ATLANTA — Although shopping may be a pleasure, your pets aren't allowed inside Publix grocery stores.
If you've shopped inside any Publix store in the last week or so, you've probably noticed several new green signs inside that simply read: "No pets allowed."
The supermarket chain that is so widely popular in Georgia is reminding its customers that it's illegal to bring any pets inside the store -- unless they are a registered service animal. Emotional support animals are not allowed inside either.
Publix leaders confirmed with 11Alive's sister station WTSP in Tampa they recently added the signage in all 1,384 stores in the United States, 214 of those locations being in the Peach State. The remaining stores are in Florida (who has the most with 876), Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky.
"Under federal law, service animals are dogs or miniature horses trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities," the sign inside stores reads. "Non-service animals are not allowed in grocery stores by the FDA."
In a statement posted to Publix's website, the grocery store says that those who bring non-service animals inside the store will be forced to leave.
If you do have a service animal, they are not allowed to be carried inside a shopping car or in the wheelchair baskets, the statement reads.
"We also ask that service animals that are out of control, pose a threat to health or safety, or are not housebroken be removed from the premises," their website says.
Publix did not state if a potential increase in animals inside their stores in the recent months was a reason they felt compelled to put the signage up.