UPDATE: As of November 1st, 2017, the dog ban for downtown Eugene has sunset and was not renewed! We want to thank everyone who helped us fight back against this unfair law, but also to remind everyone to keep paying attention to other similar laws which we know will be proposed in the future. #DontBanMe
In March of 2017, Eugene’s City Council voted on an ordinance to ban dogs from the downtown area. Ordinance 20577 went into effect on April 20, 2017 but, as a pilot program, will end on November 1 of this year “unless extended or made permanent by future Council action,” according to the Eugene City Government’s website.
Violation of the ban can get you fined up to $250.
As with other similar types of restrictions, we can expect this to be applied unevenly to unhoused people and those who appear to be very poor, (just as they have been in a small area near the U.O. campus which already excludes dogs.)
While there is a stated exception for service animal, it should be noted this only applies to trained state-recognized service animals.
There is also an exception for people who live or work downtown. However, this does not apply to unhoused people who may live un-sheltered or under-sheltered downtown, nor does it apply to people who busk, street-vend, or otherwise make money independently.
The area dogs are restricted from covers about twelve blocks downtown. Fortunately, the Dining Room, run by Food for Lane County, was exempted from the area — thanks in large part to the efforts of Ward 1 Councilor Emily Semple, one of only two who voted against the dog ban.
Area covered by the dog ban:
Beware of Disinformation!
Several sources have said that people, especially those most targeted, are being misinformed about the limits of the dog exclusion zone. Always double check the information with the city website.
The Text of the Ordinance
ORDINANCE NO. 20577
AN ORDINANCE CONCERNING THE PROHIBITION OF DOGS WITHIN THE DOWNTOWN CORE EXCEPT IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES; AMENDING SECTION 4.427 OF THE EUGENE CODE, 1971; AND PROVIDING FOR A SUNSET DATE OF NOVEMBER 1, 2017.
THE CITY OF EUGENE DOES ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. Subsections (3) and (4) of Section 4.427 of the Eugene Code, 1971 , are added to provide as follows:
4.427 Dogs – Certain Areas Prohibited.
- Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, no dog owner shall permit a dog to be on Alder Street, including the sidewalks thereof, between and including the southern sidewalk of East 12th Avenue and the northern sidewalk of East 14th Avenue, nor on East 13th Avenue, including the sidewalks thereof, between and including the eastern sidewalk of Pearl Street and the eastern sidewalk of Kincaid Street.
- The prohibition of subsection ( 1) of this section does not apply to a dog owner who maintains a lawful residence within the restricted area, to a dog assisting law enforcement personnel, to a dog assisting an individual with a disability, or to a dog inside a motorized vehicle.
- Except as provided in subsection (4) of this section, no dog owner shall permit a dog to be within the downtown core as that area is defined in section 4.871 of this code, except for the publicly owned property and rights-of-way abutting the Dining Room located at 270 W 81h Avenue.
- The prohibition in subsection (3) of this section does not apply to a dog owner who maintains a lawful residence or is employed within the downtown core, to a dog assisting law enforcement, to a dog assisting an individual with a disability, or to a dog inside a motorized vehicle. To qualify for the exemption under this subsection (4) a dog owner must hold a valid dog license for a license-eligible dog (set of permanent canine teeth or attained the age of 6 months).
Section 2. Section 1 of this ordinance shall sunset and be repealed, effective November 1, 2017, unless extended or made permanent by future Council action.
Section 3. The City Recorder, at the request of, or with the consent of the City Attorney, is authorized to administratively correct any reference errors contained herein, or in other provisions of the Eugene Code, 1971 , to the provisions added, amended or repealed herein.