As of June 2, 2012 the Boulder County Farmers’ Markets asks our customers to leave your pet(s) at home when you come to the Boulder and Longmont Farmers Markets.
Dogs are a common complaint at both markets. Market staff has experienced a significant rise in the number of dog related incidents - fights, peeing and pooping, getting off-leash, customers becoming tangled in a leash, etc.
· In a Training Tips bulletin the Humane Society of Boulder Valley advised dog guardians that hot, crowded, events where other dogs and food are present can be stressful and “may not be beneficial for your dog’s mental or physical state of well-being”.
· While your dog may be well behaved and enjoy the market, he/she will most likely come into close contact with other dogs that are not as well behaved or who find the market stressful.
· Some children (and adults) are afraid of dogs and do not like being in such close proximity to them at the market. Keep in mind that many youngsters are only as tall as some dogs and are meeting them face-to-face.
· Dogs are connected to their owners by a leash. While this is necessary, it does create a problem in a crowded market. A person walking alone can more fluidly “go with the flow” of pedestrian traffic. It’s not so easy with a guardian and leashed-dog in tandem, especially when the dog becomes distracted and walks in a different direction from his/her guardian. A common occurrence at every market is for customers to become entangled in a dog leash. This is especially troubling for some of our older patrons, as well as for those in wheel chairs or using walkers.
· Dogs can and do pose a health risk at a farmers’ market. Food is openly stored and displayed on the street. Customers who pet dogs and then handle food are inadvertently transferring germs to this food. Food preparation takes place in an open air food court (not in an enclosed kitchen). Dog hairs can and do find their way into food while it is being prepared.
· Dogs are not always well behaved and predictable. They can and often do relieve themselves at the market and sometimes on vendor produce and supplies. Market staff cleans up after dogs at every market.
· Dog fights are a common occurrence at each market. This is an unwanted, unpleasant and often frightening experience for the dogs involved as well as for market customers.