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Farmers Market opts to ban dogs

Patrons of the Franklin Farmers Market will see a noticeable change in 2014—the absence of four-legged visitors.
The increase in popularity of the market has resulted in more pets accompanying shoppers, which organizers say became an issue they had to address.
“The Franklin Farmers Market has traditionally enjoyed customers’ companion animals, but experiences in the last two years have shown us that the market will be safer for everyone if dogs do not accompany their owners to the market,” said board president Ralph Cole. “We think most people will understand that our decision is the best for everyone.”
Results of a customer survey offered in November led to the board’s decision to allow only service dogs.
 “We love dogs,” said Lisa Tidwell, Creative Services Director for the market. “But when you have that many people with a lot of dogs trying to move around in a tight space, it can really create some big problems.” 
Concerns ranged from dogs that relieve themselves around the farmers’ produce, along with safety and liability issues. 
“Everyone was very passionate with their feelings about whether the dogs should be banned or allowed at the market,” said Tidwell. 
“This has been a tough issue. For over a year, the market board has looked for solutions. It has been a real challenge to make a decision.” 
The board also consulted health officials and reviewed the dog policies of other farmers markets across the country. 

Posted on: 1/3/2014


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