Shellharbour dog lovers are calling on the council to give them somewhere to enjoy the beach with their canine friends.
Britt Jarochowicz launched a petition on Change.org at the weekend after she was informed by rangers that dogs were not permitted at any yellow-sand beaches in the municipality.
Dogs were allowed along the pebbled stretch between The Shallows coastal reserve and the gravel loader, but Mrs Jarochowicz said the area was not a suitable place for families to swim.
Dogs are prohibited from all other beaches within the Shellharbour local government area although they were once allowed off-leash at Shellharbour South Beach, before the entrance to the Shell Cove marina was dug up.
A survey conducted to inform the council's Dog Friendly Spaces Strategy, adopted in 2019, revealed that an off-leash area on a beach was a common desire among respondents.
However, the strategy says there are strong and conflicting views on the topic within the community.
It outlines a short-term action for the council to investigate the suitability of an off-leash area on Shellharbour beaches.
At the time of the strategy, Shellharbour City mayor Marianne Saliba said, she asked council staff if there was an opportunity to make the stretch of land from the groyne at Shell Cove to the gravel loader an area suitable for dogs.
South of the groyne is a short stretch of sandy beach.
She was yet to receive a response, but Cr Saliba expected there would not be progress on this request until the seafront area was completed and the beach was restored, later this year.
Mrs Jarochowicz's petition had attracted more than 270 signatures as of Monday afternoon.
She said people were unaware there was no longer a dog beach at Shell Cove and it was surprising the area was lacking one, given the number in neighbouring Wollongong and Kiama.
Wollongong has 11 off-leash beach areas and another 13 that are open to dogs at certain times.
"Your dogs are a part of your life and become a part of your family, why not share what you do with them?" Mrs Jarochowicz said.
Cr Saliba said there was limited beach space in Shellharbour compared to Wollongong, but suggested a dog beach could be trialled.
She said keeping people and dogs safe was paramount.
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