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Beaver Falls Considers Banning Dogs Downtown To Boost Business

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Beaver Falls is expected to make a decision by the end of the year on a possible dog ban.
Beaver Falls is expected to make a decision by the end of the year on a possible dog ban.

Man's best friend is no friend of the Beaver Falls, Pa., business district, apparently. A push toward urban renewal has the city thinking about banning dogs from a stretch of downtown. (h/t Consumerist)

The Beaver County Times reports that the recession-bashed town wants to draw new businesses and investors along its Seventh Avenue commercial portion, and that officials believe a pooch-less thoroughfare is part of the answer.

City Manager Steve Johnson says dogs "as big as ponies" leashed to parking meters are creating a nuisance and also startling the elderly. Johnson told the paper he's received numerous complaints about sanitary and safety problems.

“I get disgusted because people aren’t cleaning up after their dogs," city councilman John “Chuckie” Kirkland told CBS in Pittsburgh “They got to clean up.”

Critics told the Times that the proponents are barking up the wrong tree, and that the problems of prostitution and drug-related crime should be addressed first.

And as Consumerist pointed out, even fancy commercial streets such as Fifth Avenue and the Champs Elysees don't seem too hurt by people walking dogs.

No word on what exactly the measures will be and how they'll be enforced.

More apartment buildings and condo associations are tackling their canine issues with dog DNA tests. Resident owners must register their pets' DNA with a lab through a saliva swab, and if the DNA of unscooped poop on the property matches a particular dog, the owner gets fined.

But if you're a civic-minded western Pennsylvania town in need of an economic boost, you can take a friendlier approach. According to the Times, officials are also considering an incentive program for owners to keep their dogs away.

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