CAROLINA BEACH, N.C. — A North Carolina beach and tourist town has relaxed a long-standing ban on dogs on the beach during tourist season and will allow leashed dogs during certain hours.

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

Wilcox says 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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