Collingswood Farmers’ Market announces dog leash-permit program
Four-legged guests required to wear Market leashes
Camden County Animal Shelter will be assisting in the dog-leash permit program, Saturday November 28th!
The Collingswood Farmers’ Market has long been a gathering place for foodies, friends and many in the region looking for Jersey fresh produce and local goods. For many, bringing their four-legged friends is also part of the Saturday morning tradition.
As the attendance of people and their pets have increased at the popular weekly Market, there have also been more situations with dogs ranging from spoiling food to aggressive behavior. Due to safety concerns and feedback from market guests, the Collingswood Farmers’ Market introduced a dog leash permit program for the 2015 market season. The Market issues permits in the form of official Market leashes to the owners/handlers of any dogs who attend the Market even once. To obtain a permit to have a pet at the Market, owners must report with their dogs to the Dog Tent upon arrival, where the staff of a local shelter or animal aid agency collect their permit fee and present them with a list of Behavior Guidelines and an official Market leash.
The one-time $10 permit fee is good for as long as the program lasts and the owner keeps the leash. No other leashes are permitted at the Market. Owners and pets that violate behavior guidelines will be asked to surrender their leash-permit. Pet behavior guidelines will be enforced by Collingswood Special Police or the Market Director.
“Occasional guests” who don’t plan to bring their dogs back to the Market can “rent” a permit leash for one-time use. These guests will receive a refund of $8 when they return their “permit leashes” to the Dog Tent by noon on the day they’re issued. Two dollars will be retained as a donation to the shelter or agency.
“Even avid dog lovers agree there were too many dogs at the Market,” said Market Director David Hodges. “Unfortunately, each week a dozen or more of our four-legged guests were misbehaving in ways that ranged from annoying to downright dangerous. We didn’t blame the dogs. They’ve been brought to a crowded place full of distractions including other dogs and it was only natural that they sometimes acted like dogs. But we couldn’t afford to risk serious injury to our loyal customers. And we had heard from many potential shoppers that they were avoiding the Market specifically because they were uncomfortable, even frightened, to share it with unmanaged animals. The Leash Permit program has provided a solution that helps us regulate animals at the Market and also raises funds for animal agencies.”
The goal of the program is to easily identify dogs that are registered with the market and educated on proper behavior while attending. The neon-colored leashes will be easy to spot by Market representatives and those that are without a permit-leash will be asked to register or leave.
“We began the 2015 Market season with a supply of 1000 official Market leashes and distributed 900 of them by the end of November. Clearly, our shoppers have demonstrated their willingness to embrace the program for the benefit of everyone’s comfort and safety,” said Hodges.