VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Virginia Beach Animal Control had a busy weekend issuing summonses after visitors brought their dogs on the hot sand.
Dogs aren’t allowed on the beach at any time from Rudy Loop to 42nd Street the Friday before Memorial Day through Labor Day. They’re off-limits at all other beaches between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
They issued 14 tickets, 19 warnings and 22 verbal reminders in the last month of the common summertime problem.
With weather like we’re seeing right now, the restrictions are even more important, according to Animal Control Officer Adam Blankenship, for the health of the dogs.
“If they’re walking on the sand when we see temperatures above 110 degrees, they’re cooking their feet,” said Blankenship.
Blankenship saw an even bigger heat-related issue end in tragedy last year.
“We had a citizen call concerned about someone having their dog on the beach,” said Blankenship. “By the time animal control officers did arrive the animal had succumbed to heatstroke.”
Fortunately, this year Blankenship and other officers have a new tool, a John Deere terrain vehicle designed just for the beach that allows animal control officers who used to patrol on foot, to stay on top of the issue and reach more people who aren’t following the rules.
Dog owners should also remember that hot asphalt can have the same effect.
To check if the ground is too hot for your pet, simply check it with your own barefoot. If you can't stand barefoot on the pavement for an extended period of time, neither can your pet!