Letter: No need to ban dogs at Willard Beach
Why all this fuss about dogs on the beach? I've been walking my own and occasionally others' dogs for 20 years on Willard Beach in every season without ever experiencing any problems with other animals, their owners, or the non-dog people on the beach. I have never heard of or read about any health problems that have resulted from children or adults playing in the sand; and I know the sand and water is tested regularly for health safety.
Initially it was a convenience to go to Willard. Now I live in the Pleasantdale area of South Portland and still make the daily trip to Willard Beach. Many folks I talk with on the beach come from even further South Portland communities. In the summer, when the dogs have limited early mornings and late evenings to romp along the shore, I have enjoyed countless hours with kids and their families petting, playing, tossing balls into the water and in other ways participating in the fun of being with a dog on the beach. As an early childhood educator, I cannot imagine any reason for removing this healthy, safe, happy experience between animal and human on any of our public beaches.
Nicole Wolf Gilbert