Woof justice for pooches in pubs? The arguments for and against

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Wetherspoon pubs made headlines earlier this week when they banned dogs from all of its pubs nationwide.

Here, we here the cases for and against bringing man’s best friend along to the boozer.

FOR - Ellie Hales, Duty Manager at Water Lane Boathouse, Leeds

Since opening in May 2017, Water Lane Boathouse has become a haven for dog-walkers in Leeds.

The venue is located on Canal Wharf on the South side of the Leeds-to-Liverpool canal.

It’s popularity among dog-lovers continues to grow and duty manager Ellie Hales was responsible for setting up the Instagram account ‘waterlanedoghouse’ which posts pictures of customers’ pooches.

“We’ve had a lot of people discover us through the Instagram account,” said Ellie. “We’ve found that people will come and start talking to other dog owners so it can become quite social.

“Our location, next to the canal, is such an important place for people with dogs. We wanted to make the place as dog-friendly as we could, so we have bowls out for them and in the past we have held dog-specific events.

“It’s also nice because where we are, we’re near lots of office workers and people who live centrally.

“If they want to take their dog for a walk whilst they have a drink, they don’t have the hassle of worrying if they’ll be welcome or not.

“I know Wetherspoons have banned dogs because of potential issues with small children, but we’ve never seen that. The other day we had a small baby that was introduced to a dog and it was lovely to see.”

AGAINST - Eddie Gershon, spokesperson for JD Wetherspoon

Dogs are a familiar sight in many watering holes up and down the country.

But bringing your pooch to the pub is now forbidden in any Wetherspoon branch.

The pub chain recently enforced its ‘No Dogs Policy’ as of September 10.

The policy states: “Please note that Wetherspoon has a policy of not allowing dogs in its pubs, including all outside areas. (Assistance Dogs excepted).

“This policy was introduced shortly after the company was founded in 1979, although in recent years we have allowed a few exceptions.

“After much consultation, we will now be strictly enforcing this policy everywhere.”

Eddie Gershon, spokesman for the chain, says that the safety of young children was paramount when making the decision.

“Even well-behaved dogs can be unpredictable even if every dog owner thinks their dog is perfect,” said Mr Gershon.

“We serve a lot of food and we welcome a lot of children and families.

“Younger children in particular can be unpredictable around dogs and many are scared of dogs.”

In Leeds, there are ten Wetherspoons pubs, including at Leeds railway station and The Old Unicorn in Bramley.