MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Onslow Beach Recreation Area welcomes pet owners and their furry companions to visit the sandy scene and enjoy fun in the sun as a family. However, for the safety of all beach patrons and animals, visitors to the beach must follow Base Order 10570.1D, “Domestic Animal Control; Dogs, Cats and Horses.”
Chris Usry, the general manager for Onslow Beach, said the official pet beach came about in 2008, after about six months of planning.
“I have two dogs myself, and they like to travel and take vacations too,” said Usry. “Today, a lot of hotels, guest housing and lodging are going pet friendly. I felt as though it was something that needed to be addressed and I put together a proposal and said there was a demand for this.”
A trial period began with making about 25 percent of the beach units for enlisted, staff noncommissioned officers and officers, pet friendly.
“While we are pet friendly, it is in a limited area,” said Usry. “If families are interested in getting a pet friendly unit, they need to specify that when they come or call in. Otherwise, there is a fine if you get caught with a pet in a non-pet unit.”
Usry added that none of the beach-front units are pet friendly, because pets are still not-allowed on the swimming beaches.
According to Base Order 10570.1D, all dogs, horses or other animals are required to stay within the authorized area and observe all posted rules and regulations. Animals are not permitted on any swimming beach and they are only allowed beach access at the pet beach located south of the SNCO pavilion. Service animals, with proper ID cards, are exempt.
Specifically excluded animals are any breeds in violation of the Base aggressive breeds list, ferrets, insects, snakes, any exotic animal or any aquarium larger than five gallons.
“Being able to bring my pet is awesome, and it adds a new dimension to the family vacation,” said Capt. Charles Hart with Marine Corps Air Facility Quantico. “There are no worries with leaving the pet at home or at a kennel, where you have to worry if they’re even being fed. It’s nice to have her with us.”
Hart added this is the first year the family has brought their dog to the beach, and they’re taking advantage of the opportunity.
“My only advice is to call ahead,” said Hart. “There are limited spaces for pet friendly lodging on the beach, so it’s tough to get a reservation but it’s definitely worth it.”
Cpl. Justin Nymann, with 3rd battalion, 10th marine regiment, 2nd Marine Division, said it’s an awesome opportunity to be able to bring their families to the beach.
“Pets are a part of that family,” said Nymann. “The beach here isn’t crowded and if we were to go to Emerald Island or Topsail Island, you would also have to pay for parking.”
For more information on the Pet Beach and policy, visit the website mccslejeune.com/beach or call 440-7052.