Seattle Hempfest is NOT Dog Friendly
If you plan to attend Seattle Hempfest this weekend, please leave your dog at home because DOGS AREN’T ALLOWED.
Seattle Hempfest is the largest annual cannabis policy reform event on the planet.
Every year, organizers turn away people who assumed that the event allows dogs.
The only dog allowed at Seattle Hempfest are service dogs (real service dogs, not the ones with fake credentials).
Remember that therapy dogs, comfort dogs and emotional support dogs are NOT service dogs.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a service dog as “any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.”
Don’t Leave Your Dog in Your Car!
Many attendees end up leaving their dogs in their cars after learning they can’t bring them into Hempfest.
In 2009, the Seattle Times reported that a dog died after its owners left it in their car for more than 2 hours after they were told they couldn’t bring it to Hempfest.
That same year, police broke into 4 cars to rescue 3 dogs, a cat, and a kitten during Hempfest.
In 2015, the Seattle Animal Shelter confiscated a dog a Hempfest attendee left in his car.
I know you’ve heard this a gazillion times but I’m going to remind you for the gazillion and first time that, in hot weather, cars can heat up quickly and your dog can die of heatstroke relatively quickly.
On an 85 degree day, the temperature in your car can reach almost 120 degrees within about 30 minutes. That’s more than hot enough for a dog to die from heatstroke.
“It’s not worth the risk,” said former Seattle Animal Shelter Director Don Jordon before Hempfest in 2015. “Cars in direct sunlight can reach fatal temperatures within just a few minutes, and on hot days even dogs left in the shade with the windows cracked are at risk of brain damage or death.”
That same year the Legislature passed a law making it a Class C felony to leave an animal unattended in a vehicle or enclosed space if the animal “could be harmed or killed by exposure to excessive heat or cold, lack of ventilation or lack of water.”
Four Reasons Why Dogs Shouldn’t Be at Hempfest
Normally I’d prefer that outdoor festivals are dog friendly. However, here are some reasons why I agree that Seattle Hempfest should ban dogs.
The event is always packed. Not just crowded. Packed. 500,000+ people packed.
Throwing dozens of dogs into the mix could create dangerous confrontations, especially if owners are too stoned to keep an eye on their dogs.
Lots of people will be smoking lots of pot and producing lots of smoke, and it doesn’t take much of it to get your dog high.
Dogs can show symptoms of marijuana toxicity within a few minutes of inhaling smoke or a couple hours after ingesting marijuana.
Possible symptoms include impaired coordination, excessive urination, and incontinence.
Other symptoms include drooling, vomiting, lethargy, depression, dilated pupils, and light/sound sensitivity.
In severe cases they have seizures or go into a coma.
One of the largest growth areas in pot consumption is edibles.
Companies infuse brownies, cookies, candy, cake, chocolate, beef jerky, peanut butter and lots of other foods with cannabis oil; and they’re more potent than pot you smoke.
Some of these edibles will end up on the ground where dogs can quickly scarf them up without you noticing.
Stoned people often lose track of time and forget when they left their dog in their car. They may also sneak a bite of an edible to your dog to see it get high.
If you do bring a service animal to Hempfest, keep it away from pot smoke and edibles. It should also have access to plenty of water.
Since pet water stations won’t be available and the lines for bottled water will be long, you should bring your own water for your service dog.
To report a dog in a hot car, contact the Seattle Animal Shelter at (206) 386-7387 (PETS).