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Dog lovers in Santa Monica push for dog beach rights

An organization dedicated to opening a leash-free beach in Santa Monica is holding its second fundraiser of the season this Saturday, the Santa Monica Daily Press reports.

The group, called Unleash the Beach, was founded by Georja Umano, a resident of the city and owner of two dogs. The group has been working to get legislators to allow dogs to run around on the beach without leashes since 2005, when they were deeply involved in the effort.

Currently, California code states that no dogs are allowed on state beaches without leashes, unless they have an order from a California State Parks superintendent.

After a bill to establish a pilot program failed in 2005, Umano moved on, but is now back. She kept the website up and running, and noticed that more people have been writing in to help over the past year.

"I thought, if that's the case, let's give it another try and see what happens," Umano told the news source.

She held Unleash's first fundraiser in July at a cafe on Pier Avenue in Santa Monica, and is now trying to push for another program. To do this, they will have to get city officials on their side, then use that power to influence the State Parks. 
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