I’ve lived in greater Portland, without a dog, for almost 10 years and recently moved to the Willard Beach neighborhood of South Portland. The most positive connections I’ve made have been with the people and family pets I’ve met while walking along Willard Beach. It’s definitely one of the true pleasures of living here.
The pet owners do a great job of cleaning up after their pets. After walking the beach almost every day, it’s easy to see how diligent they are in keeping the beach clean. Each and every dog owner I’ve met has been conscientious and respectful.
Perhaps the unhappy people behind the misnamed “Save Willard Beach” referendum and who under this banner are conspiring to ban or severely restrict dogs from Willard Beach should refocus their efforts on the thousands of gallons of human waste that end up on the beaches of Casco Bay due to the region’s inadequate sewage treatment system. Also, the local lifeguards will tell you that the real beach problems include diapers regularly left on the beach and thousands of cigarette butts thoughtlessly tossed on the sand.
If you live in South Portland and are asked to sign the referendum petition, please tell them no. The City Council, with public input and lots of debate, recently enacted reasonable restrictions governing dogs on the beach. Life is short and there’s room for people to share a walk along the beach with our supervised canine friends.