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Parade reports that Publix Super Markets has started putting up signs in its stores noting its "ban on pets and emotional support animals."

The move - which actually just serves to enforce a policy that has existed for years - is generating some controversy among customers.  "While some people agree with the ban," the story says, "others see it as a big problem."

According to the story, "The sign states, 'Under federal law, service animals are dogs or miniature horses trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities.  Non-service animals are not allowed in grocery stores by the FDA. Dogs, pets, and other animals whose sole function is to provide comfort, companionship, or emotional support do not qualify as service animals and are not permitted in Publix, even with a doctor's note.'

"Publix's new sign further highlighted the fact that misrepresenting a pet as a service animal is a crime, while also stating that all animals are prohibited from sitting in shopping carts."

On social media, the story says, "A frustrated shopper shared the email they sent to Publix discussing their history of trauma and PTSD which led them to need an emotional support animal. 

"They concluded, 'To ban emotional support dogs will deter us from being able to go into a grocery store to simply buy groceries. Frankly, I think Publix is opening themselves up to a huge threat of lawsuits, and I may be the first one. Can you tell how angry I am right now?'"

KC's View:

Let's start with what strikes me as new information:

Miniature horses?

We've raised and socialized guiding eye dogs, but the possibility of raising/socializing miniature horses never came up.  (Thank goodness.  I can only imagine what the back yard would like if we'd gone down that trail.)

I can't criticize Publix for this one, and people upset with the chain have only the people who take advantage of the law to blame.  Apparently it is not that hard to have a pet certified as an emotional support animal, which leads to pets being in all sorts of places they shouldn't be.  I'm sure that Publix just got to the point where there were all sorts of animals in its stores and it had to draw the line.

That said, I hope that anyone who sees a miniature horse certified as a support animal inside a supermarket will send me a picture.