A dog killed another dog on Hendry’s Beach, a favorite area for dog-owners to bring their pets to socialize and frolic off leash at the seaside. On July 14, according to a report by City of Santa Barbara Animal Control, a small poodle-terrier mix dog that was off-leash approached a larger, leashed border collie-Labrador mix from behind. The larger dog attacked the smaller, ultimately killing it.
Hendry’s Beach, known officially as Arroyo Burro Beach, is broken into a County-owned section where leashes are required by law, and an off-leash area at the foot of the Douglas Family Preserve bluffs. The report did not specify whether the incident occurred in the off-leash or on-leash section of the beach.
Pamela Christian, Supervisor of Animal Control, said she assumes that the two dog owners came to some sort of settlement on their own, because neither one contacted Animal Control. Nonetheless, she said, she is required to alert the larger dog’s owner to explain that if the dog lashes out in a similar fashion again it will be termed “vicious” and consequently kept in confinement or put down.
Erik Axelson, South County Deputy Director of Santa Barbara County Parks, which manages and controls Arroyo Burro Beach, said he does not anticipate a change in the off-leash and on-leash designations of areas as a result of the incident. He said that many people bring their pets through the County beach area to get to the off-leash section. “We’re happy to accommodate dog owners passing through the beach,” Axelson said. He added that County Parks has several areas where leashes are not a requirement, such as Toro Canyon Park and Tucker’s Grove Park. “We continue to work with dog groups,” he said, going on to explain the ongoing process by which County Parks tries to please all people who want to enjoy the outdoor spaces of Santa Barbara, with or without pets.