Bay Families with Dogs is a non-profit advocacy group formed to improve the community environment for people who enjoy outdoor recreation with their dogs. Goals include better education and awareness for both dog owners and the non-dog owning community, and to obtain and maintain recreation zones on area beaches for Bay County families to enjoy responsibly with their dogs. ... more
Announcing "Friends of Shell Island!" A new advocacy group supporting anyone who is interested in maintaining our access to Shell Island in the future (dog or no-dog). Please join our sister organization, Friends of Shell Island, now! Here: www.friendsofshellisland.org.
View Photos of the first annual Canine Swimsuit Contest at our dog friendly beach!
You can take your dog by boat to Shell Island (off Panama City, Florida) due to Bay Families with Dogs members' efforts in 2006. Head to the center point of the island (where all the boats anchor). This section is a residential subdivision called "Spanish Ante." It is NOT a State Park in this area. If you don't have a boat, you can charter a boat (dolphinandsnorkeltours.com is pet friendly) or rent a boat from pet-friendly Scotty Boat Rental!
In the summer of 2006, a controversial decision by the State of
Florida sparked the formation of Bay Families with Dogs. Citizens
who had been enjoying the shores of Shell Island (off Panama City,
FL) for generations with their dogs along were forced off the island
by armed patrols making criminal charges.
As the controversy raged, the Bay County Commission voted
unanimously to ask the State to work with them on a solution for
recreational access at Shell Island as well as on some mainland
The State held a public meeting in Panama City that drew a huge
turnout in favor of restoring the generations-old recreational access
these families cherish.