San Francisco Bay Area farmers markets and dogs (except service animals) aren’t supposed to mix, with signs practically shouting that no dogs are allowed in the popular open-air markets.
Even though health codes prohibit animals from being in farmers markets or within 20 feet of food stands or stalls, many San Franciscans flat out ignore the signs. Dogs are common visitors at major markets like the Ferry Plaza and Civic Center, and enforcement of the ban is typically lax.
One popular market is trying to get around this issue with the addition of “puppy parking stations,” according to a recent San Francisco Chronicle report.
“Farmers markets provide such a relaxed environment that it’s hard to think of them as having rules,” Jessica Wyatt, Fort Mason Center Farmers Market operations manager, told the newspaper.
Each Sunday, the team has begun setting up dog-friendly zones around the perimeter of the market — puppy parking stations — that feature metal railings for strapping leashes and water bowls to keep dogs hydrated. Response to the puppy parking stations has been positive, and customers have started to self-police, reminding people with pups to park their pooch, Wyatt said.
More Pets Find Forever Homes
The pet-adoption rate is up more than 20 percent in King County, Washington, animal shelters in a year, thanks to cat cafes, creative and dedicated volunteers, foundation grants, and physical and other changes at area shelters, the Seattle Times reported recently.
King County Executive Dow Constantine praised the success of creative partnerships at Seattle Meowtropolitan cat cafe in Wallingford, where more than 130 cats have found forever homes since it started in 2016.
Gene Mueller, the manager of Regional Animal Services of King County, said shelter employees and volunteers pushed partnerships with Meowtropolitan, Neko Cat Cafe, Cafe Cocoa, and other pet-supply stores. King County connected 2,992 animals to new families in 2017, up from 2,467 the previous year, a 21 percent rise.
About 750 volunteers who donated more than 120,000 hours of time had free rein to be creative about getting animals into homes. Additionally, a $75,000 grant from Petco Foundation allowed the regional shelter to replace steel cat cages with cat condos, create colony rooms for freer animal interaction, and bring in professional trainers for dogs. The agency also streamlined the adoption process and lowered the fee.
The percentage of animals euthanized at county shelters has steadily decreased to around 8 percent, a trend in Seattle’s animal shelter and nationwide as more people adopt, neuter, and spay pets, the paper reported.
New Leashes on Life
The San Francisco Bay Area is not the only metropolitan area with rescue groups devoted to re-homing senior dogs and chronically ill pooches.
Senior Hearts Rescue & Renewal is a nonprofit in Bradford Woods, Penn., with a similar mission, The Tribune-Review of Pittsburgh recently reported.
“People see a dog with medical issues, and they think, ‘Cha-ching! We don’t want to invest in him!’ ” said Denise Pavitt, who founded the organization in 2016 to give abused, unwanted, or overlooked pups a chance at happiness.
Senior Hearts has saved 119 dogs and is usually assisting 20 to 30 canines at once. Pavitt, a Bradford Woods resident, relies on a network foster families to help rehabilitate the dogs. All dogs get a full veterinary work-up within 24 hours of intake; about 95 percent of the animals have significant medical issues. Pavitt said the group spends about $750 on new arrivals. Funds come from an annual gala, private donors, and other events.
For those who want to help out, learn more about Senior Hearts Rescue & Renewal at www.SeniorHearts.org.
Perks for Pups
CNBC reported recently that nearly 6,000 dogs “work” at Amazon’s Seattle-headquarters aside their Amazon-employed human parents who are referred to as “Amazonians.”
Like the Amazonians, the canines enjoy some nice perks, including dog treats at every reception desk, a doggie deck on the 17th floor (with a fake fire hydrant, dog relief areas, and water stations), and a leash-free dog park.
The dogs report to Lara Hirschfield, Amazon’s “woof pack” manager who firmly believes in the benefits of dogs in the workplace for the connections that result among employees. A Central Michigan University study recently found that the presence of a dog in a group office setting encouraged subjects to be more cooperative, communicative, and friendly than in groups without a dog. The Society for Human Resources reports that 7 percent of employers allow pets in the workplace, up from 4 percent in 2014.
The original Amazon dog was Rufus, a Welsh corgi who came to Amazon in the retail giant’s early years and won the hearts of employees. Amazonians used his paw to click links on the company website. Although he died, his legacy remains. There are photos of Rufus around the 8.1-million-square-foot campus and he even has a building named after him. If you click a broken link and land on an error page, Rufus’ picture comes up, along with three other dogs that followed him: Lucy the Labrador, Sherriff the golden-Aussie mix, and Martini the Papillon.
Get Your Kid a Dog
Dogs are good for kids.
A recent study found that children who feel close to their pet dogs are more securely attached to their parents and have better bonds with their best friends, The Washington Post recently reported. Kent State University researchers looked at 99 children ages 9 to 11 who owned pet dogs and noted that if one type of relationship was strong, the others were, too,
Kathryn Kerns, a psychology professor at Kent State and a lead researcher, suggested caring for pets may make children feel closer to their significant humans and they may model pet relationships after their human relationships. A positive pet experience may lead to improved cooperation with parents and pet closeness.
The researchers watched the children interact with their dogs, and those with more physical contact had better relationships with their mothers.
Kerns and her team also studied how pet dogs affect children’s emotions during stressful events. The same pre-adolescents were asked to deliver a five-minute speech. Half had dogs with them. “Kids who had their dogs present felt much happier throughout the whole process,” Kerns said. And having physical contact with the dog — a chin on the lap or a lean against a leg — made the experience even less stressful.
In an unrelated study, children did a similar stress test with a pet dog, with a parent, or alone. The stress level was lowest when the children were with their dogs. A similar study on adults who performed a stressful task with a pet dog, with a friend or alone found they were least stressed when they had their pet dogs with them. When alone, the stress level went up. And when with a friend, the stress level was highest.
Patio Action for Pooches
Dog-loving patrons at restaurants and bars with outside patios in Ohio are closer to being able to bring dogs with them to the patios, The Columbus Dispatch reported recently, as H.B. 263 passed 79-9 and head to the Senate.
Columbus’ Land-Grant Brewing Co. and others favor the bill, and Land-Grant had allowed dogs patio access and hosted doggie fundraisers until informed the practice was a health-code violation.
The bill would permit dogs in outdoor dining areas, prohibit employees from touching them, and require single-use plates or containers for serving dogs food or water. Businesses would have to post a sign informing patrons that dogs are allowed, dogs would be required to be on a leash, and the businesses would have to keep sanitary waste disposal and cleanup kits available. The bill does not permit dogs inside eating establishments, other than service dogs.
Introducing The Dackelmuseum
Dachshunds and all things dachshund are celebrated at a new museum, The Dackelmuseum, Smithsonian Magazine recently reported.
Two German florists — fully smitten with the low-riding, long-backed breed and the owners of dachshunds Seppi and Moni — Josef Küblbeck and Oliver Storz recently opened The Dackelmuseum in Bavarian, stuffing the space full with nearly 5,000 wiener-dog related items such as stamps, prints, figurines, and bread.
“We wanted to give this dog a home where people can come and share their joy,” Küblbeck said. “Its popularity is increasing because the sausage dog, with its so-called sausage dog look, has conquered the hearts of many people.”
Dachshunds do have deep German roots. They were bred to hunt badger hunters, in 17th-century Europe, and their long snouts and bodies were great for squirming into the badger burrows. By the 18th century, sausage dogs were popularized in hunting books.
Much of the collection comes from the museum’s owners who quit their jobs to launch the museum, with Küblbeck explaining,“The world needs a sausage dog museum.”
A new study seems to indicate that dog owners, students, and library staff at the University of Warwick’s Centre for the Study of Women and Gender think therapy dogs on campus are working dogs, not pets, according to Times Higher Education.
At the annual conference of the British Sociological Association at Northumbria University, academics decided to determine whether such dogs were pets or workers.
Nickie Charles, director of the gender study center, and Carol Wolkowitz of institution’s sociology department conducted 16 interviews.
Their conclusion? “They are working,” Charles said. “[The dogs] have to behave in a particular way, which involves work and effort. They are really tired at the end of it.”
Researcehrs found several of the dogs they studied got excited when they saw their “uniform,” got to campus, and were tired out by the sessions.
“Societies wouldn’t be the way they are if animals were not part of them – and sociologists for a long time completely ignored that,” Charles said. “It’s important to understand the contribution animals make to fully understand what society is about.”
Lamppost Peeing Allowed
Dogs can keep peeing on lampposts in the UK, The Telegraph reported recently.
Dog owner Caroline Summers of Richmond, London, had challenged restrictions that would have criminalized local dog owners who let such peeing occur and won her court case.
It’s the first example of a Public Spaces Protection Order being successfully challenged in High Court. PSPOs, introduced in 2013, have meant dog walking bans and restrictions in hundreds of parks and open spaces in the UK.