Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania – Ten blocks of a western Pennsylvania town may soon be off-limits to canines. Beaver Falls is keen to revitalize the downtown area, and the city council has focused on a few key issues they need to address. While local residents cite problems with prostitution and drug-related crime, city officials say they may start by getting rid of the dogs.
Officials believe that potential customers are being frightened away from downtown businesses because dogs are sometimes left tied to parking meters by their owners. According to City Manager Steve Johnson, some of the dogs are “as big as ponies” and are “creating a nuisance and also startling the elderly.”
The council is also concerned about numerous complaints they’ve received about pet owners not picking up after their dogs.
“When I walk, I try to walk daily, I tell you I get disgusted because people aren’t cleaning up after their dogs, after animals,” said council member John “Chuckie” Kirkland. “They got to clean up.”
Johnson doesn’t want people to think that Beaver Falls is anti-dog, however.
“It’s not that anybody on the council doesn’t like dogs,” he said. “I like dogs. We certainly don’t want to discourage people from having a dog. It’s just that many dog owners are being irresponsible and ruining things for everybody.”
While some residents support the ban, others feel it is unnecessary, and that the city may be taking things too far.
“Some people treat their dogs just like family members and you don’t want to do that to your family member,” said Beaver Falls resident Andre Milliner. “So, let’s just have a little law, don’t leave your dog unattended.”
Gary Davis, a retiree who helps out at his sister’s downtown furniture store, called the idea a “waste of time.”
“What they need to do is patrol the street,” he said.
The possible ban is still being researched, and the council doesn’t expect to take formal action until later this year.