Let’s Make Ashland Oregon Really Dog-Friendly

DogFriendly.com has said that Ashland Oregon is “one of the least dog-friendly towns on the West Coast” and “Best to just keep on driving on I-5″. We don’t do this often. On the west coast, we criticized Santa Cruz’s ban on dogs on downtown sidewalks. Due to bad publicity hurting tourism and downtown businesses with pet owners Santa Cruz repealed this ordinance and is now a dog-friendly town again. In regards to Ashland, Oregon, our comments came about because of a number of complaints from readers and a visit to the town ourselves. We liked the town, it has a nice downtown and riverwalk. What we didn’t like is its dog policy. Nationally, more than half of households have dogs or cats and these taxpayers deserve their share of the parks and rec budgets in all towns. Dogs were not allowed in any park. Worse, people were being ticketed aggressively for walking on the sidewalks next to the parks. People from out of town would not expect this policy. They received citations.

Thankfully, Ashland has begun to improve its pet policies. You can see an article, dated May 6, by Vickie Aldous of the Ashland Daily Tidings Newspaper. In 2011, Ashland changed its policy to allow dogs in most parks PROVIDED they stay leashed (ok, this is common) and within six feet of a sidewalk or paved walkway (this is not common). This does help in limiting the ability to receive questionable citations that run into the hundreds of dollars. But it is not dog-friendly.

Based on the article in the Ashland Daily Tidings the town is giving out gift certificates for those pet owners that clean up after their pets. This is a true problem in many areas. Dog owners must clean up after pets in city parks and citations for failing to do so are appropriate. But if dogs are not allowed more than six feet from the pavement, then they are not getting use of the park. It also appears that the town is trying to improve its image with pet people. This is good.

We would like to see Ashland become more dog-friendly and be a nice stopover for the many dog owners traveling Interstate 5 by car between Portland Oregon (one of the most dog-friendly cities in America) and California (also very dog-friendly in general). What is dog-friendly? Regular use of some of the parks with appropriate signage. Maybe a less aggressive stance with out of towners such as giving a warning instead of citations. Some patio dining restaurants that are pet-friendly would help as well. Have dog-friendly shops and shopping. And allow dogs on the open sidewalks without exceptions. Maybe add a second off-leash area. Then we will be happy to call Ashland dog-friendly.



6 Responses to “Let’s Make Ashland Oregon Really Dog-Friendly”

  1. I thought your readers might be interested in this heartwarming story about finding food for our own dog, a Great Dane called George:-

    http://www.turquoisemoon.co.uk/blog/albania-extract-from-travels-with-a-biro-due-out-in-october/

  2. Thank you DogFriendly.com. We are working hard to make Ashland Dog Friendly by rewarding people for scooping poop and for being responsible dog owners! Most businesses in downtown Ashland ARE dog friendly and now there are a few restaurants who allow dogs on their patios.

  3. Dana Feagin says:

    Thank you for writing about our efforts to make Ashland a more dog friendly place! I am part of the Ashland Loves Dogs group and wanted to mention that there are a couple stores I am aware of that welcome dogs. The Ashland Art Center, a large non-profit art center on Main Street with working artist studios & a large gallery of local art, welcomes all dogs on leash, as does the Ashland Hardware Store on A Street. Granted, tourists are probably not frequenting the hardware store, but we are making progress – and the hardware store has dog treats on hand for canine visitors. This time of year you also see dogs lounging on the patio area at the downtown Starbucks. Thanks again for posting an article about Ashland’s efforts to improve our reputation with dog loving travelers.

    Dana Feagin

  4. Vicki Bamman says:

    Thank you for acknowledge our efforts. We will keep you posted as we continue to make progress in making Ashland, OR, more and more dog-friendly. As I observed in my letter to you TWO YEARS AGO (May 2011), we were starting to make the progress that you now cite in your current blog.
    You may be right in maintaining that Ashland is (still) “one of the least dog-friendly towns” on the West Coast, but your acknowledgement that we’re trying and that we will continue to make efforts is appreciated.
    We will continue to keep you posted.
    Thank you.

  5. Ashland_Errrrr says:

    Ridiculous…to say that Ashland is not dog a friendly town just because dogs arent allowed in ALL of our parks. Maybe you have no idea how many parks are actually in this town . Ashland is the only town i know of that provides dog waste bags at nearly every park and it has been on more than one occasion I have watched dog owners steal every bag from the dispenser. There is even dispensers along Lithia parks Windburn way where dogs are not allowed to venture into the park not to say that many dog owners dont heed the rules there either . Ashland has so many parks and walking options for dog owners I think that many of our parks should remain DOG FREE not everyone wants growling dogs at there children s birthday parties. Lastly i would have to say that if you compared happiness levels of dogs around the states, Ashland Oregon dogs would rate near the top where they can be seen happily perched atop rafts floating down the rouge river, sniffing through the forests for truffles, swimming in emigrant lake and browsing the merchandise at the Goodwill.
    A dog never had it so good.

  6. [...] for failing to clean up after pets. For our previous article on Ashland, please see “Let’s Make Ashland Oregon Really Dog-Friendly“. Yesterday, May 20, 2013 Ashland did that. The rest of the information on this page is from [...]

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