen some dogs off-leash and they were all well-behaved pets. 

The dogs need a place to play and cool off in the summer, as well as the humans on the other end of the leash. Don't let Grand Haven be known as "not pet-friendly," which is getting that way with not being able to have them in the outside eating areas.

Char Nash and Breslyn (Newfoundland)
Grand Haven



I hope we find a way to deal with this.

As a family with kids I am always concerned about the many times when we end up coming across dog droppings on the beach. I agree that waste comes in many forms . . . and none should be accepted. On the other hand, I do not think I have never had a more disgusting run in with "garbage" at the beach than dog crap left by inconsiderate owners.

I believe another alternative would be cameras and $1,000 fines for owners that do not pick up after their dogs. That may be a way for responsible dog owners to be able to continue to have dogs on the beach. I love the conceptual idea of dogs on the beach but I hate the reality of what we have unfortunately discovered they leave behind.

By the way, as a dog lover, I do NOT blame the dogs. I blame the owners who do not take responsibility. I am sure I would be considered an irresponsible parent if I took our kids out of their diapers and let them leave their waste open on the beach.

The other potential problem (and I hope there is some type of innovate solution), is dog urination on the beach.


Wasnt there some talk about a dog park on the east end? I agree with not allowing animals on the beach..trash is trash..but dog crap and urine is well..just that. Id rather sit or step on that water bottle any day.


Actually @SeaRayCBR you put it well.


Actually @SeaRayCBR you put it well.


Actually @SeaRayCBR you put it well.


tax payer funded cameras to moniter dogs pooping on the beach, what ya call that a potty-cam ?


That should make a great reality TV show... They have cameras covering the downtown area and it certainly does not stop the dogs pooping and peeing on the sidewalks, bushes and the private buildings.


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Profane, obscene, sexual or derogatory language.

Barry Soetoro

Man I hate it when I miss these.

Former Grandhavenite

Seriously, this is like when I get an email recall notice in the office. Obviously there was something REALLY interesting in that email if it's worth their trouble to make it disappear.

Barry Soetoro

You can fix this.
Search your version of Outlook and "preventing email recall".
Adjust your settings as directed.


There is a dog park on the East Side by the treatment plant. Very nice I am told. Also a lot of people do not like or want dogs around them on the beach or in parks.


Dogs poop and pee, so do seagulls and other wild animals that frequent the beach. I don't think there is really that much dog poop being left around Grand Haven. The area dogs are allowed is a TINY area and WELL out of the way, so if you are afraid to walk on a beach dogs are at or have peed on its pretty easy to avoid. Lake Michigan is pretty dirty when you think about it with the Grand River right there. Rinsing off after a swim or a walk on the beach is a good idea for those afraid of walking some where a dog has possibly peed. I haven't heard of diseases transmitted after stepping in a spot where a dog once peed. Pee is pretty filtered stuff.


Oh yes, i miss the good ole days, back when things where simpler !!!!


Good golly, could this have gotten any more blown out of proportion. The original issue was the Dog beach. Now ALL of Grand Haven is going to become pet un-friendly. There are more dogs in more places in Grand Haven than there have ever been. Everyplace you go. Every event downtown. People now a days seem to view them as something more than what they are. They're pets. They don't belong in all places, in all situations. I love how people like to try and make comparisons of what people do, versus dogs. They don't have rights as human do, even though some like to think they do. People don't seem to understand, or want to understand and admit. You can't predict what their instincts may cause them to do. Or how they may react in certain situations. Oh he's a good dog, he probably is. But he is a dog, and he's going to do what dogs do. Having said all that. I love dogs, there are more than 13 dogs in my family.
I don't think the Dog Beach is a bad thing. It's education that is lacking, and is causing some of the problems down there.

" The responsible dog owners that live here in the Tri-Cities and the tourists that do travel with their pets should not be banned from a beach." With that statement I rest my case. Because Dogs have never been allowed on the beach in the summer time. But obviously, some still don't know that.


Well said.


Spend a few days on the beach south of the Bil Mar and watch how many dogs a day are on the beach, not in the dog beach area and how many are unleashed. Just because you may only see a few here and there doesn't show how many it is over the course of a day. I spend a great deal of time on that part of the beach and it is a continuous problem and the dog owners we have asked nicely to go to the dog area or pick up their dog poop have gotten very nasty. The city put many more signs up last year but people don't pay attention to them. Dogs don't belong on the beach in the summer anyway, the sand is often too hot for their paws.

The city doesn't want to enforce the ordinance because it is a continual problem and they are tired of complaints.


Dogs are dogs... and no matter how well trained, a dog will always run with instinct first. Don't blame the animal, blame the owner who is too lazy to clean up after their pet. If their dog does it's thing on the beach and the owner conveniently overlooks it... that person hss no respect for others. It's just that simple. Smack the owners/walkers with hefty fines. After a few weeks, word will get around and local dog owners/walkers will take notice. Enforcement is the key. I used to see older folk monitering parking lots and handing out tickets. Why can't one or two of them moniter the beach on golf carts? Not that they can catch someone running across the sand, but at least it is a deterrent to people littering... no matter what type of litter it may be.


You going to pay for the "Poop Patrol" golf carts? Me neither.


The city should pay some firm tens of thousands of dollars to determine if there is really a problem with dogs on the beach. Then hire a university to go count the dogs. Finally, just so we can get into six figures spent on the problem, hire sharpshooters and start the cull!


Nicely done.


this is dog discrimination by the dogaphobes ! !


No, this is about those who are irresponsible dog owners. Who also sometimes have no consideration or respect for the rights others. To in certain places, or circumstances not be around or bothered in any way by someone else's pet. This is about people who sometimes believe that laws and ordinances only apply to others. This is about some who believe that their dogs have as much right to be somewhere as do humans. They're pets people, if you can't stand being away from them. If you can't stand leaving them at home, then stay at home. It is not always a pleasant experience for your dog when you take them into unfamiliar surroundings. It can be very stressful for them. When you put then in contact with strange people, strange smells and other pets. And then expect, or assume that they will act, behave and obey just as they do when they are at home.


Cant have pets, yet the City lets the tourists litter the whole town up, urinate in public and everything else. Cant have a light show so the Downtown business owners can make a couple extra bucks in the winter............

Alrighty then.....


A few weeks ago when we had mass amounts of ice on the lake, there were many dogs running around. Along with the dogs were many piles of dog poop on the ice. I even saw a few people had put the poop in a plastic bag, and just left it sitting on the ice. That's not a good way to promote public dogs. On a side note, as a dog owner/lover, I still don't know why it's so important for people to bring their dog in public. They are not accessories. Walk them in the woods where they can explore.


Also, is Char aware they are not banning dog owners or tourists from the beach? As nice as that would be for some of them, they are only talking about not allowing their dogs.


what about all the trash left around after coast guard, or any of the other festivals and events grand haven hosts?

And what about all the people that can't/don't want to make it up to the bathroom on the beach, so they just go in the water?

Grand haven is becoming more and more of a tourist town instead of catering to its own residents.I agree it helps businesses and the economy, but come on, doing away with pet a friendly beach?

I try to avoid grand haven in the summer because of tourism, and trust me if i could get away from it.. I would.. it's bad enough I have to drive thru it for work.


People don't generally crap in the water. If you can get the dogs to only pee there like most humans do, then there's probably no problem, but that's not realistic.
I don't mind dogs on the beach but as someone above pointed out, dog crap is more of a health issue than a discarded cup or elephant ear plate. Neither is welcome.


Grand Haven is a tourist town. And has been for longer than most here have been alive.
Catering to any group of people cost money. And a good deal of money that is spent catering to residents and keeping the city up and maintained especially downtown comes from tourist dollars. It's simple economics.


We are so focused on what dogs do, I rather see enforcing loitering by humans, there is already laws for doing so, yet, go to your local store, travel to work or any place and find trash bags someone tossed from cars or simply opening there car doors and dump trash in the parking lot, trash everywhere, have you seen volunteers that pickup trash along the highway, every 100 yards there is a bag, we went out to Arizona and traveled the highways out there, even in towns, you don't see trash, not one bit


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