Monday, July 7, 2014

Dogs on Beaches

It's probably no surprise to you if you are a dog owner, but we made a list for the Best Cities to Have a Dog recently.  We have a lot of great spaces for dogs.  What we don't have is an official dog beach.  Dogs are not allowed on any of the public beaches, and the fine is just over $200.  I had to get clarification because some people thought it was OK to have dogs on the northern most point of Bradford Beach, but still it is considered a non-dog beach area, though they can be in the grassy area. It is kind of peculiar though that every time we visit the beaches, there will be dogs.  There are plenty of signs posted that have to be passed on the way to the beach, but apparently it's a risk people are willing to take.  The only exception would be a service dog.

Bradford Beach
So where can you take a dog in Milwaukee?  We don't have a dog, but my son loves to pet them, so our favorite place to get our doggy fix is the Oak Leaf Trail.  They are allowed in all the parks that have the trail, as long as it isn't posted, but you do need a leash at all times.  The county parks have a complete listing of all allowed dog areas.  There are few places where you'll find doggy bags, so be sure to have something with you to clean up after your dog.  The fines for not having your dog leashed and not cleaning up after your pet is also $200.50.  It can be quite expensive if you're caught violating the dog ordinances.

ROMP (Residents for Off Leash Parks) is the organization that promotes and helps provide dog runs and exercise areas.  They also have a Facebook page, which you can "like" to stay up to date with facilities and dog events. There are 7 fenced areas for dogs in Milwaukee County- at Bayview, Currie, Roverwest in Riverwest, Granville, Estabrook, Runway, and Warnimont parks.  There are plenty of rules for these areas, which help make them safer.  You need to have current registration from your municipality, current immunizations including parvo, rabies, and distemper, and the dog needs to be free of communicable diseases.  Dogs younger than 6 months are not allowed because they typically have not had their full set of immunizations yet.  You'll have to apply for a county permit, which can be purchased for the entire year at $25 or just a daily pass $5.  You'll find more information about applications and where you can purchase the pass at the county website.  Once you have all that, your dog must be with a human at all times, and it should be friendly.  Aggressive dogs are not welcome in this type of social environment.  Be sure to remove all choke chains while the dogs are in the fenced area.

A happy dog running free at Roverwest 
If you don't mind leaving the county and heading north to Mequon, there's a lovely open area with woods and a creek at Katherine Kearney Carpenter Park.  And don't forget to check the greater Milwaukee area dog parks website for more suggestions about where to play with your best friend.

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