On March 8, 2017 the Eugene City Council passed a pilot ordinance (sunsetting in November) on the restriction of dogs in the downtown core, in order to ensure the health and well being of all residents, both humans and dogs. This ordinance is a replica of the one successfully implemented in the West University in 1996. So what does this mean for dogs in our downtown?
Dogs belonging to those who live downtown, work downtown, are assistance dogs, or are aiding law enforcement are allowed in downtown Eugene. By restricting the number of dogs eligible to be in the downtown area and requiring that they are vaccinated and on a leash, it will create a safer environment for people in downtown. Maintaining the ability for dog owners who live and work downtown to keep their companions safe and healthy is critical to attracting and keeping people in the downtown area. Also, the Food for Lane County Dining Room and the adjacent space surrounding that building was cut out of the original footprint and dogs will still be allowed, to minimize the disruption of that important social service.
How does this impact public safety, and animal health?
-Restricting the number of dogs downtown can help ensure individuals in need of a service dog can keep their dog healthy and safe.
-Creating a safe and healthy environment for dogs that live in the downtown area is vital to their wellbeing. In order for the downtown area to be safe for dogs, it must be free of hazards to their health (e.g. poisons), and hazards to their safety (e.g. aggressive animals, unvaccinated dogs, etc.)
-In order for people who live and work downtown to be comfortable walking outside in the downtown area with their dogs, they must feel that they can keep their dogs and themselves safe.
-By requiring that all dogs be licensed and be on a leash, this eliminates most situations in which a person might be attacked by a dog. If a person is attacked by a dog and is bitten, knowing that the dog is licensed and up to date on its vaccines is critical in determining what treatment they need and addressing other public health and safety issues.
-To improve the cleanliness of streets and street corners in the downtown area, eliminating the amount of excrement and waste on the walkways is essential. By decreasing the number of dog owners walking their dogs in the downtown area, there will be less waste left on the walkways.People tend to be more inclined to pick up waste left by their pets in their own neighborhoods, especially if they walk their dog on the same route daily.
-It is easier to ensure (and enforce) that dogs in the downtown area are licensed and vaccinated. By focusing on a smaller area (rather than city or county-wide), it is easier to ensure that all dogs are licensed and vaccinated. (To obtain a license, a dog owner must have proof that their dog received a rabies vaccine and must stay up to date with them).
If you have any questions or would like additional information, please send an email to: [email protected]
If you would like to thank your city council for taking this action and step towards a safe and inviting downtown for all, you can email them at: [email protected]