Ypsilanti, MI asked in Animal / Dog Law for Michigan

Q: I was told you can’t stop someone from taking a non service dog into a grocery store. True or false?

I work at a grocery store and people bring their dogs in there. One was barking. I reported it to a supervisor and they told me we can’t do anything unless someone files a complaint. I thought you could ask people to leave if they bring a dog inside that doesn’t qualify as a service dog.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Michael Zamzow
Michael Zamzow
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Your employer might want to contact an attorney to consult with on this matter. In general, the Michigan Modified Food Code (MMFC) has a pretty broad prohibition of animals in food establishments, but there are exceptions for animals controlled by persons with a disability. The ADA offers some additional clarity on this matter as well, which indicates animals 'not in control' (barking) or animals that are emotional support companions may not be permitted in food establishments. But, in practice it isn't always easy to determine whether or not an animal is a service animal or a emotional support animal. Lastly, your employer will also want to be careful that the procedure (determine whether or not to allow or not allow an animal) is clear to employees so as to avoid violating law--on both ends--animals aren't allowed (unless they are).

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