2018-06-15 / Letters

Dog committee welcomes volunteers

To the editor,

While working on a project at Parsons Beach recently, Kennebunk High School alternative education students and their teacher Ed Sharood were alarmed by the amount of dog waste on the beach. They bagged and collected two industrial bags filled with dog waste, most of which consisted of filled poop bag that had been tossed into the dunes, rather than properly disposed.

As members of the Kennebunk Dog Advisory Committee (KDAC) we were appalled to learn of this abuse of a public beach by some dog owners in our community.

Although Parsons Beach, some of which is privately owned, is not within the official responsibility of the KDAC, we are aware that this unfortunate event reflects poorly on dog walkers everywhere and we are eager to work with the animal control officer and the town of Kennebunk to find ways to address the problem.

Some background information concerning the nature and purpose of the KDAC may be helpful. The KDAC was formed in 2006 in response to public concern about dog waste on beaches. Now in its 13th season, the KDAC is an official committee in the town of Kennebunk which includes the animal control officer and a selectman acting as liaison (currently Dan Boothby).

One of the most important jobs of the committee is to assure that dog owners are aware that they must pick up after their dogs and dispose of the bags in appropriate receptacles. Dog bag dispensers are routinely checked by committee members and replenished at Gooch’s, Middle and Mother’s beaches. Parsons Beach is not within the responsibility of the KDAC.

In addition to the committee, a group of dog monitors help educate owners to pick up after their dogs. This group is made up of some committee members and many additional volunteers who can be identified readily by a vest and nametag.

They routinely monitor Gooch’s, Middle, and Mother’s beaches during the season. The monitors, who are required to have training by the police department, act to communicate the rules and provide information while enforcement is provided by the animal control officer and the Kennebunk police department.

We invite citizens who are concerned about the cleanliness of our beaches and are comfortable working with the public and with dogs to volunteer their time as dog monitors. They are also welcome to attend KDAC meetings that are held on the second Wednesday of the month on the third floor of town hall. Agendas are posted on the town’s website.

The committee will have information available for the public at its annual Breakfast with the Pooches at Gooch’s Beach on Saturday, June 16, from 7 to 9 a.m. We welcome everyone to stop by for coffee, cookies, and conversation. Kennebunk Dog Advisory Committee

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