Citing the potential for damage to expensive new carpeting and for liability in case of a dog bite, pets have now been banned from entering the Alaska state capitol building in Juneau.
Dogs were not a common sight in the building in the past, but partially due to complaints and waste left by animals, a legislative committee voted last week to officially disallow pets of all kinds in the building. Service animals are exempt.
The pet ban went into effect immediately.
Legislative staff members that violate the policy can be fired. And since legislators are elected officials and can’t be fired, they are subject to a $25 fine if caught breaking the rule.
Local Humane Society director Chava Lee told the Anchorage Daily News that her office receives numerous complaints from the capitol about dogs during the four-month legislative session.
“They begin like this: ‘Hi, I don’t want to give my name, and I want you to know that I love dogs, but …’ There’s always an ‘I love dogs’ and a ‘but,’ and then you know,” said Lee.