JoAnna Lou
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Baseball Breed Ban
Petco Park event bans German Shepherds and other breeds
Are Rottweilers among the breeds banned from a

As a dog lover and a baseball fan, I always look forward to the New York Mets’ Bark in the Park every summer. At the annual event, canine fans are invited to CitiField to watch the game alongside their humans. “Dog days” have become popular promotions at baseball stadiums around the country and, as you can imagine, the Padres’ Petco Park is one of them.

Unfortunately, not everyone will be able to enjoy this Friday’s event in San Diego. Padres fan, Ted Lew, couldn’t wait to attend the Dog Days of Summer event with his German Shepherd, Joey, so he signed up as soon as tickets were made available earlier this year. However, just weeks before the game, Lew received a letter stating that the event had sold out.

After many inquiring phone calls, Lew found out that the real reason he couldn’t attend the event with Joey was because of a breed ban that included German Shepherds. According to the Padres, the breed ban is in effect for safety reasons but they are unable to disclose the exact breeds that are banned, only that the number is between 10 and 15.

I’m guessing insurance may have a part in the Padres’ decision, though many other ballparks offer this promotion without a breed ban. However, the Padres have made this situation even worse by not making the ban explicit, seemingly turning dogs away at random. 

If the Padres must have the breed ban, couldn’t they work with their insurance company to allow exceptions for dogs with therapy or Canine Good Citizen certifications? And at the very least, they should make their decision public instead of hiding behind the excuse of having “limited space” at the event.

How do you think the Padres should’ve handled this situation?

JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

Photo by MissChatter, flickr.

CommentsPost a Comment
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Submitted by Cindy Dunston Quirk | August 24 2010 |

My German Shepherd is better behaved that a lot of children I see these days.

What's next? It frightens me to even think of additional measures that may be taken for 'safety reasons.'

Submitted by Pamela | August 24 2010 |

"Safety Reasons" is a euphemism for "legal liability fears." I'd love to see Canine Good Citizen status as a license that allows humans and dogs to prove their good behavior and training.

Not only would it help people with well-trained dogs but it would send a message to less responsible dog guardians.

Submitted by Carolyn | August 24 2010 |

I agree with you, Pamela, about the Canine Good Citizen certificate. Would be great if that actually could be considered as a pass for dogs to enter certain areas, businesses, hotels, restaurants etc.

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