Monterey County

Dog waste issue plaguing Carmel beach

Pounds of bagged dog waste found on Carmel Beach

CARMEL, Calif. - A major tourist hot spot on the Central Coast is soiled by dog waste.

The dirty problem is growing in Carmel, which is known for being the most dog friendly place in America.

Save Our Shores recently picked up 16 pounds of dog waste at Carmel Beach.  Volunteers have been cleaning it up for years and said the problem is growing.

On Monday, News Channel 5 went out with volunteers. Karen and Mike Gunby, who found six pounds of dog waste  -- in just 30 minutes -- that was scattered across the beach.

"I come here because it's a great place for my dog to come and play," said Jenny Williams of Los Banos. "She can be off the leash, which is wonderful because she can play in the water."

Williams said she's worried how the mess left by less responsible dog owners will impact the city's reputation.
"I think that's heart breaking and I don't understand it, because I think everybody should take the responsibility and clean up after their own dogs," Willliams said. "With people not doing that and causing problems to where the environment is impacted then it could be to where we can't bring our dogs here and that would be such a shame."

Michael Largent of Carmel Valley frequents Carmel Beach to walk his dog Riley. He said dog owners need to do their part to keep the beach clean.

"It's a beautiful beach. We're able to walk our dogs here and if we don't take care of it that privilege will go away," he said.

"Pick up your things," said Karen Gunby. "If you see something someone left accidentally do the environment a favor and pick that up as well."

Save Our Shores said it is working on possibly changing the signage around the beach, changing the color of the bags so they're more visible, and even asking the city to do public service announcements.

As of Monday night, News Channel 5 was still waiting for a response from the city.

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