City of Tonawanda bans dogs at public events

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CITY OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB)– The City of Tonawanda recently passed a ban on dogs at public events like Canal Fest and others hosted in the city.  

During the Canal Fest, the city got a lot of complaints about pet dogs doing things like snagging snow cones and lifting their legs on vendor tents. 

“I’m a pet guy. I have three dogs, this isn’t a war on pets, but there’s a time and a place to bring them,” said City Dog Control Officer Jace Kowsky. “And, you’ll have a better time down at Canal Fest, and all these things,  if you leave your dog at home in the air conditioning.”

The new ban has gotten some mixed reaction from folks who like to attend those events. 

Meet Chris Wallak and Paisley. Paisley is just 5 months old, and her human says he doesn’t agree with the new ordinance. 

“I think the responsibility  should be on the owner and not on the city of where they can bring their dog. So, I am opposed,” said Chris Wallak.

Keenan Johnson, of Buffalo, doesn’t exactly agree or disagree with the measure. 

“I think, it could be an issue, if the dogs are not under control,” said Johnson. “They’re not trained to just defecate or urinate in whatever area they see fit,” said Johnson “If the dog owner is not fully in control of their animal.”

Kowsky says dogs can get agitated it tight spaces, experience discomfort when walking on hot pavement. And, like humans, they can experience heat exhaustion. 

“I actually picked up a dog that was overheated and had to pick him up and take him in the shade and give him water, because the owner couldn’t do it,” said Kowsky. So, at that point, I knew it was time to enact some kind of ordnance to keep people’s pets at home.”

The new ordinance applies to all dogs, including emotional support dogs. It does not apply to service dogs. 

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