Council considers banning pets from downtown events

A proposed ordinance would ban dogs, such as this one at the American National Bank Downtown Farmers Market in June last year, and other pets from some city-sponsored events.

The dog days of summer are no time for local canines to be hanging out at Grand Junction’s downtown farmers market, according to a recent proposal.

City Council members will sniff out public sentiment during an upcoming hearing about whether dogs and other pets should be allowed downtown during some city-sponsored events.

Dogs on leashes have been allowed in Grand Junction’s core for more than two decades during the American National Bank Downtown Farmers Market and other events.

Members of the Downtown Development Authority, a city-backed group that organizes the events, have received an increased number of phone calls from residents concerned about dogs mingling among the hundreds of shoppers who stroll Main Street on Thursday nights in the summer.

“We’ve gotten complaints over people having pets there for years,” DDA Director Heidi Hoffman Ham said. “It’s as much about the well being of animals as it is about (animals and) other people.”

For the past couple years, organizers placed signs near the farmers market asking patrons not to bring their pets to the event, but that has done little to deter pet owners from bringing dogs, Ham said.

Having dogs at downtown events compromises the sanitation requirements of food and drink vendors, according to the proposal.

Mesa County Animal Services is backing the idea to ban pets at large events, saying it’s risky to expose animals to extreme hot and cold temperatures.

The public hearing is set for April 18 at Grand Junction City Hall, 250 N. Fifth St.


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