Animals in department store shopping carts

Good afternoon,

I am new to the forums and I have a questions about animals in shops/stores. Has anyone expressed a concern or filed a complaint against a department store regarding allowing animals in shopping carts? I am allergic to dander and do not care to use a shopping cart that has dander, fur, saliva…in it. I would like to submit this concern to the corporate office of the department store where this occurred, but I am not sure how to go about it. I did speak to the store manager, and was told that they do not have a specific policy regarding what pets can or cannot do in their store.

Thank you,



Comments 17

  • Pljohns

    While I'm lucky and not allergic to pets/dander, there are several on the boards here that are severely allergic!  I must confess, I never thought about it until I got active on this board and realized how unfair it was to assume it was OK and not consider that others will be using the buggy or around the dog in the course of shopping.  I have never taken mine anywhere but the pet store and I absolutely couldn't now that I have a better understanding about how it would potentially affect others.  

    As far as getting it to the corp. office, I would hit their home website and see if you can find any information under the "contact us" section. If not, you could always call the store and ask how to reach their corp. offices.  I agree that stores need to have a policy against pets in the store and I'm sure most of them don't because they don't realize the potential issues from having them there.

  • K8sMom2002

    Welcome, @jkl! Lynn has given you an excellent suggestion above! Some stores do have guidance that the only animals allowed are ". 

    One thing you might do as you're reaching out to them is to share the . Could you also include a letter from your allergist or pulmonologist stating how "sticky" pet dander is? 

    How do you handle this department store? Could you carry wipes to wipe the cart down?  How often do you have to shop in this store? Or all the department stores in your area open to pets coming in?

  • Shea

    I am literally tortured by people bringing in their animals and having them in carts. Nothing ever works for me, and I feel very alone and losing the battle. Some stores I have put on my "dont shop there" list because of the frequency of the issue. 

    I have severe dander allwrgies and a life-threatening immunological allergic disease that is triggered by dander as well– my heart was surrounded by allergic eosinophils and gave me a heart attack at age 28, I have had contact hives, severe asthma attacks. I am on disability. But I have ti shop, and people bring their dogs to grocery stores, they will get behind me in line and pet their dolinehair flying in the air, and I have to walk out of line and leave. I was awaiting a shot at my allergist/immunologist office and a service dog came in– I filed a complaint and they suggested maybe I coukd wait in a different room– I am like "yo this is a freaking allergist office–I am not the only person here with fresking dander allergies. 

    Target "we cant do anything, we cant even ASK them if it is a service animal and they dont have to be marked anymore. 

    OMG. SOME schools have policies now where dogs and allergic kids are not yo be put in the same class. 

    But as far as stores, NO ONE has been helpful EXCEPT the pharmacy, I reported it there because it was obvious it was a pet puppy, and they told the person no pets. 

    I wipe down my carts everywhere. 

    Dogs at the hospitals. Dogs at the hurricane shelters. Dogs on the planes. And asthma numbers growing, allergy numbers growing, medication needs growing…it is beyond horrible. 

    I just stop going places. And it is sad. I have safe places but they are getting smaller by the day. Today I swore off Lowes. Done with Lowes forever. Always dogs there. I left a shoe store in a mall and went to a different one. I dont go to restaurants that allow dogs inside, and i am about to start online ordering my groceries. 

    But, I tell yeah, I started voicing it so that the people with dogs could hear me, and the store employees… it makes me feel better. 

    I will say "I am sorry, I have to leave, my son and I have severe dander allergies". 

    I will totally sign a petition if you make one though! Good luck!

  • K8sMom2002

    Hugs, Shea … We are blessed that this part of the country (rural south Georgia) hasn't had that happen. We have signs on grocery stores saying that unless it is a service dog, it can't come in.

    Do you do online shopping to compensate? While that might help avoid the allergen, I'm sure it makes you feel lonely and isolated. There's more to shopping than just getting the merchandise you need — I realize that when I dash in a big box discount store for a single item and wind up talking to absolutely no one from the door to the shelf to the self-checkout and then back out the door. 

    I still think it's a good idea to alert both the local and corporate folks. You never know … it might help! And I'm super proud of you for advocating for yourself.

  • Jen

    @jkl Welcome to AAFA's support forums.  I, too,  am noticing more pets in stores.  Another tactic that often gets a quick response is to post on the company's social media pages.  I have use fb pages to make complaints, comments a few times and often get a quick response.  Companies don't want others to see complaints like that.

  • Shea

    Did you guys hear about this : 


    Pets and "emotional suport animals" will always be treated better than human beings with allergies. 

    We have no rights, and we cant fly. It is B.S., but this is why I havent flown since having severe cat and dog dander allergies. 

  • Pljohns

    I hear you Shea-the one trip that we've flown on (4 1/2 hrs to San Diego in June), i had a lady sitting next to me with a schauzer-not in a crate, carry bag or anything-in her lap, my lap, all over the place.  The dog had to weigh at least 30 lbs and I was floored that they let her bring it on the plane.

  • jkl

    Regarding the Southwest incident (), I think now is a perfect time to blow up social media regarding pet allergies. 

  • K8sMom2002

    @jkl, were you ever able to find out anything from the corporate office about the shopping carts and the pets policy?

  • Jen

    @jkl Did you ever get a chance to contact someone at corporate?  How did your holiday shopping go?

  • Marie E Natzke

    JKL,   I can't tell you how many times I've run into someone with a pet at the mall.  I live in Chicago and when I see someone with a pet I complain.  I've complained to workers in the mall and at each store.  Kohl's and Target. The people with the pets were told to leave.  I even saw someone with a cockatoo on their arm in Target.  I had to do a double take when I saw them, so did everyone else. I've even approached the people and questioned them is this a service animal before I complain?  When there has been a service animal the dog has a harness on and a blanket with the words service animal. I never say anything to them. 

    I had to leave a job I had for 32 years over a dog.  It's not right.  I don't fly on planes due to the frequency of pets, service animlas on planes.  But I will not give up my right to shop. I'm a mall walker and I will not give that up either.  I have to draw a line somewhere. 

  • jkl

    I heard back from the store I reached out to, and they responded with "we will make sure the leadership team is made aware of this feedback to improve future visits". 

    I'm calling the ADA today to ask what can be done to enforce the service animals only regulation. I think business owners are afraid of being sued, so they don't ask people with pets in stores to leave. 


  • Melissa G

    JKL, I love our dog, but I would never take her to the store. I just don't understand why people do that. Let us know what you find out. 

  • Marie E Natzke

    JKL , Melissa

    I still confront people in the mall with pets. I also will find security or one of the mall workers and they tell them they have to leave. I am noticing here in Chicago stores are posting signs for service animals only allowed.