EDITORIAL – Regional farmers’ market should be a dog-free zone

(Image: Kamloops Regional Farmers Market)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

DOGS BRING MUCH JOY to our lives. I’ve had dogs my whole life, and the times between dogs have always been less happy than the times with dogs.

But, just as we love our children and other people’s children considerably less, we aren’t always crazy about other people’s dogs. This is certainly the case when it comes to the Kamloops Regional Farmers’ Market.

The mid-week downtown market isn’t a big problem but the Saturday market in front of Stuart Wood School often looks more like a dog show than it does a place to buy fresh produce.

For some reason, people love to bring their dogs. Small dogs, big dogs, all kinds of dogs. To the owners, each and every one of them is adorable; to everyone else, not so much.

I came across an innocent-enough post from the farmers’ market this week very politely asking folks to keep their dogs on a short leash, clean up after them and general observe good manners. The request prompted a great many comments, the majority of them complaining about dogs at the market.

“Last weekend I counted 75 dogs in that area (not all at the same time),” wrote one resident, adding they should be banned “for several reasons, one being that at least three vendors have had dogs lift their legs to pee on their display.”

Another wrote, “I have had a dog wrap its leash around my legs and the owner just laughed and expected me to join in her merriment about how playful her dog is.”

A parent joined in:: “It’s awful for a little one holding mom’s hand and her face is at the level of a strange dog’s behind.”

One dogged defender insisted that, since dogs are allowed on public streets, the farmers’ market shouldn’t be an exception.

Sorry, but yes it should. The farmers’ market isn’t a dog park. It should be a dog-free, pee-free zone.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9648 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

6 Comments on EDITORIAL – Regional farmers’ market should be a dog-free zone

  1. Couldn’t agree with you more Mel. Who wants a bunch of dirty dogs around their food? Not me, we stopped going because we don’t need to do the corn maze if dogs at our age. Either leave them home or stay home with them.

  2. I agree. I am not sure at what point we decided that dogs needed to accompany us everywhere. I love dogs, and I have been a dog owner. You can’t even go to Canadian Tire without someone’s dog coming up to give you a sniff. I have even witnessed a dog fight. There are tonnes of places to take your dogs, stores and markets are not one of them.

  3. John Noakes // June 9, 2022 at 8:19 AM // Reply

    From a dog owner and dog lover, I agree, Mel.
    Our dog is a SJA therapy dog, meaning that we visit a care home and of late, vaccination clinics together. We meet lots of people on Rivers Trail when we go for walks.
    However, part of the bigger picture is being sensitive to “others” who are in a place such as the farmers’ market. Not everyone goes there to witness dogs pee on things or have leashes get tangled or perhaps even have dogs act out with other dogs. There are dog parks which are more appropriate; I’m in full agreement with you.

  4. A dog owner and canine lover myself I have not been to the market recently with our pet, In other years I have wondered about the large number of dogs, mostly well behaved and managed though not all. It can be a very confined space especially in summer. I do not think that exclusion is appropriate though some sort of educational pamphlet might help things. The situation of a toddler facing at eye level a dog’s front or behind is well taken. As in other places throughout Kamloops there are good and bad drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, and dog owners. We cope with a wide range of behaviours elsewhere. Why not at the farmers’ market?

  5. Wholeheartedly agree there shouldn’t be dogs at the farmers market. Hygiene issues and nuisance issues comes to mind. And I do spend a lot of money there weekly but because especially for the dogs I am reconsidering my ongoing, loyal support.

    • ELAINE WATSON // June 9, 2022 at 5:49 PM // Reply

      Couldn’t agree with you more Mel. Who wants a bunch of dirty dogs around their food? Not me, we stopped going because we don’t need to do the corn maze if dogs at our age. Either leave them home or stay home with them.

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