A pair of Wiltshire publicans have been forced to change their policy on customers coming in with dogs after a ‘ruff’ night last Friday.
The managers of The New Inn in Semington Road, Melksham, say they ‘counted more dogs than customers’ – and some of them were getting grumpy.
Ronnie and Terry, who took over the pub in March, in a light-hearted message on their website and social media page asked customers with dogs not to bring them in after 5pm on a Friday and Saturday, and not at all on a Sunday.
Ronnie said: “We don’t want to make a big issue out of it. It was sorted out on the night.
“As dog lovers and owners ourselves, we absolutely love our furry friends and we’ve always done our best to have an open-door policy when it comes to dogs.
“Unfortunately, it rather backfired on us last night as we were inundated with dogs; it would be fair to say that there were more dogs than people, and we had something of a ‘ruff’ evening.
“Whilst most dogs are friendly, the sheer number was creating problems for both people and dogs alike, with staff finding it difficult to negotiate their way across the pub and dogs getting rather grumpy with other dogs.
“Some dogs were eyeing up some of our staff like a rump steak. I had to do a head count at the end of the night to make sure all staff were present and all limbs accounted for.
“So, after some thought, we need to instigate a policy to keep things under control. Once we’re into the New Year and the garden is open, it will allow us to have more of our furry friends but for now we need to place a few restrictions.”
From now on, after 5pm on a Friday and Saturday, and all day Sunday, there can be no dogs in the pub, as well as a general rule that no dogs can be in the dining area and outside these hours should only be in the pub area.
Ronnie added: “Unfortunately, it’s a health and safety issue and although we hate to place restrictions it’s entirely for the safety of customers, staff and, of course, the dogs.
“It’s a very difficult decision to make for us but The New Inn just doesn’t have the space. We hope you’ll understand the need.”