Therapy dog owner upset over pet policy at farmers market

The Lafayette Farmers Market is adding more "no pets allowed" signs. The added signs now has some service and therapy animal owners upset. News 18 spoke with one therapy dog owner who said he would at least like to see the message on the signs change.

Posted: Jun 20, 2018 11:58 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - The Lafayette Farmers Market is adding more "no pets allowed" signs. The added signs now has some service and therapy animal owners upset.

For therapy dog, Teddy summer means two things - outdoor walks and fresh air. Teddy has been Bob Feuer’s right hand dog for years.

"People love when he comes to visit them," said Feuer. "He just brings out the good in people."

Teddy is known as a therapy dog. His sole job is to comfort and help people and it's a job he seems to really love. However, one place Feuer said Teddy doesn't feel welcome at is the Lafayette Farmers Market.

"What I was bent out of shape about is that it said no pets period," said Feuer. "And that means service dogs, even though they say they're allowed, the sign says no."

In Lafayette, there is a city ordinance that says no pets are allowed at the farmers market. It's a rule that dates back to 1908.

Lafayette Farmers Market Director Emily Colombo said allowing dogs and other animals is also a health and public safety issue. She said they don't want to risk animals licking the produce at the market. Just last weekend, she said two dogs got in a fight.

However, legally organizers can't stop support or service animals from coming in. They're also not allowed to ask for their credentials, so organizers don't know who is and who isn't a support, therapy or service dog.

"I don't know what the solution is, but I think if they have a few people get together and discuss it. Maybe they will come up with some ideas," said Feuer.

There's also the issue of people lying about their animal being a support dog. This is something Feuer said he agrees with.

"Teddy is trained and he is licensed," said Feuer. "He has insurance and that's the difference. Most dogs aren't."

So what's the solution? For Feuer, he would just like to see new signs, accepting service dogs, and a more dog-friendly market overall.

Colombo said for now, they're keeping the signs as they are.

However, the West Lafayette Farmers Market doesn't have the same rule. Dogs are allowed there.

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