Dog Lovers Fight For A Beach In Oceanside - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Dog Lovers Fight For A Beach In Oceanside

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The last time the Oceanside City Council considered a dog beach was nearly la decade ago, and that time it was defeated almost unanimously. But a local group is trying again to open one at the mouth of the San Luis Rey River, and again they're facing some powerful hurdles.

Gail Jordan and her daughter Meghan travel nearly an hour to bring their dogs to the beach. Del Mar is the closest dog-friendly beach to their Temecula home, and one of the only places they say they can bring their pair of Jack Russell terriers. If Hugh Foley has his way, the Jordans' commute could be cut in half with a dog beach in Oceanside.

"Del Mar is 40 miles away, and to a lot of people that's too far," Foley said.

He heads a grass roots effort in the coastal town called Friends of Oceanside Dog Beach, and is trying to build support. But right now he's even got the city against him.

"You're bringing another source to the beach that is already impaired for bacteria, and we're trying to do this study - you're going to complicate the whole thing," Oceanside Clean Water coordinator Mo Lahsaie, PhD said.

The city recently got a grant to test the San Luis Rey River for bacteria sources after the river was already designated as impaired. They say dog droppings are another potential bacteria they just can't have right now.

"Dog beaches don't pollute - it's been proven that they don't pollute," Foley said.

Foley remains optimistic that with the right support, folks like the Jordans will have a new spot where man's supposed best friends can run free.

"If there's enough people out there that want a dog beach and want to be able to recreate with their dogs, I think their voices should be heard," he said.

There are currently 58 dog beaches in the state of California. San Diego County has three.

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