Santa Cruz Good Times

Oct 13th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Man’s Best Friend Allowed Downtown

puppydogFRESH DIRT > City council approves three-month trial period for dogs downtown

Some people love their pets so much that they like to take them wherever they go. Whether out shopping or out to eat, dog owners will soon be able to bring their K9s downtown with them. There are other people, however, who think dog owners should leave their best friend at home.

On Tuesday, July 12, community members and officials gathered at the city council meeting to voice their opinion. Executive Director of the Downtown Association, Chip, said that the “culture needed to change.” The trial period will definitely have an effect on Santa Cruz’s culture, especially with tourists, as some community members asserted.

Betsy Firebaugh, board president of Friends of Lighthouse Field, cited statistics demonstrating the possible positive economic impact if Downtown Santa Cruz were to allow dogs downtown. “Fourteen percent of U.S. adults have traveled with a pet on a trip... in the past three years,” said Firebaugh, adding that, “thirty percent of these travelers stayed in hotels. Millions of pet owners [are] looking for a welcome place to spend the night.” Chip, who recognized the eco-nomic potential of such an ordinance, said “we’re missing out on a big market.”

Community members who are opposed to allowing dogs downtown had their say as well. “I would tend to not do my shopping downtown any longer... all the tourists will leave,” said a woman who did not want to be identified for fear of retaliation. She was not alone, however, as more community members spoke to the council about similar concerns. Many people are worried about irresponsible dog owners who won’t clean up after their dogs, and also asked the council how the city planned to deal with dog urination, which would leave an odor.

Council members responded that details, such as waste and odor removal, waste-bags, and the current signage that says “No Dogs,” will be worked out dur-ing the trial period.

Mayor Ryan Coonerty suggested that a provision be included in the trial period that would limit the amount of dogs to two that person can bring downtown with them. Dog owners will be required to have their K9s on a leash and to keep them within three feet of their person. Dogs will only be allowed downtown from sunrise to sunset. Additionally, “panhandling with dogs will not be permitted,” said Coonerty.

Santa Cruz area dog-friendly shops >

Photo by Keana Parker
Comments (4)Add Comment
written by zeearess, October 06, 2011
santa cruzing, they aren't talking about dogs in restaurants, they are talking about dogs OUTSIDE. on the SIDEWALK. read the article before you comment ignorantly.
written by Debra, burlingame, July 14, 2011
OMG! I am so happy about this. We love Santa Cruz, and we do a lot of shopping and eating and drinking at businesses on the Mall. However, we recently adopted a little dog and were so surprised when someone pointed out the "No Dogs Allowed" signs. We stopped coming down. Now we can return to our favorite town, shop and eat and stroll. We also love the dog beach down there! Now, Santa Cruz is really a perfect place to be!!!
written by SantaCruzing, July 14, 2011
Gross. I would never eat at restaurant that allowed dogs. If they allow feces smeared, drooling, flea ridden pests (no not homeless people) in front, what must their kitchen in back look like.
written by Haley C., July 14, 2011
Whenever my folks come to visit (and spend money, as good tourists do), they now choose to go anyplace other than downtown, since they can't bring their very well-behaved dog. And when I have the choice to socialize with friends, I often like to bring my dog to pet-friendly locations; consequently, we all end up enjoying ourselves at places other than downtown.

I am so glad to hear of the trial period, and hope that everyone will be thoughtful and considerate of others, regardless of their opinion about whether or not dogs should be permitted.

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Hot in Here

This ain’t no Burning Man—the MAH’s GLOW festival flames on


Mercury Direct in Libra, Columbus Day, Libra New Moon

Mercury completes its retrograde Friday, poised stationary direct Friday evening at zero degrees Libra. Mercury begins its journey through Libra once again, completing its retrograde shadow Oct. 12. Things should be a bit less complicated by then. Daily life works better, plans move forward, large purchases can be made, and communication eases. Everything on hold during the retrograde is slowly released. Since we eliminated all thoughts and ideas no longer needed (the purpose of Mercury’s retrograde) during the retrograde, we can now gather new information—until the next retrograde occurs on Jan. 5, 2016 (1.3 degrees Aquarius), retrograding back to 15 degrees Capricorn on Jan. 25. It’s good to know beforehand when Mercury will retrograde next—Jan. 5, the day before Epiphany. On Monday is Columbus Day, when the sailor from Genoa arrived in the new lands (Americas), Oct. 12, 1492. This discovery by Columbus was the first encounter of Europeans with Native Americans. Other names for this day are “Discovery Day, Day of the Americas, Cultural Diversity Day, Indigenous People’s Day, and Dia de la Raza.” Italian communities especially celebrate this day. Oct. 12 is also Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Monday is also the (19 degrees) Libra new moon festival. Libra’s keynote while building the personality is, “Let choice be made.” Libra is the sign of making life choices. Often under great tension of opposing forces seeking harmony and balance. There is a battle between our lower (personality) and higher selves (soul). We are tested and called to cultivate right judgment and love. When we align with the will-to-good, right choice, then right judgment and love/wisdom come forth. Our tasks in Libra. 


The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program


Film, Times & Events: Week of October 9

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments


Seoul Food

Santa Cruz’s new Sesame Korean is a great introduction to an ancient culinary tradition


Is there evil in the world?

Yes, some people don’t think right because they have been treated badly. Milo Robbins, Scotts Valley, Second Grade


Dos Aguilas Olive Oil

Aptos company is letting locals pick their own olives in October


What’s your biggest pet peeve?

When people say they’re “going down” somewhere, and they’re actually traveling north. Julia Ragen, Santa Cruz, Psychologist