The city of Watertown may amend the ban on canines at public events to be more lenient toward search-and-rescue dogs in training.
City Manager Sharon A. Addison said Friday the City Council will be asked to consider changing the dog ban in light of an incident at the Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce Farm and Craft Market involving a search-and-rescue dog.
Were going to see what we can do, she said.
The issue is expected to be discussed at a meeting next month.
Watertown resident Sandra A. King, a dog handler with the Oswego County Search and Rescue K9 Team, and her dog, Indra, were ordered to leave the farmers market Wednesday because of the law banning dogs at public events.
The City Council passed the law after an American bulldog mauled a 2-year-old boy at the market in August.
The ordinance bans dogs at the farmers market and other events where people congregate.
It also prohibits dogs within 20 feet of city playgrounds and pools.
Mrs. King said she was led to believe that search-and-rescue dogs would be exempted from the law, so she was surprised she was told to leave the market with her dog.
Guide dogs, service dogs, working search dogs, therapy dogs and law enforcement canines can be excluded from the ban. According to the law, Mrs. King said, she should have been allowed to take Indra to the market.
To let people know about the dog ban, the Chamber of Commerce places signs along the sidewalk during the weekly event.