JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Publix is “where shopping is a pleasure,” but the popular grocery chain wants to remind you that no pets are allowed.
New signs at stores saying, “No pets allowed - only service animals” are popping up at Publix’s across Florida as the supermarket cracks down on its policy.
The policy has been in place since 2020, but new signs were placed throughout stores doubling down on it. Only service animals can go inside the business, meaning other dogs and animals that only provide emotional support and comfort aren’t allowed. Doctor’s notes don’t make exceptions either, according to the sign.
Shoppers like Erika Thomas agree with the policy.
“It’s a grocery store, and it may not be sanitary to have a dog in a grocery store,” she told Action News Jax. “I work at Lowes, and it’s a hardware store. It’s more understandable that they’re more pet friendly.”
Action News Jax reached out to Publix about its policy, and it sent us the following statement:
“We do have new signage in all stores, and our policy remains the same. I’ve included the link below to the full policy on our website.”— Publix
Action News Jax’s law and safety expert Dale Carson said it should be noted that service and therapy dogs are very similar and are allowed in businesses, but Carson said therapy animals aren’t the same as emotional support animals.
“Service dogs and therapy dogs are allowed in public facilities under Florida law. Individuals who work for businesses where dogs may be allowed can ask only two questions. They can’t ask what disability, but they can ask, ‘Is the dog there to service a disability?’ and ‘What does it do?’” Carson explained.
When it comes to Publix’s policy, Carson said, “If people are willing to be less candid about their animal, they can probably get away with the behavior, but honest people won’t do that.”
The sign also says it’s illegal to misrepresent your pet, and it’s a second degree misdemeanor. Publix’s policy online says stores will provide assistance if requested.
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