Los Angeles is a dog friendly city. Everywhere I go, I see people taking their dogs into luxury shops, boutiques, on the patios of restaurants, or to one of the many dog parks scattered throughout the city. However, there are no beaches in Los Angeles county where you can take your pup off leash. Whenever I want to take my dog to the ocean, I have to make the trek down to Long Beach, a solid hour to 90 minutes from downtown.
Can you imagine my excitement when I saw that a Los Angeles City Council committee proposed a dog beach within county limits? I was amped! Betty, my chihuahua mix, was also excited when I started telling her about the beach.
I then began to read more about it, and was overcome with disappointment. The beach the committee is proposing to be a dog beach is Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro. Not only is that still quite a distance from most of the dog lovers in Los Angeles, but Cabrillo Beach is notorious for its dismal water quality.
The best part is, Councilman Joe Buscaino, who proposed the harbor side of Cabrillo as a new dog beach, is completely aware of the polluted water quality. In fact, that is why he chose it as the potential place for pups to have fun in the sun:
“But today you’ll find families down at inner Cabrillo Beach splashing in the water,” Buscaino said. “We need to send a message to the people that beach is not safe — so my idea is to give it to the dogs.”
Cabrillo Beach Harbor Side boasts a harmful amount of bacteria in the water not suitable for humans, so shouldn’t it make sense that it isn’t good for your pups as well? I know that some people will argue that dogs go outside all of the time, unprotected from the elements, and they could easily get into something harmful that they shouldn’t anywhere else. There are also people who swim in these “toxic waters” who are perfectly fine, so perhaps the hype about “toxic” water is just that.
What is concerning about this is that Councilman Buscaino is directly comparing dogs to things that are dirty, harmful to your health, and potentially dangerous. Common sense dictates that if you are trying to make a group of people happy, such as dog owners, you don’t give them something they have been asking for and then bash the soul of their cause.
Recreation and Parks officials are now evaluating Buscaino’s proposal and will report back in the net 30 days. If Buscaino’s proposal is accepted, would you take your dog to Cabrillo Beach Harbor side? I think I will keep trekking to Long Beach.