35-Year Dog Ban Lifted in Downtown Santa Cruz

dog shoppingThere’s good news for dogs visiting or living in Santa Cruz, Calif. Last week the city council approved the potential removal of a ban that’s prohibited dogs from the downtown area for more than three decades.

The Santa Cruz Sentinel reports that the council voted 4-2 in favor of allowing dogs in the downtown area during daylight hours for a three-month trial period beginning at the end of August.

According to the ordinance, all dogs must be leashed, cleaned up after, under control and not left unattended. The ordinance does not allow panhandling, carrying signs or collecting signatures with a dog. The two council members who cast dissenting votes cited concerns about the panhandling restrictions.

“I actually support having dogs downtown for this trial period, but I believe poor people should be included in the experiment,” Vice Mayor Don Lane told the Sentinel.

In an email to GoodTimesSantaCruz.com, Lane wrote that among the other main concerns he’d heard were “poop on the sidewalk, potential dangers to small children and seniors, and street people bringing more dogs.”

The ban lift was requested by downtown business owners hoping to attract new customers who like to bring their dogs along when they shop and dine out. They have been losing these potential customers to nearby dog-friendly towns like Monterey and Los Gatos.

On July 28, the council will decide whether dogs should be allowed downtown on a permanent basis.

“It’s up to dog owners to make this work,” Councilwoman Hilary Bryant, who co-owns a veterinary business near downtown Santa Cruz and supported the ordinance, told the Sentinel.

PHOTO: Joseph Mischyshyn

Laura Goldman

Laura Goldman is senior social media writer for i Love Dogs, Inc. She does love dogs. And elephants and turtles. Along with writing about the loves of her life, Laura likes to play with her two pound pups and tell anyone who’ll listen just how awesome Pit Bulls are.

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