Officials say they’re having a hard time keeping some shoppers at the Burbank Certified Farmer’s Market from leaving their pooches at home, which could draw the ire of county health inspectors.
The farmer’s market, located on the corner of North Third Street and East Orange Grove Avenue, has had trouble enforcing state codes that prohibit bringing pets, with the exception of service animals, into the market, Burbank Police Sgt. Robert Quesada said.
“Any kind of animal, whether it’s a dog, parrot or pig, is not allowed near the food,” he said. “But since it’s not part of Burbank Municipal Code, we can’t force people to leave.”
No official complaints have been filed with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, which has the authority to enforce the state laws, officials said.
But the repeated violations prompted the Police Department to issue a notice this week reminding customers of the state ban.
“Since they are a certified market, they would receive a notice if they are found in violation,” said Environment Health Services Manager Brenda Lopez. “To my knowledge, though, there has not been an inspection recently.”
If the health department were to find continued violations of the code at the market, the responsibility would lie with the operators, not the people who bring their pets on the premises.
Market founder Elaine Paonessa said that despite the few animal appearances, most of the time things run smoothly.
“The only thing we’re doing is following the law,” she said. “These incidents aren’t that frequent, so it’s not really that big of deal.”
Signs prohibiting patrons from bringing in dogs and birds — circles containing images of the animals with a line through them — are posted at each entrance the market.
“We love that people want to spend time with their dogs, but the farmer’s market has to comply with state code,” said Burbank Animal Shelter Supt. Brenda Castaneda. “They can’t allow the animals where food is stored or held for sale.”
Customers often assume that since the market is outside, there is no issue with bringing their dogs in, she added.
“We have a lot of regular customers who all follow the rules,” Paonessa said. “Saturday wouldn’t be Saturday without the farmer’s market.”