There are some animals that need to be close to their owner’s face to properly alert or complete the tasks they were trained to do to mitigate someone’s disability. Glucose alert dogs are a good example. As explained in one of my previous posts about these types of dogs from Dogs4Diabetics, the dog smells a certain scent from their handler’s mouth and then they alert. These dogs were labradors and other bigger dogs, so it wouldn’t work but I know that there are some smaller dogs that can perform this same task so it would make sense they would need to be closer to the person’s face. So, when shopping, it would kind of make sense that they could benefit from being in a shopping cart.
But to me, that’s gross, especially at a food store – where trace dog hairs, slobber, etc. could get onto the cart and then potentially get onto food. Also, a lot of fake service dog handlers put their dogs in carts and whatnot because their dog isn’t trained to properly walk along with them and ignore what they are supposed to ignore. This keeps them calmer.
Recently there was a court case, discussing this very topic: http://creeclaw.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/2014-01-17-17-2-Butler-v-WinCo-Amicus-Brief.pdf
This ruled that generally, service dogs are required to keep “all four on the floor.” It is generally up to the business to decide whether they will allow it or not, though. I imagine most will say they don’t allow it, for very good reason. Now, maybe in a home improvement store, I wouldn’t mind this too much, but most other stores, I would have a problem with this. For example, Bed Bath and Beyond, I wouldn’t want a dog in a shopping cart that could then quickly be re-used by someone else who has a dog allergy.. just too much room for disaster, I think.
What are your thoughts?