Meadville Tribune

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September 12, 2013

Pet policy proposed for next year's fair

MEADVILLE — A proposed policy on pets and animals at the Crawford County Fairgrounds is under review by the Crawford County Fair Board.

Last month, the fair board asked H. LeRoy Stearns, Crawford County’s chief humane agent, to draft a revised pet policy due to a proliferation of dogs and other pets on the fairgrounds.

Under the proposed policy drafted by Stearns and presented at fair board’s meeting Thursday, no pets of any kind would be allowed on the Crawford County Fairgrounds with a few exceptions. The fair board took no action on the proposed policy pending further review by its members, Ted Watts, the county’s attorney, and the fair board’s camping department.

The exceptions to the fair’s proposed pet policy are:

- Those that are part of an approved entertainment program (such as circus or other program) or part of an exhibition or competition (such as livestock and 4-H events) must remain only in the designated areas, meet applicable health and legal requirements including the proper insurance as required by the Crawford County Fair Board. All animals must remain under the control of the exhibitor at all times.

- Service animals or service animals in training properly restrained and identified and current with its rabies vaccine would be permitted.

- Vendors and exhibitors are discouraged but allowed to have their pets at their camping site and/or designated areas approved by the Crawford County Fair Board, but only if the following conditions are met:

A. The animal should always be under control and restricted to the camping site that has been purchased by the vendor.

B. All necessary health and legal requirements are met, including identification on the pet, current on the rabies vaccine and the animal is registered with the Crawford County Fair.

C. If a pet is not registered with the Crawford County Fair and proper rabies information is not provided, the owner will be asked to remove the pet from the fairgrounds property Immediately.

D. The animal must be provided with a cool shaded area, protected from inclement weather, provided with fresh water, and never left in a parked vehicle on the Crawford County Fairgrounds.

E. Vendors must take a pet on a lead while walking to and from the pet rest area using the most direct route between the camper and the designated pet rest areas approved by the Crawford County Fair Board.

F. Vendors at all times must pick up waste from their animals, including in the camping area, and to and from and in the pet rest areas. Waste must be disposed in a proper trash container.

G. No one may parade or walk an animal throughout the exhibits, booths, barns, food areas or other fairground areas.

- Any vendors knowingly keeping a vicious animal must take every precaution to protect anyone from becoming injured by the animal, Including caging and muzzling the animal to protect the public. The vendor takes full liability of keeping a vicious animal in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

- The Crawford County Fair Board reserves the right to have an animal removed from the premises in the event that the above conditions are not met or the animal is perceived to pose a threat or unreasonable inconvenience to fair patrons.

The fair board is expected to review the policy at its next meeting Oct. 10 at the Crawford County Courthouse.

Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at kgushard@meadvilletribune.com.

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