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Monday, December 11, 2023

Shopping with pets? More readers submit letters on topic.

Should stores in Ocala/Marion County allow customers to bring their pets? Several readers recently wrote in to share their thoughts and concerns regarding this topic.

“Service dogs should be allowed into any retail or grocery store operation. However, the regular animals/pets…no. I have seen snakes around the necks of shoppers and parrots on a shoulder, really. Here’s a fact: fleas can jump 6 feet. I don’t want to buy produce with fleas. Let’s set the standard…if food is present, no animal should be, other than a service animal,” says Chris Bethune, Ocala resident.

“This is a very sensitive topics for me because I can see where there are many people who are in need of service dogs to help them through their day. However, on the flip side of that, I am allergic to dogs, cats, and many other things, and this is a huge problem for me. I worry I will come down with the symptoms and need to use my EpiPen, which by the way are very expensive to buy (even with medical insurance). I believe there has to be a separation of both in other to avoid serious complications and huge lawsuits. It’s a fine line but it will happen to someone. There needs to be precautions taken so both sides can enjoy life,” says Belleview resident Carmen Ramos.

“I have horse, a Florida kingsnake, and my cat Jasper, all whom offer me great comfort and solace. To all of you people who have wonderful pets, do you agree Publix should allow my pets to shop with me? Okay, my horse Blackjack won’t fit in a shopping cart….but the rest sure can,” says Carol Shalaew, Ocala resident.

“Look, I have two pets myself. I do take them for car rides occasionally, but not when I’m going to the grocery store. The woman who says that her dog is probably cleaner than a baby is right, but here’s the thing: dogs carry germs and stuff like this, and a baby does not lick its butt like dogs do. These are animals, and you want to take them to the stores that will allow them, but it’s for the health when it comes to food shopping that it’s a big nope. Unless they are service animals for the disabled or people that have epilepsy, or something like this,” says Ocala resident Jessica Moore.