Pet Stores Becoming Unsafe?

Slade Phillips, 7, was mauled in a pet store in Vernon, British Columbia. The 7-year-old handed a bone to the store-owner’s boxer. “Slade picked up a bone to give it to the dog and the dog jumped up and bit half his face,” said the boy’s mother, Julie Carloff. (Click here to read the article.)

I am contacted almost every day by a dog owner whose dog was attacked in a pet store. I also receive inquiries from dog bite victims who were bitten at pet stores. I myself have stopped shopping at a well-known pet store because of having to avoid pit bulls, rottweilers and all kinds of other dogs which crowd the aisles. Target doesn’t present such obstacles and dangers.

Years ago, a California court ruled that a department store can be held liable for injuries caused by falling over a dog in the aisles. The court said that people who are shopping should not be expected to also be on the lookout for dogs and leashes. That case did not involve a bite, but nevertheless would be used against store owners in any animal-related injury claim.

What is the benefit of allowing people to bring their animals into pet stores? My dog is incapable of selecting pet food, water dishes and leashes, and I am sure all these other dogs are equally incapable of it. They have no purpose there, and are causing damage to people and other pets. Service animals are one thing, but taking your dog for a walk down aisle 5 should be out of the question.