VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Jay Veenendaal does everything he can to protect 3-year-old Bella on their summer walks.
“She’s not only wearing shoes, she’s wearing socks as well," said Veenendaal.
Bella had a bad injury when she was a puppy.
“Her pads weren’t quite developed yet and she got them burnt real bad," he adds.
So, he doesn’t even take her on the beach; for her safety and because it’s against the law.
Meghan Conti is a supervisor with Virginia Beach Animal Control. She says, “There’s no dogs allowed period on the sand beaches there. At all - 24 hours a day, no dogs.”
But, people are still taking their dogs into the sand. Over the weekend, Animal Control officers issued four animal cruelty citations - a total of 74 since Memorial Day weekend.
“We go through this battle every year," said Conti.
Another shaded option for dogs are one of the city’s three dog parks. They are also a safe alternative during these high temperatures.
“We encourage people to take their dogs to the dog parks where they can legally take them off leash and allow them to run," said Conti.
But, if you must be near the Oceanfront with your dogs, owners like Veenendaal say put yourself in their paws.
“If you walk outside and you take your shoes off and you walk across the sand and concrete and it hurts your feet, it’s going to hurt their feet," said Veenendaal.