Archive for Sunday, October 14, 2007

Maple Leaf Festival to prohibit dogs

All animals banned at public events

October 14, 2007


— While the thousands of annual visitors to the Maple Leaf Festival next weekend are welcome for the 50th version this year as always, their dogs aren't.

Neither are any other animals.

Baldwin City Council recently approved an ordinance that prohibits animals at any public event. The reason for the ordinance - and the main aim of the action - was an incident at last year's festival when a young girl was bitten in the face by a dog.

"I know this has been an uncomfortable issue, and the safety committee debated about it a long time," said Nancy Brown, a member of both the safety and Maple Leaf Festival committees. "But with the incident last year and fights between dogs, we decided to suggest that dogs shouldn't be coming to Maple Leaf.

"There's no dog that does well around 30,000 people," Brown said.

The idea started out as just banning dogs from Maple Leaf. But, for various reasons, the ban grew to all animals at all public events.

The ordinance has some bite to it - violators can be fined $500. It's expected for the first year of the new rules that the fines won't come into play much.

"If we see an animal, we will request it to be removed," Brown said. "If we see it a second time, we will have enforcement. We don't want to be nasty about it, but it is now a law in our town."

What will that enforcement be?

"Committee members and barricade monitors will be the first line," she said. "If they don't respond, we will request police assistance."

Since the ordinance was passed, the Maple Leaf committee has tried to get the word out the best it can on its promotional information. There will also be notification around Baldwin City.

"We are going to have signs posted about the ordinance," Brown said. "Buses will have these signs. Satellite parking areas will have these signs."

Although there has been talk around town about people offering boarding services for the festival, Brown said she wouldn't count on it.

"I've not heard of anything along those lines," she said, adding that liability costs and other factors would make that difficult.

The ban is only for the festival grounds and not throughout the city.

"If someone on Orange Street wanted to do that (board animals) and were willing to get liability insurance for that, I'm sure there would be people who would appreciate it," she said.

The ordinance allows for animals to participate in the annual parade at 11 a.m. Saturday. But after the parade, they are not welcome on festival grounds.

The ban does not affect the Kids Zone's petting zoo. Service animals, of course, will be allowed.


matahari 8 years, 1 month ago

"There's no dog that does well around 30,000 people" that is a bold faced lie, many many service dogs for the blind etc included! (yea I see the disclaimer at the end of the article)

Can't wait to see how many locals' cats will be impounded and how much revenue the town makes on locals paying their $500 to get their cats released!

Oh, and the lead in at the article says 'all public events, and all animals'....interesting wording.

pace 8 years, 1 month ago

I prefer a dog free venue. people should never take dogs to a home or party without prior approval from the host.

riverdrifter 8 years, 1 month ago

Marion, Spot-on. Too, too much for a dog. Somebody brought a pair of Corgis a few years back & the poor potlickers were terrified. Not good. Stop by for a bowl of chilli on the 'stationary float' on the parade route. You'll know it when you see it.

domino 8 years, 1 month ago

"All public events and all animals" ... interesting wording.

Glad to know it will include the guy in my area who likes to carry his 9 foot snake around his neck - think it is mostly a tactic to get people up in the air. My mother, who is terrified of snakes, saw him and his "pet" at our local fair several years ago, will not come back to the event because of him!

As far as dogs, mine is as much a member of the family as anyone and loves people and kids especially, but I would NEVER subject HER to something like that!! Too many people who don't take care of or controll their children. I'd be way more concerned about something happening to my 100+ pound baby than her ever doing anything to anyone else!!

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