OAK ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — A huge turnout at Tuesday night's meeting led the Oak Island Town Council to make a decision about banning dogs on the beach.
This all started from an e-mail council received about a concern for dogs getting loose from their leashes. When residents found out, they did not take it lightly.
"The dog becomes your child," Bob Lloyd said.
Lloyd takes his dog Skipper for a two-mile walk on the beach every morning.
"He loves it. I love it," Lloyd said.
After he heard someone wanted to limit dogs on Oak Island beaches, he showed up to the council meeting wearing a T-shirt supporting pet-friendly beaches.
"I felt it would be an extremely divisive issue," Lloyd said.
So did the rest of the town. Council members said they stopped counting after getting 576 e-mails about the issue.
"The responses have been overwhelmingly in favor of not changing hours that dogs are allowed on the beach," a town council member said.
Carol Painter said Oak Island is one of only three beaches in this area that allows dogs on the beaches during the summer. The responses from residents just kept coming.
"Visitors come here only because we have a dog-friendly beach," a resident explained.
The mayor finally made their decision very clear.
"We are going to remain Dog Fancy Magazine's one of the top 10 dog-friendly beaches in the United States," Betty Wallace said. "Nothing is going to be done."
The town council did want to emphasize the ordinances they do already have in place. Their main concern is keeping dogs on leashes. The mayor said at the next town meeting they want to address possible changes to the ordinances. They may consider banning a dog from the beach for a day if they see them without a leash.