A hugely popular indoor dog-walking event at Rosedale Center in Roseville has gone — well, to the dogs.
The mall is scrapping its weekly parade of pooches amid concerns over walkers not cleaning up after pets that have piddled on the floor. Sunday marks the last day.
For the last year, the mall has welcomed pups into its mall-walking ranks each Sunday before stores open, giving dog owners a place to retreat from the cold.
But as the event swelled in size and hundreds of dogs have packed the mall corridors, so too have problems with owners neglecting messes left behind, said Lisa Crain, Rosedale’s vice president and general manager.
“It started to get out of control,” Crain said Monday. “It was like Black Friday shopping, but it was dogs.”
Rosedale, which opens at 11 a.m. on Sundays, recently tried bumping the dog-walking hours back to 8 to 10 a.m. from 9 to 11 a.m., to give more time for cleanup.
“It just wasn’t enough,” Crain said.
Complaints also flowed in from regular shoppers, some of whom were allergic to dogs and worried about fur left behind on mall upholstery and merchandise, she said.
“It was a very difficult decision to change,” Crain said. “It has been so successful.”
Dog owners say they are lamenting the loss of a place to socialize, escape winter and see familiar faces — whiskered and human.
Shannon Granholm has been traveling from Hugo to Roseville nearly every Sunday for the last year.
Granholm, 26, walks her corgi, Twinkie, and white German shepherd, Frosty, and admires all the breeds padding by, from Great Danes to tiny Shih Tzus, she said.
Some mall businesses even offered treats and water, she said.
“It’s become a routine. It’s what we look forward to on the weekend,” Granholm said. “We’re really sad it’s done.”