Two groups are at loggerheads regarding the issue of dogs on beaches in the Shoalhaven, with lobbyists both for and against circulating online petitions which will be submitted to council.
The Paws4Shoalhaven group claims, during the bushfire and covid lock-down, people’s mental health was saved by walking their dogs on local beaches, and they are calling for council to continue to allow the practice considering there are more than 50,000 registered dogs in the Shoalhaven.
In fact, they are hoping council will expand the number of dog beaches from 11 to 50 and have almost 900 signatures of support.
Petition organiser Christiane Poulos says, as tourism recovers we are going to be swamped by pet owners from other cities and there is so much space we could use.
"There is plenty here to share," she said.
"We want 50 beaches designated off-leash, plus doggie bags, bins and water, so we can keep exercising our dogs."
However, an opposition group is just as passionate about keeping dogs off our beaches, and has started its own petition calling for dog areas to be fenced and not on beaches, citing safety and pollution as their reason. They have attracted around 100 signatures so far.
Photo Shoalhaven City Council