Posted tagged ‘summer gardens’

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

September 20, 2017

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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