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Dogs will have their day at Janesville Farmers Market

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NEIL W. JOHNSON
July 23, 2011
— Starting today, you can bring your pooch to the Janesville Farmers Market, with a few strings attached: If your dog’s too big to carry, it’ll need a leash.

And a muzzle.


The farmers market board on Thursday approved allowing dogs at the market, which runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays through October in downtown Janesville.


Market board member Terry Nolan said the board decided on the following conditions:


n Dogs must be held on a non-retractable leash with a maximum length of 6 feet.


n Large dogs must remain muzzled. Small dogs do not require a muzzle, provided they’re carried by their owners. The market recommends using basket muzzles, which allow dogs to pant and drink water.


n Service dogs are exempt from leash and muzzle requirements.


Nolan said the market board and Theresa Feiner, market director, have gotten many requests and complaints this year from people who want to bring their dogs, which the market had previously not allowed.


Nolan said some customers warned that they’d take their business elsewhere if they couldn’t bring their dogs to the market. She said the nine-member market board decided it was time for a compromise.


“We certainly don’t want to make people feel unwelcome,” Nolan said. “We’ve heard people say, ‘Well, Beloit allows dogs, so we’ll just go there.’ We don’t want to turn people away from our market.”


Nolan said the board considers the muzzle a necessary compromise to allow dogs at the market. She said it’s to prevent possible violent confrontations between dogs, which she said is a danger to customers and the market’s 40 to 50 vendors.


Repeat violators of the policy will be asked to leave the market, Nolan said.


“It’s really the dog-versus-dog fights that we’ve witnessed,” Nolan said.


Nolan said the board wants to keep the policy as simple as possible, and she said the market would distribute information on the dog policy today and at upcoming market dates.



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