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13 Sep 2018
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We love animals on Sanibel. We welcome them in many pet friendly rentals and all of our beaches. Whether they fly, swim, or walk on all fours we love them.

Dogs are especially loved on our little barrier island.

We protect them requiring that rental guests keep these special travelers close, we also ask them to not play where the alligators lay and that they be on flea and tick preventative.

We also have regulations that protect our native animals from possible mishaps that could be created by a wandering dog. There are strict requirements about leashing and for good reason:

  1. IT PROTECTS SANIBEL’S SEA TURTLES! Wildlife has a place too. Don’t let your best friend become nature’s enemy. An unattended dog can dig up a sea turtle nest in the blink of an eye! With as few as one in 1,000 eggs reaching adulthood, the destruction of only a few nests can have a devastating effect on our sea turtle population.
  2. IT PROTECTS SANIBEL’S SHOREBIRDS! Sanibel’s beaches serve as nesting grounds for shorebirds, including the threatened snowy plovers. An unleashed dog can destroy a colony of beach nesting birds in minutes.
  3. IT PROTECTS SENSITIVE BEACH DUNE VEGETATION! In addition to providing wildlife habitat, native beach dune vegetation protects the beach from erosion and aids in the protection of structures from wind and wave energy. Foot (and paw!) traffic can easily damage this unique plant community.
  4. IT’S THE RESPONSIBLE THING TO DO! It is often the actions of just a few irresponsible people that cause local governments to ban dogs from a popular area. By keeping your dog on a leash and making sure to ALWAYS clean up after your dog, you can help keep Sanibel’s beaches "dog- friendly".
  5. IT’S THE LAW! Section 10-62 of the Sanibel Code states that it is unlawful for the owner of any dog to permit such dog to be at large (without a leash) in or on any public right-of-way, beach, or other public property, or upon any private property without the consent of the owner of such property. A leash must be no more than eight (8) feet in length. Sanibel’s laws also require cleaning up dog waste as dog waste poses additional hazards to people, water quality and wildlife habitat.

So let's keep it simple and keep it safe. Keep Fido on a leash, for everyone's sake!