TAMPA, Fla. — New signs placed at the entrance of all Publix locations are cracking down on customers bringing in pets while they shop.
The supermarket chain is reminding shoppers that under applicable law, no pets are allowed inside – which includes emotional support animals. Only service animals are allowed while shopping.
Leaders with the supermarket chain confirmed to 10 Tampa Bay they did put new signage in all stores. But the store's policy on animals reportedly remains the same.
"Under federal law, service animals are dogs or miniature horses trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities," the sign reads in part. "Non-service animals are not allowed in grocery stores by the FDA."
According to company leaders, dogs, pets and other animals that only provide comfort, companionship or emotional support don't qualify as service animals. They are not allowed inside a Publix, even with a doctor's note.
On Publix's website, customers are asked that non-service animals be removed from the premises.
"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," the post online reads in part. "The individual may continue to shop at the store without the animal.
"Publix will gladly provide personal shopping assistance to such an individual upon request."
Service animals are also asked to not be placed in carts or baskets because of health and sanitation concerns.
When asked why Publix felt the need to put the signage up, they didn't respond.