As of 2018, statistics show that there are about 900 million dogs all over the world. Approximately 78.2 million of which lives in the US alone.
The world’s most popular pet, there are many appealing reasons to own a dog. They are gentle, loyal, and provide good companionship, especially for the elders.
Every day, we often see pet owners taking their dogs for a walk. We see them strolling on the streets with their pet carriers. But what happens when they want to go to a store and would like to bring their dog too?
Nowadays, we can notice the implementation of strict rules on the restriction of dogs in retail shops and businesses. Besides that, we also come across many stores practicing untroubled pet policy.
Specific rules are under review to accommodate more pet owners and their pets. But, there are also those stores which are upholding and implementing the strict no-pet- policy.
In this article, we will talk about one of those stores; that is the Walmart! Because it is one of the largest and most popular stores worldwide, what is its stance on allowing pets within its premises? Better yet, are dogs allowed at Walmart?
More About the Walmart
Walmart started as a small, discount store in 1962. It’s founder, Sam Walton, believed in the value of “leadership through service.” He was a former military man. He started a simple retail store after finishing his service in the military. His progress led to the establishment of the first-ever Walmart store in 1962. The company’s history evolved from Sam Walton’s goals and principles.
For the past 50 years, Mr. Sam was the company’s driving force in making the most significant decisions. In 1992, Sam Walton received the Medal of Freedom award. After that, he passed away soon, but his legacy continued.
From a single retail store, it has grown to be the largest retail store worldwide. The main headquarter of the company is in Bentonville, Arkansas. To this date, Walmart has a current revenue of $500.3billion. It has 11,200 stores operating in 28 countries and employs more than 2.3 million workers worldwide.
What Is Walmart’s Policy on Allowing the Entry of Pets?
First of all, the policy applies to all employees working for Walmart, or even its subsidiaries. The sole purpose of their plan is to make reasonable adjustments and modifications regarding their “no-pets-allowed” rule.
Therefore, the policy specifically emphasizes the importance of allowing the use of service animals by persons with disabilities. It acknowledges the crucial roles that service animals play in ensuring the safety and independence of their customers with disabilities.
The responsibility of determining whether a customer’s animal is a service animal falls on the greeters, who are Walmart associates. Hence, the staff at Walmart use proper judgment, but in case of uncertainty, they may only ask the customers one question. Is that your service animal?
So after verifying, the customers may enter all areas of the store with their service dogs.
What Is a Service Animal?
Generally, a service animal is an animal trained to perform tasks, provide assistance and support to a disabled person. People also refer to them as helper animals or assistance animals depending on the animal’s function, and country or location.
Many countries are now considering dogs as the most common service animals. Due to this, dogs are currently the only legal service animals in many public places.
In the United States, persons with disabilities are also allowed to train own assistance animal. Depending on legal definitions, they can be of many species or come in different sizes.
We can train cats, horses, parrots, dolphins, ferrets, and monkeys. All of them may become our service animals.
What Are the Different Types of Service Animals?
1. Guide Animals
It is an animal specially trained to help visually impaired persons navigate safely in public. Consequently, they can open doors and browse through a crowd of people. They can also safely guide their owners across public streets because of their ability to recognize traffic signals.
2. Mobility Animals
These animals assist with balance and mobility issues. A disabled person comes across these issues while traveling outside own house.
3. Hearing Animals
Specially trained to help a deaf or hearing impaired person. It seems like they can respond to sounds very well. For example, they can guide their owners toward a doorbell or a ringing phone.
4. Psychiatric Animals
They provide deep pressure therapy. These animals can respond to the needs of those with certain mental conditions due to autism or ADSD.
5. Medical Emergency Animals
These animals are specially trained to react and assist during medical emergencies.
6. Animals for Individual Assistance
These service animals get specialized training. For example, performing tasks to help their disabled owners live independent lives.
What Are the Characteristics of a Good Service Dog?
First of all, it is necessary to know the definition of a service dog. A service dog is the one who does a service for someone. The service can be for anyone, either a disabled person or the dog’s owner. Organizations that work in this field train and raise the dog.
As a result, the job of a service dog is not to protect a person with a disability, but rather assist in enabling them to function as independently as possible.
Besides that, a service dog should own the following characteristics:
- An ability to follow basic and select commands. For example, lying down, sitting, or stopping.
- An exceptional sense to learn, memorize and obey hand signals. Or an ability to hear the voice of commander and respond to it.
- Knowledge to maintain own dignity
- An ability to recognize the needs of a disabled person or owner.
Most importantly, the assistance dogs need to be safe to go with the crowd. They should be people oriented, and thus, not overly active or protective. An excellent service dog should be confident, without being either too much dominant or submissive.
Furthermore, all of us prefer to bring our beloved pets with us to the market. After noticing the rise of pet ownership, many smart retailers are now allowing the entree of animals.
Public places do not allow regular dogs for a variety of reasons. It may be hygiene, safety, or probably to protect the other people who have allergies to dogs or the like.
Most of these reasons focus on the general safety and well being of the public. Under laws such as the ADA, or the Americans with Disabilities Act, some businesses can still be dog-friendly and allow service dogs to enter their premises. And the good news is, this includes Walmart.
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