Midlands & Wonderland told Dogs Not Allowed! Who’s Next?

Andy sitting outside the entrance of Midlands, which has been informed that dogs are no longer permitted (Photo from Midlands Facebook page).

Following last week’s news that the Department of Health (DOH) visited Wonderland and informed them that dogs were no longer allowed anywhere on the premises, yesterday I was informed that the DOH visited the Midland’s and delivered the same message. This is Nuts! It appears to be a sustained DOH effort that will put all dog-friendly summer gardens and sidewalk cafes at risk if not addressed quickly — a prospect that I dread.

As a Ward 1 resident and someone who has patronized both Wonderland and Midlands, I find this recent engagement from the DOH unwelcomed. If it is based in District law, as they’ve stated, that law should be reviewed and amended to permit businesses the option of offering dog-friendly outdoor spaces or not. In my experience, these spaces have not been a problem. Neighboring Arlington, in fact, went so far as to ament their laws to allow dogs at restaurants in 2013. There is no reason that District law shouldn’t follow that example.

To highlight the lunacy of this, outdoor spaces are subject to the elements. That isn’t just dust, pollen, and rain. It is also mosquitoes, other insects, birds and occasionally rats of which we have plenty. So banning dogs from outdoor eating spaces really doesn’t make them healthier or safer — it just makes them less friendly and community serving.

I have already contacted the Mayor’s office and am seeking a solution.

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3 Comments on “Midlands & Wonderland told Dogs Not Allowed! Who’s Next?”

  1. José Vicar Says:

    Agree 100%. I know some health departments take thsi stance, but it seems odd when these pets live inside with people – apparently with no ill effects – that rather than pursuing vermin infestation, public bathrooms, or cross-contamination practices in kitchens, DC government is on a campaign to protect people outside from … pet fur?

    It seems misplaced and a waste of resources. Worse, many city workers and regulations are an important, if invisible, benefit to residents. This type of highly visible, divisive, and pointless action by some rogue officials will give dc gov a bad name.

    Thank you for informing people and taking a reasonable stance on the issue.

  2. Anon Says:

    Maybe instead of focusing on dog owners, the city should focus on the people who hang out on Georgia Ave constantly harassing pedestrians, selling drugs and pimping? Or maybe the Wendy’s on Georgia Ave with rats everywhere you look. This city needs to get its priories straight.

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