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Fogo Island ferry user and her dog asked to take winter crossing on deck

The MV Veteran is out of service again and will be replaced on the Fogo Island-Change Islands-Farewell run.
The Department of Transportation and Works says pets aren’t allowed in the lounge areas of provincial ferries because of allergy concerns.

The policies of the provincial ferry system have drawn the ire of at least one traveller.

Patricia Rowe, originally from Fogo Island, says she was making the crossing Wednesday, Dec. 26, when she was approached by a crew member of the MV Veteran and was asked to take her six-pound dog outside, on deck, for the remainder of the trip.

While Rowe couldn’t be reached for comment before deadline, she shared her story through the Facebook page “Fogo Island Ferry Updates!” Rowe stated she spent the hour-long crossing in minus seven-degree temperatures outside.

“While I understand no dogs in the lounge, please, please, come up with a better option,” she wrote. “I didn’t have her on the floor, she was in my arms. I walked on (and) don’t have a car to leave her in.”

The Central Voice asked the Department of Transportation and Works for a response.

In an emailed statement the department said passengers and crews travelling on provincial ferries must follow numerous safety requirements to ensure the safety of everyone on board at all times.

This includes prohibiting smoking, non-prescription drug use, alcohol consumption and the use of cellphones on the vehicle deck while loading and unloading.

Furthermore, the department says, pets are not permitted in the passenger lounges due to passengers with allergies, but exceptions are made for assistance dogs and service dogs for passengers with disabilities.

Transportation and Works said there are measures in place for those travelling with pets, but it is the responsibility of the owner.

“Pets may be stowed safely in the passenger’s vehicle or may be stowed in a passenger-provided kennel and placed in a designated area on the vehicle deck,” read the statement.

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