Will Dogs Return To Downtown Santa Cruz?

Banished for 35 years, the merchants themselves have asked the city council to loosen this legislative leash. Dog-walking visitors are surprised when police inform them of the current law, and merchants seek the business that they provide.

To be sure, it would be a three-month trial period only, so dog-owners would have to be on their best behavior. Don't leash the dog outside while you go inside the store (nor dare take your pet inside) - as that would be one of many restrictions.

"The executive director of the Downtown Association said his board voted unanimously to urge a change in the rules. He said he is working with some merchants and other detractors who are concerned unattended dog waste could affect public health and that canines might make some shoppers feel intimated.

"The business community is split, but overall most want something to change in the dog culture," he said.

The proposal goes to city council on July 12.

Thanks to Josh Hart

Full Story: Dogs downtown: Debate coming up as merchants board urges city to OK trial period

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