Home / Blog / PUBLIX PET CRACKDOWN: New Signs, Enforcement To Ban Pets

PUBLIX PET CRACKDOWN: New Signs, Enforcement To Ban Pets

Aug 15, 2023Aug 15, 2023

BY: CONSUMER DESK | BocaNewsNow.com

DELRAY BEACH, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2023 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — After months of BocaNewsNow.com publishing photos of Publix shoppers in Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, and across South Florida bringing pets illegally into Publix, Publix is taking a stand. While window signs remind shoppers that it’s illegal to bring anything but a true service animal into the store, the company is in the process of erecting huge signs at the front door of each location. We have learned that managers have been told to involve local law enforcement — if necessary — to enforce statutes and laws. Customers may be charged with trespass if they illegally bring a pet inside and refuse to leave. The message: in a community where everyone believes they are entitled to a rule exception, the rules actually do apply.

“It’s out of hand,” said someone familiar with the situation but not a direct employee of Publix. “(BocaNewsNow.com) clearly struck a nerve and was correct. Dogs have no business being in a supermarket. You’re going to see a big change.”

Federal Law, as Publix states on its signage, prohibits pets from being in a supermarket or a restaurant. While service animals are permitted, they are required to be trained service animals, not “Emotional Support Animals” which are considered bogus. Airlines stopped permitting “ESA’s” over the past two years and they continue to be controversial. While animals can provide support to those suffering from true emotional deficiencies, their legitimacy when it came to federal protection came to an end when everyone claimed that Fido or Fifi was an emotional support animal.

Publix did not respond to requests for an official comment. But BocaNewsNow.com readers, who send photos of apparently “rude” shoppers with dogs on a daily basis, cheer the apparent crackdown.

“It’s about time,” wrote one reader. “Publix became a zoo, as other supermarkets have as well. It’s disgusting. The only thing more disgusting than the dogs sniffing fresh food and produce is the people who think it’s perfectly okay. Clearly these are people in need of real help, something no dog can provide.”

“It’s so gross,” wrote another reader. “The people who insist on bringing their dogs with them everywhere instead of leaving them at home, really have problems. That Publix ever permitted anything other than a real service animal in its stores is bizarre for a company that seems to pride itself on cleanliness and customer service.”

BocaNewsNow.com has learned that repeat offenders could be banned from Publix locations. Shoppers are being reminded that Publix offers a delivery-to-car service, which would permit pet owners to stay in their vehicles with their dogs, cats, birds, snakes, rabbits, and reptiles, and have food delivered directly to their car.

What do you think of the apparent Publix crackdown? Share your thoughts, below. (We received more than 1000 comments via email. Read some of those here. We have opened up on-page commenting. Feel free to leave your response below).

Start your day with South Florida’s First News with Andrew Colton on NewsRadio 610 WIOD/Miami-Fort Lauderdale. Also Streaming in the iHeart Radio App and simulcast on 105.9HD2.

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It’s about GD time!

On two separate occasions at the Target located at 16901 Miramar Parkway, Miramar, FL 33027 I have witnessed with there pet dogs on leashes in the store, walking out of the store and even in the shopping cart. I was sent a survey from Target about my shopping experience and I responded about why are dogs being allowed in the store when it is against the law unless it is a certified service animal and why are there no signs posted upon entering the store or any employee telling the pet owner it is against the law and they must leave. Here is the response I received.

Hi Rick, my name is Lamont Parker, and I’m the ETL at the Miramar Target store. Thank you for sharing your experience. I sincerely appreciate your feedback.I want to make this right both for you and for all Target guests in the future. if you’re open to further discussing how we might do that, please reply to this email. You are also welcome to call me at 954-435-2571.Thank you again,Lamont ParkerETL

This is the second time I received the same response. The first time was on 5/25/23 and then on 8/10/23. My email to Lamont on 5/25/23 is below and I never heard from him again.

Hi Lamont,

Thanks for responding. Please see 3 pictures from yesterday afternoon with a woman bringing her baby in the Target shopping cart along with another child and with their dog entering Target.

Why would dogs be allowed in Target when you have food items? Wouldn’t that be a health regulation issue? What if a dog bites another customer or a small child? Probably a lawsuit against all parties. FYI, at a Home Depot store in Colorado a woman was bitten in the face by another customer’s dog in April. Now the owner of the dog is facing charges.

What Is Target’s Official Dog Policy?Target’s official dog policy is that all pets are prohibited in their stores. Service animals are allowed, however, as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Dogs who are service animals must be kept on a leash and have appropriate vest, license, or paperwork as proof of their service animal status, as well as an up-to-date rabies vaccination.

Therapy dogs provide comfort and emotional support to those in need. However, if your therapy dog is just legally considered an emotional support animal, it is not allowed in Target, as they are not considered to be service animals by law.

So, is Target now becoming the next PetSmart? Hope not, we like going to your store especially since it has been remodeled but keep in mind it is almost the same distance from our home as Walmart. It would be a shame to lose a long-time customer since Target opened at the Miramar location if Target is lax on enforcing rules regarding dogs.

There should be some large signs letting customers know unless it is a certified service animal then their pets are not allowed to enter the store and Target personnel needs to let the customer know they need to leave the store.

I have nothing against dogs but even my friends told me they would not bring their dog into a Target, Walmart, or grocery store. It is just not hygienic and people have allergies around certain animals.


Do you think dogs have some mysterious disease or something? You are much more likely to get sick from a fellow human. Why do people think a dog is so gross? And as far as allergies go, people have allergies to all sorts of things. I have allergies to perfume. Should I petition that no one is allowed to wear perfume in stores?

Yes!!! Agree!!

Leave your dog at home when you go shopping. Yes he’s cute and all that but not everyone wants a dog on the store. It’s rude, unsanitary and disgusting.

You are describing children.

Kids are gross and unsanitary.

It is about time! Kudos to Publix. If you can’t go into a store without an animal there are options, use insta cart or door dash.Now hopefully ALL supermarkets will follow this lead.

Good Job for awakening Publix to follow rules.I think I understand the need that some of these customers feel but I for one don’t want animals near my food. Maybe if all these pet owners were to unite they may be able to create a business that would allow all their pets to run around while they shop.Next should be restaurants and of course airlines.

So dogs are inherently gross and can’t walk with their owners through a store but kids can run around screaming, crying, touching things with their grimy little hands? People are absurd. Dogs should be allowed more places, not less.

Dogs aren’t human. Kids are. Grow up.

They are still gross and germ infested. You grow up and stop crying over a dog!

I for one, applaud the crack down. The fact that these so called entitled pet owners go on Amazon and purchase the vest, and feel that gives them the right to go anywhere they choose is ridiculous. I think a law should be enacted stating that you carry and show on request the sevice animal certificate.

I am in the process of deciding on a pup (who will be professionally trained as a psychiatric service animal) and I can’t agree more.I truly fear all the looks and comments that will be made because my disabilities are unseen, and these disgusting people lying about their need for a medical tool are 100% causing those of us with “invisible” disabilities a much harder struggle to even function outside of our own homes.Way to go, a$$holes.

I plan to carry his certificate and a card to answer the questions that are legally allowed to be asked, so I don’t have to have to be probed about my medical business in the middle of the supermarket (with my soon-to-be exceptionally trained dog), but also wish to respect stores/restaurants and their employees.I am truly disturbed at the absolute chaos of people who just do what they want because they feel they should be the exception.I want to yell at all of them. Hey, you selfish prick, if I could magically rid myself of the various things I struggle with, I’d do it in a heartbeat. You’re making peoples hardships even more difficult and you don’t give a sh!t.

What I love most about calling people out is that it is SO obvious if the animal has truly been trained as a service animal… not just trained as a well-behaved dog. Vast and apparent differences.

Thank goodness a business is taking more intense steps. Unfortunately the signs everywhere have little to no effect on the entitled, selfish liars.Look forward to the first news of someone actually being banned from a store for repeat offenses.Also unfortunately, this will heighten the level of fake vests being purchased online. 🙁Selfish f*cks have ZERO idea of how much their behavior causes true medically necessary dogs and the people they are helping to have even MORE hurdles to overcome.Adding problems out of selfishness. Deplorable.

I’m going to look for another supermarket you’re out with your dog and you need to pick up something now what are you do? You can’t wait to show up in the car so you can pick up what you mean you have to go home I hate this new production.

It’s about time. Have seen several situations where dogs went to bite people, who thought how cute and went to pet dog. They were just people’s pets. Not Service dogs.

I do not own a dog, and don’t feel I should have to watch leashed dogs invade our food shopping experience! Love Publix. Have complained many times and managers need more say in what can be done! Throw them out! Dogs on leashes pee on the floor! I’m NOT AFAN!

All stores should ONLY allow service dogs in their stores especially grocery stores. You’re letting your dog around food like produce and deli which is totally wrong. Also we should go back to the old way of showing proof that your dog is a service dog. Anybody can by a collar and fake paperwork on line. Publix is absolutely right and those who bring in their dog SHOULD be asked to leave or trespassed

It’s about time!! Dogs everywhere ! Totally out of control. Glad to see Publix taking a stand on the existing federal law. Hope other stores and restaurants follow suit!

Finally I hope publix will do this in all stores not just so florida it makes me sick to see dogs inside ant store. no food stores should ever allow it. please make all publixes put up signage. I’m so sick of seeing dogs when food shopping.

About Time

Thank goodness

It’s about time!! I back publix 100% and any other store as well !!!!

Putting up the signs is a good start. I think that the sign should read:

“with all due respect to our customers we don’t really want ANY animals in the store, but we must abide by existing federal law and we allow registered service animals. Please keep all other animals out”

Thank you, Mr. Colton. Your bite was worse than their bark!

Thank goodness, I am so glad. Now we need to help Simons the owner of most malls, restaurants and public transportation, especially the airlines to do the same thing. It’s like we are going to the dog park at Town Center and Aventura Malls, and Delta and American airlines.

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