In the last year, the food safety division of the Oregon Agriculture Department has received more than 600 complaints about animals in food stores, and a disproportionate number of them have come from the Pearl District of Portland, an affluent, dog-passionate procession of newer condominiums and shiny retail shops at the edge of downtown.
The Pearl District is a recently erected confection in a city often regarded as ahead of the curve in so-called New Urbanist thinking. Streetcars whisper by. Yoga is popular in Tanner Springs Park, described by a sign at its entrance as “a habitat garden created on reclaimed industrial land.” Dogs are not allowed in that park, but some owners let them run free at a dog park nearby, where the area’s developer, Hoyt, provides bags for poop and empties the trash cans that fill up quickly.
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