To the editor:
My wife and I have spent our vacation on Fort Myers Beach for 23 years. We fell in love with the beach, the fantastic weather and the very friendly Americans.
Regrettably for children, tourists and for the variety of birds and other animals, we have realized during our extended beach walks that the beach more and more turns into a dog beach. Too many dog owners are choosing to treat their beloved animals (more and more they own two or three of them) with a walk along the beautiful beaches on Fort Myers Beach with leashes sometimes extending 30 feet.
Consequently the dogs are roaming and naturally "do their business" in the water and everywhere else. Many times they select sand castles or other structures built by playing children while the dog owners look the other way. This is ruthless and definitely does not meet the most basic hygienic conditions for playing children and other beach users.
On the south end of the beach with the protected nesting areas for birds and turtles, dog owners ignore the protection signs. Dogs can be seen having fun chasing colonies of birds. When questioned, dog owners have responded: "This is a public beach!"
In our opinion the solution to improve the situation for Fort Myers Beach tourists and locals who are looking for a healthy and desirable place to relax or vacation together with their families and children is a dog-free beach. Fort Myers Beach should join other well-known tourist destinations on that matter. Such action should not constitute a hardship for dog owners since there is a beautiful and very suitable official and dedicated dog beach near by.