Publix Taking Action After Months Of Photos Of Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach Customers Bringing Dogs Into Publix, Which Violates Federal Law. More Than 1000 Readers Respond, Thank Us!
BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2023 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — You are welcome! That’s our message to the hundreds of readers who took the time to send us a note following our Saturday night report that Publix appears to be taking serious action to stop shoppers from bringing dogs into their stores — a critical problem that violates federal law. For months, we have been publishing reader-submitted photos of shoppers who appear to be disregarding window signs at Publix, reminding them that only professionally trained service animals are permitted in a supermarket. That means dogs (or small horses, believe it or not) that are trained to provide a legitimate service — like assisting those with vision issues, or helping someone with epilepsy. An emotional support dog, or ESA, is not a service animal.
Despite the law, rude shoppers in Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, and Delray Beach routinely bring dogs into Publix — sometimes with strollers meant for humans, often just on leashes. These animals interact with food, get in the way of shoppers, cause allergy problems, and occasionally leave gifts behind — requiring quite a clean-up in Aisle 2. Publix has been slow to respond, but now seems to be taking the problem seriously. New — huge — signs are being installed at entrance ways. And we have learned, although Publix did not provide an official statement despite multiple requests, that managers are being told to “trespass” violators. That means involving law enforcement.
It’s all good news, according to the vast majority of people sending BocaNewsNow.com notes Saturday night and Sunday morning. The following is a selection of the more than 1000 responses we received.
READERS RESPOND TO OUR PUBLIX ANIMAL REPORTING. (We do not edit responses for grammar, spelling).
I am so glad this Dog attendance problem in Publix is finally getting somewhere!! Yay!! I must tell you that some Publix managers have been irate about the situation and won’t even discuss it! They are just as much to blame. So happy this problem is coming to fruition. Keep the updates coming. Thank you Boca News Now!!!!
It’s about time. People were abusing the right to bring only a service dog into Publix. It was getting out of hand. I was worried someone would fall and break their hip on dog urine. Publix is no place for dogs.
Congrats to Boca News Now for terrific reporting that helps our community. You serve as a great resource and have impacted all of us for the better. Publix reaction to your reporting is respectable. Laws exist for a reason and apply to all people. Thanks.
Thank you for bringing this to the public’s attention. It’s about time everyone follows and enforces the laws. Unfortunately last night I was in Chilis on 441 & palmetto park road and a furry non-service dog was brought in and seated on the cushion in a booth. Employees made a fuss and were constantly petting the dog. I will not go back to this Chilis because of the lack of hygiene. I believe this was an employee’s pet because of all the attention. The one time I left my phone at home. Publix, please enforce!
Great job BocaNewsNow!!! These people are ridiculously rude and their behavior is egregious. I am a dog lover and have brought my dog everywhere— that ALLOWS dogs. It is disrespectful to others who may be allergic and fearful of dogs that you can ESA online for $100. Another reason I don’t live in HOA. I asked realtors can I have my Siberian Husky. “Oh you can just get an ESA online and they can’t say anything.” I’ve never seen such rude, absurd and disrespectful behavior until I moved to South Florida. Thank you for being willing to fight the fight. Please do not ever stop!
I am a firm supporter of and believer in the incredible importance of local journalism. This article is a Prime example why. Cheers to you all!
Keep ‘em on their toes!
Thank you Boca News Now for your ongoing attention to this entitled behavior! Hopefully this will trickle over to other locations these dogs are being dragged into like nail salons and restaurants.
I am a Vietnam Veteran. I have a service dog with a letter on D O D letterhead from my psychiatrist that because of my PTSD and other Health problems that I needed this dog. But there are two places I will never take my dog. To a grocery store or a restaurant. People do not know that by not following the rules, it causes problems for those of us who have legal service dogs. It’s as bad as taking up a handicapped parking space. It’’s about time someone stepped up and followed the rules.
Dogs are not human. Should not be in restaurants, bars and stores. If they can’t purchase anything they are trespassing.
I am a true dog lover, but I do not think dogs should be in supermarkets or restaurants. Congratulations! I think you can take the credit for this crackdown. Now, let’s work on people who park in handicapped spots illegally. If you ask them they will say “Nobody was there and I just wanted to run in for a minute.” Or, you will see a teenage kid parking in a handicapped spot and actually running into the store, and you just know he is using his grandmother’s tag.
I can’t wait for these signs to go up. And to see if the law is then enforced Thanks to Boca News Now for leading the fight against violators.
Thank you BocaNewsNow.com for finally getting Publix to crack down on RUDE entitled pet owners. Now you need to get Winn Dixie Whole Foods Aldi etc. to do the same because you know these inconsiderate “people” will do this elsewhere.
Thank you BocaNewsNow.com for all you have done to get this matter taken care of.
I am an employee of Publix and think it’s absolutely disgusting that Publix allows dogs (or other animals) into their stores without being clearly identified as a Service Animal. I have watched people’s dogs sniff, lick and eat foods off the shelves and out of low level cold areas. I have seen people’s dogs urinate and even defecate in the store and not pick it up, just walk (or wheel themselves) away! They bring their dogs to our pharmacy and some will even put them on the counters…sickening! While there are signs on the stores’s front doors stating that dogs (animals) are not allowed, the management most stores choose to ignore the corporate rules out of fear offending a precious customer. I have mentioned it to mgmt on several occasions, but have been rebuffed so I don’t say anything now out of fear of reprisal.
Publix needs to follow the rules!!!!
Yea that you have put a focus on this and hopefully Publix management will enforce the rules. It’s about time Publix is cracking down on these individuals who feel entitled to bring their pets.
Let’s hope the managers at Publix have the courage to enforce the rules – rigorously.
So glad to see this post. It’s something that needs to be enforced in all public businesses not just supermarkets. Its disgusting to know that employees have to clean up dog crap in supermarkets and department stores because their owners think that’s ok.
Thank you Publix for taking steps to prevent non-service animals in your stores!! I wish All stores did this. I love animals and have pets but there are people in stores with pet allergies and they should not have to be worried about this when going to the grocery, or any store. Also, people think their pet would never bite anyone, but there is no guarantee they will never bite. You don’t know if an animal is current on vaccinations and is on adequate flea medicine. Pet hair can become airborne and picking up fresh produce with pet hair on it would be disgusting. How clean is that animal? What if it urinates on the store? Taller dogs could urinate on items on the lower shelves and damage goods. Are those owners going to even let store personnel know and then pay for the damage? I doubt it. If you want to take your pet to a store, go to Petco or PetSmart.
Over the years, I have seen dogs in the shopping cart itself and when asked how this could be permitted, I was told they sterilize the carts each day. I’m sure that was a big, bold lie. This action by Publix has been long overdue!
I think you dog-hating asshole communists at Boca News Now should find something better to do…
As a trainer of Service Dogs, I applaud you for your stand! I spend 15 months training one SD. The dog then spends 6 months or more fine tuning, teamed up and then trained as a team befor Graduating as a full fledged SD. The rudeness of people with “Pets” claiming to have SDs ruins the publics acceptance and understanding of the need of these dogs. I personally had a large dog with a SD jacket attempt to attack my 10 month SD pup. Thank goodness my pup brushed it off. This attack could have effected my learning pup so negatively it could have ruined him and ended his career. The problem is businesses need to stand up. Know the 2 questions your allowed to ask. SD actions are obvious compared to pet actions. And challenge them. Service animals come in all forms. Know the allowed animals. And remember, SD handlers will not be offended by the questions and have the correct answers quickly.
Thank U for taking a stand on keeping pets out of food stores. Curbside pick-up solves this matter.
Bravo Publix thank you nothing more sickening while shopping than having someone bringing animals in like children. Having dogs /cats in same cart I use to put my food etc. watching them lick themselves and then touch products.
It’s about time they did something. I’ve told the managers on numerous occasions about dogs in the store and they’ve done nothing about it. Thanks to you constantly publishing pictures of these violators now something may get done.
I was beyond excited to read this today. I am someone that suffers from extreme allergies to cats and dogs. I’m not talking just the sniffles. I’m talking and anaphylaxis – total loss of air! I am sick and tired of people deciding that they need to take their pet everywhere they go. It is ridiculous and I am so excited that Publix is cracking down. I would like to see more companies crack down on this.
Thank you, thank you so much for this! It’s been beyond annoying. I’m not sure when this trend began, but so glad it’s ending! Dogs belong at home or at a dog park, not in stores or other public places!
Walmart should ban dogs. I was at their Neighborhood Market on Military and Coconut Lane in Delray Beach and observed a man with a large dog wandering the produce aisle. The dog was sniffing the fruit and vegetable counters. The owner wasn’t even paying attention. You can’t say anything to these people because you don’t want them attacking you.
Great news! Thank you BocaNewsNow.com for keeping the stores healthy & safe for real human beings! Wake up people. Everyone does not have to put up with your animals. Some people are allergic to dogs. They have fleas, and cannot hold their bowels.
It’s way past time they enforced the law.
I’m thrilled that Publix is taking a stand and drawing a line in the sand. I am sick and tired of “entitlement “ owners bringing in their pets while food shopping. I’m tired of hearing dogs barking in the store. Tired of inconsiderate owners thinking they can thumb their nose at the law. Tired of seeing pets sitting in a shopping cart where I put my family’s food. Tired of seeing their pets pee on the floor.
Leave your animals home where they belong. Thank you Publix from the bottom of my heart.
I find it disgusting. It is not a pet store. It’s a food store. One day I walked in and the employee was there picking up poop off the floor. This is not acceptable. Keep your pets at home.
I LOVE dogs. But not in Publix. There are many places to take our pets, but a grocery store is not one of them. Unless it is a true service dog for someone that unfortunately has a disability, dogs need to stay out of Publix. I find it very disrespectful to those that need service dogs when others bring their so-called “emotional support dogs” into Publix. it is also very inconsiderate to people with pet allergies to have to navigate through Publix avoiding dogs! Let’s keep Fido happy along with everyone else and leave Fido home.
As a transplant patient, I am especially susceptible to illnesses caused by contaminated food. Seeing dogs sniff and paw at fresh foods in my local store is disgusting and unsanitary for all. Many bacterias cannot be washed away.
totally agree with Publix’s stand, this has gotten out of hand. They are in the shopping carts and it is not sanitary! I am a dog owner but I don’t feel pets belong in the grocery store!
Finally! Hopefully, store employees will now start enforcing the law & prohibit the nonservice animals.
Its about time something was done about these dogs everywhere. Restaurants, supermarket, clothing stores. EVERYWHERE. It’s unsanitary and very annoying.
Great! I Love that Publix is been pressured to take a stand. Keep the good work. Now is time to target other groceries stores such as Whole Foods, Traders Jo and Walmart!! Enough is enough!
I’m happy that they are enforcing the law.I stopped shopping at your store because of the dogs. It’s not a place for dogs.Thank you.
This is long overdue! The abuse of the system needs to stop. Making a mockery of Service Dogs hurts only those who legitimately need & have them.
It’s about time you enforce this policy! I don’t like putting my food in a basket that animals have been sitting in! They can also be a danger to children that walk up to pet them.
Keep up the good work! Now keep Lyons Road between Atlantic Ave and Clint Moore Rd in the news!!!
Several weeks ago I asked an employee as I was checking out why dogs were allowed in the store when I knew it was against the FL law. I was told that management at PUBLIX did not want to enforce the rule for fear of alienating a customer; therefore, no one was permitted to confront the customer with her dog.
Yes, once in a while I see someone in Publix with their dog. They are usually elderly people, and maybe that’s their baby. It does not bother me or anyone else I know. And I thought Publix was just being kind overlooking the rule. What happened to live and let live. Just yesterday I noticed someone returning to their car in the Publix parking lot in 90+ degree weather and heard a dog bark from the car! Now that’s criminal.
Totally out of hand only service dogs allowed and not to be played with its unbelievable how many people break the law
Come on people what else is not going to be allowed. If a person has a small Dog and it’s on a leash or being held that person might need that to get them through the day! Some people can’t get authorization for a working animal but if they can get an ok from their Dr. Then it should be allowed! The sign described is going to be a turnoff for your loyal customers! ie dogs do not belong in stores.
Its about time, I hope they implement it in all stores. It’s unacceptable that Publix would allow this in the first place. I can’t tell how many times I’ve been shopping as dogs are barking at everyone that walks by, or they are sitting cart like kids would or being pushed around in strollers. Its about time Publix.
Finally Publix is growing a pair. Can’t believe it took this long. Today was in a Sam’s Club in Port St. Lucie n saw 2 dogs one was even in the shopping cart. Come on chains etc get together n stick together. This situation is clearly out of control. Now we wait and see if Publix actually does what they are claiming. It’s an excellent store but enough is enough. Thank you.
I think that Publix has to look at their process because some people are bringing in the dogs and on a leash rather than in the carrier. My wife has documentation from her psychiatrist, and the dog stays in the bag while we are together in the store so limitations can be said to for people who walk in with the dogs on a leash I understand the service animals are different story, but if they can control their dog and put him in the carrier and not in a carriage then I think that would be OK but right now I feel that Publix is taking this too far. [Ed. Note: ESA’s are NOT service animals. Leave it at home].
My husband and I have a Shih Tzu that goes everywhere with us except when we dine out or go to grocery stores. I was upset when saw a few people with dogs in Wal-Mart. They sell food. It shouldn’t be allowed.
I totally agree that this bringing dogs into grocery stores, restaurants and shopping malls has become a problem with regard to public health. I absolutely love animals, especially dogs, I don’t step in their water or food bowls. Seeing dogs being pushed around in baby carriages and especially actual shopping carts where people place their food is an absolute joke.
So glad! Tired of dogs in Publix, I never see a service dog in Publix. People need to understand rules are rules, if law enforcement has to be involved so be it!
Good job BocaNewsNow! I’ve been following your reporting and I spoke with the GM at Publix Delray Atlantic & Military location a few weeks ago, I specifically asked him why there was no enforcement of the Federal Law and he was very candid and said that the Publix legal department was working on how to handle this problem which they deem as an anomaly only in the Boca Raton, Delray & Boynton Beach areas. Just goes to show you how isolated this is to our “well-to-do” folks!
Congratulations BocaNewsNow and thank you on the Publix win! Keep it going!
It’s about time Publix cracked down on this. It is disgusting to see these animals in the store, not to mention the mess they sometimes leave behind for a store employee to clean up. I can’t wait to see the big signs at my local store!
Hooray to Publix if it’s true they will finally enforce the existing laws regarding dogs in their supermarkets.
I am glad. I have gone on-line to review the questionnaire to make your pet an emotional support animal, a joke! You can lie, and a medical doctor will give you a certificate. You or your pet are never seen by a licensed medical doctor or a licensed clinical psychologist. Delta Airlines cracked down on this rampant abuse, too! A service is different than an emotional support one. Bravo Publix!
People know it is against the law to bring their pets into the supermarket. This crackdown shouldn’t come as any surprise. It’s about time. People should just do the right thing and not create any problems for the store management.
Your cry baby articles about dogs in stores are the best laughs ever. Better get over it or move sweets! This area loves dogs and you miserable, crusty old farts aren’t changing anything that makes a difference. Tell your nurse you need more pills and STFU. Haha!! Live with it gramma.
I totally agree with this and hope all stores/restaurants start following suit. I was in Aldi in West Boca Raton a few months ago and a woman had an Airedale, which is a…