Dog Beach Dog Wash Can No Longer Afford to Provide Free Dog Bags at the Beach

by on September 26, 2018 · 2 comments

in Ocean Beach

Mindy Pellissier and Jane Donley, owners of Dog Beach Dog Wash on Voltaire Street in OB have written a letter to the City of San Diego saying they can no longer afford to supply Dog Beach visitors with free dog bags. They announced they would end the service they have provided for many years on the first day of October.

In the response from the City, Jane Donley told the OB Rag, the City has agreed to replace the bags the very next day, on October 2.

Interestingly, Pellisier and Donley cite tariffs imposed by the Trump administration as one of the reasons they have to quit the service as the price of bags is anticipated to rise. The letter stated:

Due to the tariffs imposed by the current administration and the anticipated rise in the price of bags, we will no longer be able to afford providing bags for the 10,000 visitors a week to Dog Beach who rely on these bags to pick up after their pets.

In addition, Pellisier and Donley rolled out the costs they’ve taken on over the last 20 years they’ve been providing free bags.

For the past 20 years, in order to ensure a clean beach and ocean at our treasured Dog Beach and adjacent park, we have provided 32-34 rolls of 2,000 bags/roll a month (at a cost per bag of $ .014 each), amounting to more than $10,000 a year at Dog Beach, or more than $200,000 over 20 years.  For more than 10 years, until last year, we also provided four rolls a month at Dusty Rhodes Dog Park.  We have relied on help from volunteers and our Dog Wash staff to keep the 12+ containers full at all times.

Donley explained to the OB Rag in an email the purpose of the letter:

Mindy and my intent with the letter, and a notice posted on the Dog Beach bulletin board, was to inform people that without the free bags they were to start bringing their own.  Without free grocery plastic bags, and fewer people reading newspapers, free bags are harder to come by.  I’m glad the city will step up.

The monthly Dog Beach Dog Wash sponsored clean-ups will still continue every 2nd Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m. the owners will continue to participate in other clean-ups at Dog Beach organized by other groups.

The letter, dated Sept. 14, continued:

We are well aware of the ban on plastic bags in San Diego and have looked at other options.  So-called “biodegradable bags” made of plant-based materials easily disintegrate when exposed to sun and salt air, and turn to dust in the containers.  Because of pathogens in dog waste, plastic bags are the safest alternative for disposing of this waste.

While the City Park and Recreation staff has installed three Dogipot dispensers (which hold 200 bags each, at a cost of more than $.04 each), two in Ocean Beach Park and one at Dog Beach, all three are almost always empty.

We are sure that the city can find the resources necessary to buy bags.  We have purchased them from Associated Bag Co. in Wisconsin and are happy to provide you with our contact if you so desire. We will remove the stainless steel containers, which have survived the elements at the beach for 20 years, unless the City prefers to keep them.

Donley informed the OB Rag of the City’s response. Donley told us:

Dan Daneri, Shoreline Parks Regional District Manager, called me yesterday and was gracious and thanked us for helping all these years – he couldn’t have been nicer.  He said the city has an ample supply of Dogipot® dispensers and bags and wanted to replace ours as soon as we removed ours.  We agreed we would remove ours next Monday (10/1/18, late afternoon) and his staff would put theirs up Tuesday morning (10/2/18).

Donley urged visiting dog owners to Dog Beach to be responsible for bringing their own bags at all times.

Here is the letter in its entirety:

September 14, 2018

TO: Mayor Kevin Faulconer
Councilmember Lorie Zapf
Parks & Recreation Department Director Herman Parker
Mission Bay Park District Manager Stacy McKenzie
Shoreline Parks District Manager Dan Daneri

FROM: Mindy Pellissier & Jane Donley
Owners, Dog Beach Dog Wash

RE: Pet Pickup Bags at Ocean Beach – Dog Beach

This is to inform you that by the end of September 2018, we will no longer be able to provide free pet pickup bags in our stainless steel containers at Dog Beach and Ocean Beach Park.

For the past 20 years, in order to ensure a clean beach and ocean at our treasured Dog Beach and adjacent park, we have provided 32-34 rolls of 2,000 bags/roll a month (at a cost per bag of $ .014 each), amounting to more than $10,000 a year at Dog Beach, or more than $200,000 over 20 years.  For more than 10 years, until last year, we also provided four rolls a month at Dusty Rhodes Dog Park.  We have relied on help from volunteers and our Dog Wash staff to keep the 12+ containers full at all times.

Due to the tariffs imposed by the current administration and the anticipated rise in the price of bags, we will no longer be able to afford providing bags for the 10,000 visitors a week to Dog Beach who rely on these bags to pick up after their pets.

We are well aware of the ban on plastic bags in San Diego and have looked at other options.  So-called “biodegradable bags” made of plant-based materials easily disintegrate when exposed to sun and salt air, and turn to dust in the containers.  Because of pathogens in dog waste, plastic bags are the safest alternative for disposing of this waste.

While the City Park and Recreation staff has installed three Dogipot dispensers (which hold 200 bags each, at a cost of more than $.04 each), two in Ocean Beach Park and one at Dog Beach, all three are almost always empty.

We are sure that the city can find the resources necessary to buy bags.  We have purchased them from Associated Bag Co. in Wisconsin and are happy to provide you with our contact if you so desire. We will remove the stainless steel containers, which have survived the elements at the beach for 20 years, unless the City prefers to keep them.

We will continue to conduct our monthly cleanups at Dog Beach (every 2nd Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m.) and participate at Dog Beach with I Love A Clean San Diego’s Creek to Bay Cleanup in April, with the San Diego River Park Foundation’s River Days in May, and with I Love A Clean San Diego’s California Coastal Cleanup in September.

It has been our privilege to contribute to the health and safety of humans, dogs and all marine life at Dog Beach for the past 20 years.  Since 1998, we are proud to have helped achieve and maintain Heal The Bay’s A rating for Dog Beach.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Avatar Debbie September 26, 2018 at 3:41 pm

(OB Dog Wash) Mindy and Jane have been extremely generous over the years in providing bags, organizing beach clean ups, donating dog washes for clean ups etc.

The OB Town Council used to have a separate fund for Dog Beach that had tons of money in it. The fund also bought the metal sculpture at the entryway and sweeping and repainting of the paw. I recall at times the fund was used to help support replacement of bags. What happened to the money in this fund ? Does OBTC still get involved with Dog Beach?

On another note, there are tons of pet supply places nearby. Are they supporting the dog parks and dog beach?

Thank you Dog Wash for making a difference and giving OB a great place to wash dogs and always have a friendly staff.

Reply

Avatar Tyler September 27, 2018 at 10:31 am

I’ll happily contribute $5/month for bags if someone is willing to create a fund. Hell I’ll contribute $100 if we can get a sign with dog beach etiquette rules for the entrance on the sand.

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