CAROLINA BEACH, North Carolina — A North Carolina beach and tourist town has relaxed a long-standing ban on dogs on the beach during tourist season.

The StarNews of Wilmington reports Carolina Beach will now allow leashed dogs on the sand between 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. from April 1 through Sept. 30. Previously, leashed dogs were only allowed on the beach from Oct. 1 to March 31.

Mayor Dan Wilcox said officials are following the lead of other tourist spots like Topsail Beach, Oak Island and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in becoming more dog-friendly.

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Wilcox said the rule will not go into effect until the town hires someone to enforce it.

The town council approved the change in a 3-2 vote earlier this month.

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