Dog beach blues

A controversial dog beach which opened just weeks ago could face imminent closure after environmentalists promised a serious legal challenge and called it a threat to human hygiene and marine life. 

The small stretch of beach at the western end of Torre del Mar was officially declared a dog beach on August 21.

But Axarquia environmental action group GENA, claim it was opened without the proper authorisation and threatens unique fauna at the wetlands of the river Velez, an area of special ecological interest.

If the closure goes ahead it is certain to inflame the row between dog lovers and those opposed to such schemes.

Head of GENA, Rafael Yus, said laws were already in place which prohibited pets from splashing around in public waters during bathing season, “unless the beaches are unfit for swimmers.” 

This is open to such wide interpretation, claims Yus, that the only reason the local council got away with using it was because someone put a poster up claiming it was unfit. 

Yus points out that people have swum there without problems for many years and there was no monitoring or lifeguard presence, meaning it was absurd to label the area as unfit, especially since many dog owners have been paddling around with their furry friends since August 21. 

There is also a local by-law operative in Velez-Malaga which insists that dogs out in public are kept on a leash, a regulation at odds with the notion of taking a dog out for a swim. 

Dog beaches have become symbolic of the conflict between dog lovers and the wider public this summer, igniting outrage and delight in equal measure as more and more are slowly established across the Spanish coastline. 


Author badge placeholder
Written by

Euro Weekly News Media

Share your story with us by emailing, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page


    • Michael Moon

      09 September 2016 • 07:04

      It seems to me that huiman beings make far more mess on the beaches than dogs ever could. I walk on the paseo Maritimo at Marbella most weekend mornings with my dog. I never cease to be shocked and disgusted to see the mess which the Town Hall cleans up every day incluiing all sorts of litter, plastic and glass bottles, used diapers etc.

    • Jose Francisco

      09 September 2016 • 08:23

      Yes agree here whit the human they make mess here in fuengirola is human and Dog excrementos.

    • Kim

      09 September 2016 • 08:47

      I would rather say this is a problem for the nudist that had inofficially claimed this beach as theirs to run around naked on. Why is this not mentioned? I whent there with one of my dogs and three of my kids just before it opened and the naked couple on one side of me was telling me the kids was playing to loud. To try to get rid of us the women crawled on top of her man in a obscene posture, and also from what i have understod of nudist a not ok behavior. Nudism is about naked NOT about sexual exposion. Do the GENA group have a hidden agenda perhaps….

    • felipe

      10 September 2016 • 12:01

      I don’t swim in any mass family orientated waters…just think how may humans pee in the water…did you know that sunscreen location that is dutifully slathered on before a swim on the beach may be protecting your body—but a new study finds that the chemicals are also killing coral reefs worldwide…’human hygiene’ ??
      And don’t get me started about plastic in the oceans…dogs and animals in general are not the threat to any environment unless they’ve been hormoned to death which ends up in our super markets…I believe that’s by far more of a threat to humane hygiene…
      It’s an animal’s world as well and we don’t own it !

    • Roy Peters

      11 September 2016 • 12:26

      It is a sad fact that dog owners do not all clear up their dogs poo on the ground. This is tragically evident in Marbella on the sea front and elsewhere because people just can’t be bothered.
      There is no point in hoping the police do something about it for they cannot even be bothered to get out of their cars or stand chatting the whole day long.
      So it seems to me that within a few months ‘dog beaches’ would become smelly, and horrible places to walk as the amount of poo builds up.
      Any poo that is within reach of the tide will pollute the sea after a time, and may end up on other beaches where people swim.

    • Jose Francisco

      11 September 2016 • 16:47

      Aqui en fuengirola y las lagunas el Coto es una verguenza no se puede caminar de la mierda que ay por las aceras, En las puertas de Los establicimientos por donde vayas Ya e estado en Los Ayuntamiento de mijas y en fuengirola me respondieron que no podian acer nada por que ay muchos perros tambien le respondi que ay muchos coches y la policia pone multas verguenza de ayuntamiento que pensaran Los turistas al ver esta marranada,Cuando mi familia y amigos vienen aqui no conprenden como Los ayuntamientos no acen nada,

    • felipe

      12 September 2016 • 13:21

      Polluting the oceans !!?? Give me a break…
      And what about cruise ships, private yachts, illegal fishing, factories and hotels on the coasts…you can’t be serious…dog poo polluting the oceans..! Dogs don’t poo in oceans!
      Then p

    • Roy Peters

      12 September 2016 • 15:15

      Felipe: If you read the comment correctly you will see that I NEVER said anything about polluting the oceans:- “Any poo that is within reach of the tide will pollute the sea after a time, and may end up on other beaches where people swim.”
      My comment suggested that dog poo that is low enough on the beach to be washed out by the tide could end up on other beaches where people swim!
      I suggest you read it again!!!!!!

    Comments are closed.