Topsail Beach cracking down on dogs off-leash

Topsail Beach
Topsail Beach WSN

Dog owners letting their pets run free on Topsail Beach will now likely face stiffer penalties.

The StarNews in Wilmington reports that the popular Pender County beach town is making plans to increase the fines paid by visitors breaking its leash laws. Currently, Topsail Beach fines pet owners $25 if caught letting their dogs run off leash during the summer. Town officials haven’t said what the new fine could be, but nearby towns like Wrightsville Beach charge as much as $250.

The town’s police officers have been issuing an average of two leash law tickets per day over the past month.

“I don’t blame the dogs,” Topsail Beach Police Chief Sam Gervase told the StarNews. “I blame the owners. The people know that the dogs aren’t supposed to be off the leash.”

Dunn: 704-358-5235;

Twitter: @andrew_dunn