Oregon | Economy

Dogs No Longer Welcome At Some Portland Farmers Markets

OPB | March 3, 2009 3 a.m. | Updated: July 17, 2012 1:12 a.m. | Portland, OR

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By Pete Springer

You can blame the dog that stole a sandwich from someone’s hand at the Portland Farmers Market.  That dog wolfed down the sandwich and then threw it up in the middle of a crowd.

Or maybe you should blame the dogs who lifted their legs to “mark” various things at the farmers markets.

Those and other incidents have prompted the Portland Farmers Market to ban dogs and pets at the markets held on Wednesdays and Saturdays in downtown Portland, says Ann Forsthoefel.

Forsthoefel took over as the executive director of the Farmers Market six months ago.
 
“One of the things I inherited was a pretty substantial folder going back about eight years with complaints and letters from the general public,” says Forsthoefel.  A lot of those complaints were about dogs—or more specifically—about the behavior of dogs.

Forsthoefel loves dogs and has a dog herself, but she says the downtown markets can just get so crowded that a lot of dogs don’t get the room and supervision they need to remain well behaved.

Twelve to fifteen thousand people visit the farmers market in the South Park Blocks of Portland on Saturdays.

Forsthoefel says it’s likely that dog owners who don’t know about the new policy will still show up with their canine companions.    

“We might give them a little doggie treat and let them know we appreciate dogs but we’d value it if they left them at home,” says Forsthoefel.  

Other regional farmers markets have also adopted no pet policies.  These include markets held in Hillsdale, Beaverton, and Seattle.  

But dogs will still be allowed at the less crowded Portland Farmers Markets.

These include the markets held Thursdays on the eastbank and one at the Ecotrust Building in northwest, and the market held Sundays in northeast Portland.

The Portland Farmers Market kicks off the season March 21st in the South Park Blocks.

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