Ped Mall dogs get some relief

Students+gather+at+the+IMU+to+pet+the+playful+pup%2C+Wilson+on+Monday%2C+Dec.+14.+Stress+dogs+will+be+in+the+IMU+again+on+Wednesday%2C+Dec.+16.+%28Daily+Iowan%2FKarley+Finkel%29
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Ped Mall dogs get some relief

Students gather at the IMU to pet the playful pup, Wilson on Monday, Dec. 14. Stress dogs will be in the IMU again on Wednesday, Dec. 16. (Daily Iowan/Karley Finkel)

Students gather at the IMU to pet the playful pup, Wilson on Monday, Dec. 14. Stress dogs will be in the IMU again on Wednesday, Dec. 16. (Daily Iowan/Karley Finkel)

Students gather at the IMU to pet the playful pup, Wilson on Monday, Dec. 14. Stress dogs will be in the IMU again on Wednesday, Dec. 16. (Daily Iowan/Karley Finkel)

Students gather at the IMU to pet the playful pup, Wilson on Monday, Dec. 14. Stress dogs will be in the IMU again on Wednesday, Dec. 16. (Daily Iowan/Karley Finkel)


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By Mikhayla Hughes-Shaw

[email protected]

The Iowa City Downtown District and Collins Community Credit Union have teamed up to provide relief stations for dogs on the Pedestrian Mall.

A ribbon-cutting event on Tuesday officially opened three relief stations in various spots on the Ped Mall. The locations are in front of [email protected], DC’s Sports Bar, and the Iowa City Public Library. The sponsors hope the stations will help keep the downtown clean.There were small gifts for those who attended and the dogs that they brought along, including free disposable waste bags and cookies from Molly’s Cupcakes.

The fenced-in stations contain rocks and cement, with a decorative fire hydrant.

UI student Sarah Schnuelle, one of the event attendees, said it is important to not only allow dogs downtown but to give them a place of their own.

“Pets are a part of the family,” Schnuelle said. “More people will be willing to live in Iowa City if they know that the city is pet-friendly.”

Downtown District Executive Director Nancy Bird said the idea has been around for a few years. The long wait for the relief stations was caused by the ordinance that banned dogs on the Ped Mall until 2012. *The Daily Iowan* has reported that in 2012, an ordinance was passed on a 6-1 vote allowing dogs to roam in the Ped Mall on leashes less than 6-feet long.

Before dogs were allowed on the Ped Mall, Bird said, many people didn’t own pets near the Ped Mall. Bird said those who rented apartments in the area were not allowed to bring their dogs out the front door.

“It was basically illegal to have [dogs],” Bird said.

Bird said downtown is like the community living room, and people should strive to keep it clean.

“The relief stations will help us to respect the plants, vegetation, trees, and businesses on the Ped Mall,” Bird said.

Bailey Abben, the branch manager of the North Liberty Collins Community Credit Union, said the relief stations are a good way to promote the credit union and take part in creating a more beautiful downtown.

“We strive to participate in community development, and this is a unique, exciting, and new way to better the community,” she said.