Due to rising complaints about owners not scooping up after their pets, Seaside Heights in the latest Jersey Shore community to ban most dogs from its beach and boardwalk, effective immediately, authorities said
Only service dogs are now allowed, the borough said in a press statement. Violators can be fined. The new ban took effect on Monday.
In New Jersey, owners can be fined $100 to $500 for putting their dog in a guide dog harness to falsely pretend it's a guide dog.
“Very few dogs are bona fide service animals,” Seaside Heights said in a statement. “All claims that a dog is a service animal will be challenged by trained code enforcement officers as permitted by the Americans With Disabilities Act. Comfort dogs and therapy dogs are not bona fide service animals."
The borough’s statement added: “By falsely claiming that your pet is a service animal in order to, for example, bring it into a restaurant with you or take it on the bus, you are not only inconveniencing others who have to put up with your animal. You are poisoning attitudes towards true service animals, and leading bystanders and proprietors to believe others may be ‘faking it.’ ”
Dog previously were allowed on the Seaside Heights beach during the off-season.
The new ordinance resembles one in neighboring Seaside Park, where only registered service animals such as seeing-eye dogs and on-duty police dogs are permitted.
All dogs except service dogs also are banned from the beach and ocean in the Ortley Beach section of Toms River, one town to the north of Seaside Heights.
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