Monday, December 22, 2008

Pet Friendly Sanibel May Really "Go to the Dogs" in March

In an earlier blog post I noted that Sanibel Island, Florida is one of the easiest vacation destinations to travel to with your pet. Accommodations are often pet friendly and beaches throughout the Island invite dogs on leashes to enjoy themselves. In addition, many residents on the Island have pets and while walking their dogs will most likely engage you in conversation (if you are amenable to same) about yours.

So there is no need to ever leave Fido or Tabby behind. You just need to assure that the property you are renting does allow pets and that you dialogue with the owner or manager about your pet and inquire as to the standard pet fee for that property. Pet fees are usually non refundable and are used to help the owner do a thorough or deep clean on your departure.

With all the amenities offered to your pooch on the Island, there is one more "goodie" that well may become a likelihood in March 2009. There will be two referenda up for vote by the Sanibel City Council in March. One will establish a dog park on the Island and the second will remove some land owned by the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) from the “Sanibel Environmentally Sensitive Land” area. The land belonging to SCCF is needed to make the dog park large enough to serve its purpose....allowing dogs to run free within the park, no leash needed.

Should the referenda pass, and many on and off the Island are hoping for this result, both renters and Island residents will have a great alternative to walking their leashed dogs on Sanibel pathways or island beaches and it reduces the possibility of owners feeling like they have to let their dogs off the leash on the beach. Here in the park, dogs will be free to run and meet other dogs. Social interaction between owners can also take place in a friendly manner. This is especially nice for older residents on the island. The only requirement in using the park is that the park pooches must be vaccinated for rabies.... and owners will be asked for proof of vaccination. Island residents, as well as visitors, who come to the park will also need to have proof of a valid license for their dog.

The Sanibel Dog Club, essentially the organization most concerned that the referenda pass, has pointed out that the re-dedicated parcel of property will be more attractive than in its current state as the dog park will have as its model human parks where landscaping is instrumental in making the area appealing. The Dog Club will be taking full responsibility for the upkeep of the park. There will be no cost to tax payers nor any fees to park users to pay to enter.

And for spring rentals on Sanibel, the dog park will be welcomed by those visitors who will have yet another chance to give their prized pooch the best of everything a vacation can offer. Even though the park will not be completed in March, the opportunities for further pampering may well be a reality after the March vote. As a vacation rental owner of two properties, one of which is pet friendly, I know the dog park will be considered an added value by those searching for a holiday destination where they can comfortably vacation with their treasured 4 legged companion. I am hopeful that the measures will be voted in and would wager a guess this will be a win-win-win for the town, its residents, its visitors and its vacation rental property owners. Oh, and let's not forget the pooches. They're gonna love it!


Anonymous said...

Yes, but as a visitor of many years, the problem with Sanibel is finding a vacation rental that will permit dogs. The ordinance requiring monthly rentals of homes makes if difficult for those of us who only visit for one to two weeks to find any type of rental that will accommodate our pets who are larger than 10 lbs. Previously, single family homes were more likely to permit pets; most condo associations prohibit pets. So.... while the dog park will be wonderful for residents, it is not a very important to those of us who cannot bring our pets to Sanibel any longer due to the rental restrictions the island has chosen. I truthfully feel for those owners who planned to rent their property as a vacation rental in order to enjoy it themselves to have this option stripped away. In the difficult economic conditions, I am sure there must be some owners either wringing their habds or doing some rentals under the table. Dog gone it! Who could blame them?

Samba said...

I understand your frustration. We allow dogs at our private vacation rental home, Toucan House, but of course can only rent by the month.

There are cottages and condos on the Island that do rent by the week, are pet friendly and have a higher weight limit.

If you need more information, please send a name and email to me at

pet friendly Beaches said...

Really Good Blog ..................... and you talking real sense too. Great!