Last March the Eugene City Council adopted an ordinance (Ordinance 20577) establishing a temporary dog restriction on public property and rights-of-way in a specific area of downtown Eugene. The restriction went into effect on April 10 and sunset on Nov 1. The restriction did not apply to the following:
A licensed dog that is a service dog;
A licensed dog whose owner lives or works in downtown; or
Dogs in vehicles.
The purpose of the pilot was to create a safe and welcoming downtown by reducing large congregations of dogs in areas where there are more people living, working and needing to use the sidewalks. It was based on a similar, restriction that was put in place near the University to help deal with large numbers of dogs that were concentrated in a high-pedestrian traffic area – similar to what downtown has been experiencing over the last few years.
During the pilot, signs were added to the pilot area and the downtown patrol worked to help educate and inform people about the restriction – the focus of interactions was to let people who had dogs know about restriction and to seek voluntary compliance.
During the pilot program officers recorded 70 contacts with people with dogs and issued 19 citations. The citations were issued only after a warning had been issued. Overall there was a 26% reduction in animal related complaints in downtown from– 73 in 2016 to 54 in 2017.
Education will be the focus of all interactions. The goal is to let people know about the new rule and police will be asking for voluntary compliance. People who decide not to comply could be issued a citation (up to $250).
Thank you for cooperation and helping create a more positive downtown experience.