City Considers Requiring Leashes for Dogs on its Beaches

The Virginia Beach Police Department will be hosting a community forum Wednesday, April 10 at 6:30 p.m. at the Law Enforcement Training Academy (411 Integrity Way) to gather public feedback.

leashed dog on beachIt will be used in considering a proposed change to City Code Section 6.5 (animals on the beach and adjacent areas) for the City Council's consideration. The proposed change would require all dogs to be leashed on City beaches at all times. Other restrictions in the code would remain unaffected.

According to Virginia Beach Animal Control, data indicates that out-of-control, off-leash dogs warrant a review of the policy that currently allows dogs to roam leash-free on the beach at certain times.

In 2017, there were 18 incidents involving dogs that attacked people or other dogs and caused the victim of the attack to bleed. In 14 of those cases, the dogs were off leash. In 2018, there were 15 such incidents, 11 of which involved off-leash dogs. And last year, two unleashed dogs attacked and killed a small on-leash dog on the beach near 55th Street.

City Code allows dogs to be off-leash on the resort beach before Memorial Day weekend and after Labor Day weekend as long as the dogs remain under owners' control. During the summer months (Friday before Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend), pets are limited to frolicking on the beach at the north end above 42nd Street or the south end in the Sandbridge area and only at certain times — before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m.​

Contact Information