Keep Virginia Beach the City of Yes!  Preserve our current community character!

VB Animal Control is currently proposing to change our code to a 100% leash law everywhere. This will primarily affect dogs on the residential beaches and will profoundly change the character of our beach front communities.

The data provided by VB Animal Control [see FOIA report below] shows that the number of incidents involving off leash dogs on the beach is statistically insignificant. This data reports the number of “exposures” which are bites or scratches that draw blood and there are often two “exposures” per incident.  

Citizens from all the beach front communities are organizing to oppose this change. We find it more helpful to talk about the number of incidents. For example, six of the eighteen “exposures” in 2018 are just two incidents by the same two aggressive dogs and their irresponsible owner: two bad dogs biting another dog and biting that dog’s owner. The second of those incidents, the death of the maltipoo in August of 2018, was the impetus for Animal Control’s proposed change to code. 

To summarize the data: in 2017 there were four incidents involving an off leash dog on the beach in Chick’s Beach, one near Lesner Bridge, and one in the north end.  That same year there were three incidents in the resort area. In 2018 there were three incidents in the north end [two by the same dogs & owner],  two on the bay beaches, one on Bay Island and one at the resort. When you compare seven incidents to the hundreds of thousands of dog walks on our 38.81 miles* of beaches each year, this is not a public safety issue requiring a drastic change in laws. In fact the data suggests that our current system is working well.

We therefore are asking City Council to create an Ad Hoc Citizens Advisory Committee specifically to analyze the problems and to research options thoroughly, looking at solutions at other beach communities. Such a CAC could create a more reasonable proposal that will better fit the City of Yes, meet the needs of all citizens and continue Virginia Beach’s reputation as a preferred Coastal City. 

You can sign the online petition to let City Council know that you oppose the all or nothing approach being proposed by Animal Control. Let’s set up an Ad Hoc  Citizens Advisory Committee to address the issues in depth..

“This is the data for 2017 and 2018  provided by Animal Control to a FOIA request.It shows eight incidents in 2017 involving off leash dogs on the beaches, six incidents on the residential beaches and two on the resort beach. 2018 had six incidents on the residential beaches and one on the resort beach.

“This view of the same FOIA data highlights the multiple “exposures” in each incident and includes the time of day that each incident occurred.”