Oregon Wants ‘Dog Friendly’ to Be Less So - NYTimes.com
. . . In the last year, the food safety division of the Oregon Agriculture Department has received more than 600 complaints about animals in food stores, and a disproportionate number of them have come from the Pearl District of Portland, an affluent, dog-passionate procession of newer condominiums and shiny retail shops at the edge of downtown. Whole Foods has had complaints; the Safeway a few blocks away has had even more.
“Usually they’ll hold off and not make a complaint until they’ve seen a dog urinate in the grocery store or jump up and try to swipe a pack of meat,” said Vance Bybee, the head of the food safety division. “Or they’ve seen dogs pooping in the aisle, that sort of thing.”
“That sort of puts them over the edge,” Mr. Bybee said.
In response to the complaints, Oregon is about to begin an unusual campaign, distributing posters and pamphlets to about 4,500 retail stores that sell food. The message is this: Animals, except those trained to help the disabled, are not allowed.
The campaign, however, is not likely to make the problem go away, state officials and dog owners say, particularly in a neighborhood like the Pearl District, where many people who are not physically disabled consider the company of their pets therapeutic and insist on taking them just about everywhere. Some banks put water bowls by their front doors, and dog day-care facilities take time to serve pets the specially packed lunches their owners make for them.