GH’s ‘dog beach’ nearly spoiled

Once again, a few bad apples nearly ruined things for everyone.
Mar 10, 2014


In this case, it was people letting their dogs run free on Grand Haven beaches.

Many beaches across the state prohibit dogs, for obvious reasons. A slobbery mutt running helter-skelter through a peaceful gathering of sunbathers and sandcastle-building children can wreak havoc. And stepping in a pile of dog poop with bare feet — yuck.

Yet many people love to bring their dogs to the beach. It’s a great place to let their four-legged companion stretch its legs after a long day cooped up in a crate.

There are many who consider their dogs as part of their family, and seek out dog-friendly places as a top priority when traveling.

For years, the area south of the swim buoys at the Grand Haven City Beach has been such a place — where dog lovers and their furry friends alike can enjoy a stroll along the beach, watching the sunset or getting their toes wet in the surf.

But a few who refuse to follow the rules — specifically keeping their dogs on a leash and cleaning up their dogs’ droppings — nearly ruined it for everyone.

City Council recently discussed possible changes to the policy at the south end of City Beach, with proposals ranging from banning dogs throughout the summer months to keeping dogs off the beach between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Many residents voiced their opposition to either proposal, adamantly stating that they cherish the beach which they can share with their canine companions.

City Council adhered to their wishes and decided not to ban dogs at the beach.

That’s great news, but it also levies the burden of responsibility back on the shoulders of those who use the so-called “dog beach.”

They must adhere to the rules in place, and be sure that other dog owners do the same.

Otherwise, it becomes a scene straight out of “Marley & Me,” where one dog and one irresponsible owner ruins it for everyone. 

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.



Why in the world should the general public have to deal a person pet in public in the first place. If a person is a responsible pet owner they would chose an animal to fit the home that they are staying at. Why should the public have to deal with a dog owner who got a dog to big for there yard and must take the dog to a public park and run it. If your yard is not big enough for your dog you made a bad decision when choosing it...Its not the rest of the world responsibility to maintain a public park for people pets! Whats next people bringing there farm animals to the park to run? Enough of the dogs.... Keep them at home.


Lighten up sirhansalot...and go to the other end of the beach. Or better yet, stay off it.


People like you should just stay home.


Great idea have the general public stay home so irresponsible dog owner can take over pubic spaces

Laker Dad

No way I'm letting any dog owner take over my pubic space...


LOL!! You tell 'em tough guy....bad doggie, baaaaad doggie!


First off you goombah it's PUBLIC not PUBIC and I didn't say the general public, I said people like you! There are people who understand the concept of co-exist and then there are social rejects like yourself who want to have everything their way and don't know how to play nice with others. There are both types of people on both sides of this issue, understand? Therein lies the problem, it's the people, not the dogs. Nobody is going to "take over pub(l)ic spaces....."

I really feel sorry for your dog.

Barry Soetoro

LTA....fixing the internet one comment at a time....


Sisyphus was one of my mentors.


Dogs, kids, volleyball, frisbees, food and drink are a part of everyday on our beaches. As long as everyone is responsible for all they bring onto the beach all should be good! If you don't like anything involved on a PUBLIC beach.... find a private one.


Since when have dogs become part of the beach? It is a person pet... Why should a person have to go to the beach and worry about someones dirty dog? The world is not your pets play ground.


Will you just shut up about this? It's not your beach.


I'll bet my dogs get a bath more often that you do! And yeah, the world is kind of a playground, for pets, wild animals and even the occasional person who can be taught to pick up their own garbage...

I really feel sorry for people like you.....only happy when you're trying to cause trouble.


Apparently some folks just wanna complain..... enjoy life! Or buy your own private beach and make your own rules. By The way... I Don't even own a dog. It's called co- existence. Enjoy your day :)


I do not need to co~anything with a person pet


You need to stay home with your dog.


My dog always stays home


Yeah, we established that previously, now you need to follow his lead and do the same. I really feel sorry for your dog.


I have a dog, and choose not to have kids. So, one could turn it around and say, "why should I have to go to the beach and deal with your misbehaving, screaming kids?" Dog owners and their dogs have a VERY small section of the beach. If you don't want dogs around, don't go there! At least we can keep our "kids" on a leash...


AP Grand haven. You should have had kids, you can bring them more places

Grand Haven Happy

Grow up sirhansalot, you may not be welcome either with your bad attitude!


Grow up ? When I grew up and went to the beach there were never people bringing dogs it was unacceptable. I am thinking about bringing my goats and my miniature horse to the beach at this point, why not they all need to swim and run in the water when it's hot


I am sorry GHH but the people with bad attitudes are the dog owners


I totally agree with sirhanslot. Keep your dogs at your own house!


You and your cat stay home!

Barry Soetoro

You sure are quick on these awesome comebacks, mojo. What is your secret?


This is really a great time for a "Like" button or something along those lines. That really made me laugh and I needed that. Thank you!

Back to the Wall

Bad apples at city beach!?!?
Insuk warned us about bad apples at city beach.

But I hate to break it to you, those aren't apples.


Just close the beaches to everyone and anything,problem solved


Tribune, would you please keep get your facts straight. Your miss informing people.
Posting statements like this contributes to what is causing some of the problems.
This is not a true statement.
"City Council adhered to their wishes and decided not to ban dogs at the beach".
This statement basically says dogs are not banned at the beach. Which is totally incorrect.
Dogs have always been banned at the beach, and still are. You are not allowed to have a dog on any of the City owned beach. (while the swimming buoys are in place).
With the exception of the area at the south end designated the Dog Beach Area.



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