Dogs are now allowed in the outdoor areas of taverns and bars, but not restaurants, in the city.
City council members on Tuesday approved amending the alcoholic liquor ordinance allowing companion dogs to accompany their owners in outdoor areas of businesses that have Class B tavern liquor licenses. The ordinance excludes all other pets.
"I just don't think it's a road I want to start traveling down," Potter said after he voted against the measure. "I'm more concerned about it at larger events. People will be able to bring their dogs into special events, and I think there's potential for a problem there. I'm not sure we thought this through."
Potter clarified that the ordinance does not apply to service dogs, who are already allowed by law into public places, including restaurants.
"Service dogs are always welcome; service dogs are trained," Attorney Derke Price, corporate counsel for the city said. "Service dogs can go inside the restaurants, a companion dog cannot. The reason we don't use the term 'pets' is because cats are not allowed."
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Ald. Scott Williams, Ward 1, said he thinks allowing dogs in outdoor spaces will be well-received by residents.
"I think a lot of people would enjoy bringing their animal to a tavern," Williams said. "It's an opportunity for tavern owners to market to that specific clientele. I think it only enhances the experience. It's certainly worth a try.
"If it doesn't work, then we'll revisit it," he said. "But if it works — and a lot of us think it will — it will work famously. My wife is from Scotland and at the pubs over there, the dogs sit outside. Sometimes they make their way in and they don't get kicked out immediately. It's seen as a plus, not a negative."
In other news, Ald.-At-Large Sonia Berg asked that council members consider banning the sale of animals at the Mercado on Fifth, the weekly open-air market held each Friday in Moline's Floreciente neighborhood along Fifth Avenue.
Berg said she saw man holding a cardboard sign that read, "puppies for sale, $200 each," and that the puppies were crammed in a dirty laundry basket and covered in urine.
City Administrator Lisa Kotter said that Mercado on Fifth founder Chris Ontiveros asked the man selling the puppies to leave the market.