A traditional village pub is set to ban dogs entirely after a string of antisocial incidents – leaving pet owners up in arms.
Jeff and Suzy Chandler have owned the Lowndes Arms in Whaddon for four years, and have lived in the village for 15 years.
They say that visitors have complained about the behaviour of dogs, and staff have been made to feel uncomfortable.
But a Facebook campaign has already sprung up, with residents set to stage a protest with their dogs at the pub on Friday – the last day before the ban comes into force.
Mr Chandler said: “The decision hasn’t been taken lightly and has been taken as a team. I won’t have my staff feeling under threat, and there has been a lot of concern expressed.
“Dogs have thrown up and defecated in the pub which is carpeted, and we serve food so we can’t do with that going on.
“One dog was even let off the lead and wandered into the kitchen which is against regulations.
“Now I have heard that there is a plan to bring all of these dogs to the pub, this is a privately owned business and we saved the pub from closure for the village to enjoy, but we don’t like being bullied.
“I have a six-year-old daughter who has been growled at and a staff member has been bitten, we have to say that it has got worse and worse.
“We have to think of the people who do support the pub, and people will stop bringing their families if this continues.”
But Lauren Scott, a Whaddon resident and campaign supporter who heard about the ban on Facebook, says that all dogs should not be punished for the failings of a few owners.
She said: “I have lived in the village all of my life and have always had dogs.
“We have always been able to take them up there and it would be such a shame if that goes, because of the behaviour of a few owners.”
The Facebook post, by Whaddon resident Graham Hain reads: “Due to a couple of misbehaving dogs (or rather owners) ALL dogs will shortly be banned from Whaddon’s village pub.
“This is thought to be the first such ban in the pub’s 400 year history.
“The issue has been raised with management and staff, but to no avail.”