Dog Discrimination

Comments about Ray being allowed (or not) into stores, and other businesses, has come up a number of times during the “life” of this Blog. Here in Oakville, I guess we are fortunate in that our bank, all the pet supplies stores, Lululemon, Ten Thousand Villages and one or two other places will allow Ray inside. Restaurants and cafes are sacred ground due to Provincial legislation which limits access to “Service dogs” only.

We have been advised that Ray is not allowed on the outdoor patio at Tim Horton’s due to “health issues”, and even our local library will not allow him into their lobby… unless he is a Service dog, and that is where I have a problem.

I can accept a potential “health issue” with allowing dogs into an area where food is exposed (allowing humans in also produces health issues!). Many dogs could well carry “undesirables” in their coat; a flick of a tail from a large dog could touch a food item on a table, and dogs can cough and sneeze! I would support the concept of banning dogs from all food serving areas, if public health was the issue, but it should be all dogs. Service dogs can wag their tails, cough and sneeze, and therefore could be just as much of a health risk as a “regular” dog. Allowing Service Dogs into a food serving area, but prohibiting regular dogs from the same area would appear to be simple discrimination as the “health issue” does not stand up to scrutiny.

If we accept that the “health issue” is not the reason (based on my logic, it cannot be), then my thought is simply that Service dogs are generally very well behaved, while many “regular” dogs fall a little short in that area. I can accept that rationale, but then must fall back onto the blatant discrimination. Because Service dogs are well behaved, does not dictate that all “regular” dogs are not. This is, to me, no different from banning teenagers from a store because a few may be disruptive. It makes no sense!

My thoughts are that if any business is prepared to ask disruptive customers to leave the premises, then the same thinking should apply to pet owners. The logic is really simple, if dogs as a species are acceptable in a business, then all dogs should be allowed in. If a particular dog is causing an issue, then the owner should be requested to take it off the premises.

A person with a Service dog probably has no options but to take their dog everywhere with them. Who would want to defend a discrimination law suit resulting from not allowing people with mental and/or physical challenges from entering their business? Service dog owners do need that freedom, just as wheel chair operators need ramps, and I can totally understand that, but then… don’t tell me that Ray is not allowed in for reasons of “health issues”!

Whatever the background is to the restaurant/cafe legislation, or behind other businesses choosing to prohibit “regular” dogs, it would seem to have nothing to do with health and everything to do with a selective discrimination. I am certainly not against people with Service dogs being allowed into businesses, but let’s not discriminate against well behaved “regular” dogs!

Thoughts anybody?


29 thoughts on “Dog Discrimination

  1. There aren’t many places you can take dogs in Australia, unless they’re Guide Dogs. Some cafes do cater for dog owners however they have to be seated outside and dog friendly establishments are few and far between. They use the ‘health and safety’ excuse here as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • For some reason, I would have expected Oz to be more progressive! As the “health and safety” argument does not seem to be a very convincing one for allowing some dogs, but not others, it really does seem to be just an excuse. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  2. When Mom was in France she noticed that dogs were allowed everywhere except where there were signs prohibiting them. She sat next to a black lab in a Mickey D’s! Although we agree that us dogs should be allowed everywhere, we both noticed what a bad urine smell a local book reseller’s shop had. When they moved to their new location, they forbid dogs, and we know why!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You raise a good point! I know when we visited in Europe there were restaurants that allowed dogs in them. And they weren’t Service Dogs. Hotels are starting to allow more and more pets, so who knows it may just happen! Talking about hotels, many years ago my hubby and I were moving to Indiana and had our Boston Terrier with us. Got caught in a CRAZY sudden snowstorm, I mean it was a true whiteout!! We got the next to the last room in the hotel, oh but there was a sign that said NO DOGS ALLOWED. Well there was NO WAY I was leaving our dog in the car so we brought her in. Next morning as we went to leave the hotel manager saw us walking out with her. Oh you could tell by her face she was NOT happy, in fact she did yell something, but we just walked on.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Locally we are seeing more outdoor friendly restaurants with water bowls. I think there are laws against animals inside a place that sells food in my area. My mother-in-law was in a nursing home for the last few years of her life. The place had a resident cat that everyone loved. The cat was very friendly and was greatly appreciated by the residents. One day there was a daughter of a resident who was having a fit. “Cats are dirty! It shouldn’t be in here! I’m going to talk to the management about this!” I don’t know whatever happened but that’s all it takes. There are liability issues with animals and with our litigious society, no one seems to want to take a chance. I’m always happy that Ray is allowed in so many places where you live.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. News article today that teachers are no longer allowed to take their dogs into the classroom. Nothing to do with bad behaviour or health issues apparently, just a ‘change of policy’.
    The town here is very dog friendly, though obviousy there are some food stores and restaurants where they are not permitted. Most of the pubs have notices outside ‘Dog Friendly’ and a lot of shops put bowls of water outside. We certainly don’t have a problem with Maggie, and she gets the occasional treat too (embarrassingly when dragged into the pet shop!)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I gave my thoughts before, but I was edited 😵
    Let’s just say all bad behavior can’t be eliminated from a location. It can only be limited.
    There are not as many service dogs around to be flicking fleas, so go ahead and allow them. However, is perfectly ok to have a screaming, poopy diaper smelling baby next to me while I eat my $40 meal.

    Liked by 3 people

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