Should dogs be allowed at the Duncan Farmers Market? Readers’ opinions are mixed. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen file)

Should dogs be allowed at the Duncan Farmers Market? Readers’ opinions are mixed. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen file)

Your Say: Readers’ opinions mixed on dogs at the Saturday market

His concern: safety. Somebody may be bitten. Dogs may brawl.

Has the Duncan Farmers Market gone to the dogs? At least one letter writer thinks so.

The letter, written by Duncan’s Peter Rusland, called for a ban of dogs from the popular downtown Duncan Saturday market or “In lieu of a dog ban, I would agree with a market policy requiring dogs be muzzled AND leashed as they are now.”

His concern: safety. Somebody may be bitten. Dogs may brawl.

“This is why we have local dog parks,” he wrote.

Rusland was met with criticism on the Citizen’s website.

“Dear Duncan Farmer’s Market,” wrote Gayle Hurmuses. “Please ban this anti-social person from the market before he interferes with other persona[l] freedoms.”

She wasn’t alone.

“Dear Mr. Rusland, I’m guessing you are not a dog person?” wrote Danielle Gaudet. “Banning dogs from the Duncan Saturday market would most likely cost some vendors some business. I would like to think most people who bring their dogs down, have some common sense… If you don’t like it maybe you should stay home.”

The Citizen’s Facebook community was more balanced, however.

“I have been waiting for the opportunity to raise my voice on this,” explained Patricia MacGregor. “I have young family members who won’t go to the market because they are afraid of dogs. It’s a shame they cannot enjoy the market because of this. The market is no place for dogs.”

Brenda Irving agreed with MacGregor, but for a different reason.

“Why do dog owners assume everyone loves their dogs? There are people like me out there that are allergic to them. I like dogs just not the reaction my body has to them,” Irving wrote. “Take them to dog parks not where people are selling food items. Be responsible!”

Adrian Proctor said this: “Yes dogs should be allowed and the owners should follow the guidelines. Duncan please don’t turn into a bylaw crazy Qualicum Beach!”

Teresa Stevens was also on the yes side. “If your dogs can handle the crowd and are behaved, absolutely. I love the dogs!”

“On a lead and behaved, WHY NOT,” Leah Bonde wrote.

Stevens and Bonde were backed by more than a dozen simple “yes” responses.

Russell Bissett and Jacob Teufel had other, more out-of-the-box ideas.

“We’ve been on many occasions… yes to dogs! Now that being said, I’ve also seen some pretty clueless pet owners while there… don’t let the ignorance of a few ruin it for the majority! Perhaps we ban children next as I’ve seen pets who are more obedient,” Bissett wrote.

“Let’s put Rusland on a leash,” wrote Teufel.

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