By Robin Ray
contributing writer 

Ducks in diapers and zebras on leashes


February 17, 2024

Yes, we have seen or heard about these situations. You may even remember hearing about turkeys on airlines and pigs on buses. We have been domesticating and humanizing animals for centuries, however bringing our pets into restaurants, grocery stores, airlines and even churches have become a more recent trend in the United States. It makes me wonder why we have the need to parade our pets into these places?

Is it because we can, so we do? Is taking our pets into situations where there are many different smells, unpredictable individuals and other animals that can potentially make our pet feel uncomfortable a good idea? Do we do this for the sake of the animal or our own needs?

Then there is the consideration of the individuals who have allergies or germ issues. Some people are actually allergic to the hair and dander of some animals. These allergies can trigger a severe adverse reaction for some folks. It begs the question, does one person’s preference to bring their pet into restaurants, grocery stores and on airlines, as well as other organizations and businesses, have more rights than others?

It may be that we have not thought about these things before. This topic is something that many people would not discuss openly. Admittedly, I was reticent about writing about this subject for fear people may think that I don’t like animals. That would be farthest from the truth. I love animals and nature. I am in awe of the beauty, grace and fun that animals can bring to our world. I also know that some pets can provide friendship, love and acceptance to a person. I also like people, too. I can appreciate the health concerns and personal opinions of individuals.

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With that being said, where do we go from here?

Perhaps businesses that allow pets into their establishment could put a sign in the entrance saying, “Pets Welcomed” and business that don’t allow pets have a sign saying “No Pets Allowed.” (With the exception of service animals, of course.) While this may not solve the potential discomfort of a pet, it could be a solution for people who don’t want to go into places where they will unexpectedly encounter an animal that they may be allergic to or don’t want to encounter.

This topic is worth thinking about. After all, we all want to feel good about our experiences and where and how we spend our time and money.

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