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Shopping in Maine: Where your pets are (and aren't) allowed

Rebel shopping with his owner at Pet Quarters in Scarborough (WGME)

STATEWIDE (WGME) -- During this hot and humid stretch, animal advocates are reminding the public to not leave pets in the car.

But that can create a challenge when you need to stop at the store.

While more Maine businesses are becoming pet-friendly, others are cracking down.

Brooke Lyondame says she'd to bring her dogs with her everywhere she goes.

"If Maya and Ginger were small enough I could probably just say 'hop in my purse, we're going,'" she said.

But recently she and her family say they've been stopped when trying to bring the dogs when they go shopping.

"They told me no dogs allowed unless she's a service dog. They're my daughters, I'd like to take them wherever I can bring my own kids and treat them as my family," Sean Dandrea said.

That's a problem for people like Gina Philippon. She says she sees more stores allowing in pets.

"Particularly disturbing was the first time I saw one in a supermarket. Not only do I find it unsanitary, disgusting, but personally I happen to be very sensitive to dog and cat dander. I'm very allergic," she said.

On top of that, in her family, there's a fear of dogs.

"I have a 90-year-old family member who has an absolute paralyzing fear of dogs and my fear would be she would come face to face with one in her favorite store," Philippon said.

The I-Team called more than a dozen stores to ask about their policies.

We found a range of policies.

If you're a business owner or manager and would like your store included on the list, please email -- tips@wgme.com

Allowed:

  • Lowes
  • Home Depot (depends on the store manager's policy)
  • Urban Outfitters
  • Anthropologie
  • Cabela's
  • J. Crew Factory store (Freeport)
  • LL Bean Outlet
  • Outdoor areas of many restaurants
  • Pet Quarters
  • Petco
  • Loyal Biscuit Co.

Not Allowed:

  • Maine Mall (or any stores part of the mall)
  • Marshalls
  • T.J. Maxx
  • LL Bean flagship store (Freeport) -- there's a cafe that serves food
  • Goodwill
  • Shaw's
  • Hannaford
  • Whole Foods
  • Trader Joe's
  • Inside restaurants
It is unlawful for any person to bring an animal into a store where food is sold for human consumption or into a restaurant where food is prepared and served on the premises.
Maine law, Title 17, section 3966

"It's really sad when the pets can't go shopping with you," said Dustin Poirier, manager at Pet Quarters in Scarborough, where pets are welcome.

If you're considering making your business pet friendly, even animal advocates say pet friendly policies can present some challenges.

"Maybe your co-worker might be scared of dogs or really allergic. Something else to consider, dogs do like to get into wires and chew on wires," said Rena Lafaille, ASPCA.

Laws and policies pertaining to service animals are entirely different. Under state and federal laws, people with disabilities have the right to bring their trained dog into restaurants, hotels, and stores.

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