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Should animals be banned arbitrarily from businesses such as coffee shops?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
http://www.nevadaappeal.com/article/...69849/1058/rss
This article is about a cat who'd been taken in by a coffee shop some years ago and has been popular with the clientele. Now, someone has complained to the health dept. and the cat is supposed to be evicted.

The opinion article is written by a Republican and the coffee shop is known for being "left wing", he suggest that there be an exception made, and that a "warning sign" could be placed out front that a cat is in the premises. I agree with him.

Should a business be allowed to choose how they run it as long as they inform the public about any practices outside the "norm"? Or should the government have the final say?
post #2 of 28
Politics aside, I think that the regulations affecting businesses are often arbitrary. I can see that the health department would need to be involved with practices in places where food is prepared and served. However, my understanding is that in general, any danger to the public's health from an animal is in reasonable limits if the animal is not allowed in the area where food is prepared.

That said, I have to wonder about sidewalk cafes (where people pass by with their dogs), service animals (who are allowed entry everywhere), parts of Europe (where animals are routinely allowed in places where food is served and even grocery stores) and of course private homes (our critters are not barred from the kitchen).

I honestly do not see the problem with having a cat in a coffee shop as long as it is not allowed into the kitchen. Putting a warning sign that there is a cat onthe premises seems laughable.
post #3 of 28
If you've read "Dewey," you know that he had a constant enemy in town, someone who raised a continual ruckus about a cat being in the library, although the person in question did not actually use the library herself. Some people just have to crusade about something. They solved the problem by posting a sign, and removing Dewey from the public area if any of their clientele requested it.

As far as food preparation is concerned, it's the rare home kitchen that could pass anything like a health inspection, and your own kitchen is the place you are most likely to get food poisoning.
post #4 of 28
We used to take Bijou and Mika everywhere with us, Bijou in harness and leash and Mika in a carrier on our chest. We have noticed the food stores have signs up - no animals allowed but in our local area we can take them in. At our local hardware store I just let Bijou down and he walks me up and down the aisles sniffing everything.
post #5 of 28
I think putting a sign is a good idea...But I don't think animals should be banned from businesses. It's these people's own business, not a public place. The government has no business regulating that..
post #6 of 28
In an area where food is, yes I agree.

Our local Esso has a Tim Hortons coffee shop and just last week a woman had her dog in who lifted his leg and peed against the glass of the donut display. Yes the pee doesn't get on the donuts but still disgusting when you are buying snacks there - but it should be all places where food is served / made and not arbitrary.

If you aren't going to allow smoking because of health concerns, the same can be said for cats as there are people who have allergies to them
post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by icklemiss21 View Post
In an area where food is, yes I agree.

Our local Esso has a Tim Hortons coffee shop and just last week a woman had her dog in who lifted his leg and peed against the glass of the donut display. Yes the pee doesn't get on the donuts but still disgusting when you are buying snacks there - but it should be all places where food is served / made and not arbitrary.

If you aren't going to allow smoking because of health concerns, the same can be said for cats as there are people who have allergies to them
I hope the woman whose dog peed cleaned up the mess!

I may have mis-led you - the food stores and restaurants in our area do not allow pets but the other stores do.
post #8 of 28
I think that the Health Department has the right and the obligation to make and to enforce whatever regulations they believe are necessary to protect the public. If they think it's necessary to ban pets from businesses then they also should make that across-the-board ban of all pets from all businesses. If they're going to allow businesses, like pet stores for example, to make their own choice whether to allow dogs on a leash to come into the store with their owners (like they do here) then they should allow any and all businesses the same choice.

Sounds to me like they went a bit overboard here, but that's just my opinion.

The sign is a good idea.
post #9 of 28
I don't think any businesses in my area allow customers to bring their pets except for pet stores...IMO the only place for a dog is at the park or street and at the house. When I used to live in a big pedestrian city- although stores wouldn't allow pets, people would tie them outside until they go in and pick something up. I think that's even worse, leaving a dog unsupervised. It also saddens me when people leave their dogs in their cars...I see this soo much! People have no common sense...
Anyway I digressed, when I go to pets mart there is usually always pee and poop somewhere on the floor...It's really gross. People need to train their animals and then they can take them to pet stores..If this happened at a grocery store, I'd seriously freak out and never shop there again.
By the same token I wouldn't have a problem with store owners having a store pet, if it's well trained...But whether the government should step in and ban store owners from having a pet there? no i don't think so, as long as they meet the already existing health criteria for a food store/coffee shop or w/e.
It's perfectly okay that business owners choose not to allow customers to bring their pets into their stores though....
post #10 of 28
I think the health dept has every right to step in when it comes to a cat being in a coffee shop or restaurant. It IS a health issue, depending on how the cat acts. I don't think they should evict the cat until they actually see how the cat acts, where the litter boxes are, etc.

The sign is a good idea because some people really do have allergies. My boyfriend in college was so allergic he could tell if there was a cat in the house after 10 minutes. He was miserable. He loved cats, but just couldn't be around them without medication. Warning people about the cat is a good idea.
post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by calico2222 View Post

The sign is a good idea because some people really do have allergies. My boyfriend in college was so allergic he could tell if there was a cat in the house after 10 minutes. He was miserable. He loved cats, but just couldn't be around them without medication. Warning people about the cat is a good idea.
I completely agree. My mom is scared of all animals pretty much. It's a small phobia..She's had some bad experiences as a kid, stepping on a rat with bare feet in the dark and she just gets started unless she expects to see an animal there. She is completely fine with Jake but she would never go pet a random cat. If someone else's animal gets near her she freaks out...I think it's just good etiquette for all pet owners to try to keep their pets put away until they are sure their visitors are okay with them and have told them that they have a pet...
post #12 of 28
Not that I'm for or against it being allowed, I'm just curious and have a few questions.

Does the coffee shop owners have a vets clean bill of health posted somewhere where all can see it that the stray cat sitting near someone has no fleas or parasites? If not, is that a health risk? Has the stray cat had all it's shots? How does the average customer walking in off the street know this? If the owners care so much for the stray cat, why is it still a stray? Why isn't the cat cared for in their home or someone else's?
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by lil maggie View Post
Not that I'm for or against it being allowed, I'm just curious and have a few questions.

Does the coffee shop owners have a vets clean bill of health posted somewhere where all can see it that the stray cat sitting near someone has no fleas or parasites? If not, is that a health risk? Has the stray cat had all it's shots? How does the average customer walking in off the street know this? If the owners care so much for the stray cat, why is it still a stray? Why isn't the cat cared for in their home or someone else's?
My favorite BBQ joint (I eat fish there funny enough) has a resident kitty with a mouth on her. I think this brings the place character and love having a kitty around, makes it feel more home like to me and comfortable. The feed store I go to also has a resident kitty. I am all for it being an animal lover. But then again I don't have allergies and don't fear animals. I can think of several businesses, food and non-food, that have resident kitties that lounge around.
Can't make everyone happy all the time can you?
post #14 of 28
Quoted:
"..such a private and trivial matter...."
All food and drink businesses, that I know of, usually wear plastic gloves and some wear hats while serving food and/or beverages. They have signs posted: No smoking (a law here). They also have signs posted: no shirt, no shoes no entry. We are all SO meticulous when it comes to our food, drink and health! Why then, would a stray cat inside any kind of restaurant be ok? It's not someone's home, it's a BUSINESS where you are PAYING for a SERVICE. As far as animals in any other business where it doesn't matter if the animal could have fleas, great! Food? Hmmmm.
Quoted:
"If people don’t like it, they can go elsewhere." That's a great statement for people eating/drinking in your home. Like I said, it's a BUSINESS. And if a business with that attitude was near where I live, it wouldn't bother me if they went OUT of business.

I'm not condemming the shop owner, or the idea of an animal in their coffee shop. I don't care what they do. What I am doing is making a point. If you think a stray cat is ok in a coffee shop (restaurant), PLEASE don't harp about any other health issues ie.. gloves, hair, cleanliness or smoke.
Thank you
post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by lil maggie View Post
Quoted:
"
Quoted:
"If people don’t like it, they can go elsewhere." That's a great statement for people eating/drinking in your home. Like I said, it's a BUSINESS. And if a business with that attitude was near where I live, it wouldn't bother me if they went OUT of business.
That's their choice though. If they want to incur the losses of whatever business they might get at their own expense and keep their cat- why shouldn't they be able to? After all it's their business and they have the right to refuse business to whomever for whatever reason...Frankly it's not in their best interest from an economics standpoint, but they have their own set of values as to what they are willing to give up in the name of profits.
post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ut0pia View Post
That's their choice though. If they want to incur the losses of whatever business they might get at their own expense and keep their cat- why shouldn't they be able to? After all it's their business and they have the right to refuse business to whomever for whatever reason...Frankly it's not in their best interest from an economics standpoint, but they have their own set of values as to what they are willing to give up in the name of profits.
Who said it WASN'T their choice to do as they please? I just thought it to be a bad business practice to make that type of statement. Great advertisement
post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by lil maggie View Post
What I am doing is making a point.
And they're really pointy-sharp, too.

Do we know this cat was still a stray? In the article it sounded like they'd taken the cat into the shop as resident cat in there, but that's just what I'm getting by reading in between the lines. I don't think it really said what the status of the cat is NOW, and now is when all the fuss is about.
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by lil maggie View Post
Who said it WASN'T their choice to do as they please? I just thought it to be a bad business practice to make that type of statement. Great advertisement
Yea I know..I was just saying maybe they are content with that and don't need to grow their business anymore than what they already have. Does that even make sense?? I was curious because I've been analyzing our capitalism in the US for one of my social theory classes and a paper that's due soon, and that's one of the things about us, we always want to grow and expand and are never okay with last year's sales.... Okay I'm totally digressing -sorry. What you wrote just reminded me of how shocked we all get at the thought of doing something that's bad for bussiness...like these people are nut cases for doing that, that's the common reaction in most people....Yea, I will stop my rambling now. I actually like that class btw but yea ignore my rambling....
post #19 of 28
As I stated before, I really don't care what these owners do or don't do in their own business. Whether or not a business wants to have a resident cat, dog, goat or even pig, I feel it's up to them. I do have a problem with people that can't handle smoke in a restaurant or a bug. But fleas or OK.
What I got out of the article was that it was a stray cat that took up residence. Meaning, it came off the street and no one knew if it had fleas or parasites or anything and was laying around people drinking coffee. It still came into the coffee shop which is considered a restaurant. Like I said, again, I don't care one way or another. I love tons of animals, I just find it hysterical that people can be so picky about some things but not others.
post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by lil maggie View Post
Whether or not a business wants to have a resident...goat or even pig.
I am sorry but this is a funny visual
post #21 of 28
Could you just see Arnold the pig running through a store?
post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by lil maggie View Post
Could you just see Arnold the pig running through a store?
as a matter of fact I can!
post #23 of 28
I'm glad to see most people agree that animals really shouldn't be in a business that serves food.
As we all know, whether or not a cat or dog is allowed in the kitchen, the fur does find it's way there eventually. If anyone tries to deny ever finding pet fur in their food at home (even while being extremely careful) than they probably have poor eye sight or are simply not paying attention. Fur sticks to clothes and floats on air currents.

Other businesses are ok, but the animal must be free of parasites, up to date on all vaccinations, and there should preferably be insurance that covers the pet being on the property and any possible accidents that can arise from that. For the owner and pet's sake. Some sort of warning sign would be nice, at the very least it lets people know to be careful with the door.

As for businesses letting people bring their pets in. Surprisingly there are several where I live. In fact where I work does not have a sign stating "No Pets Allowed", so people have brought their dogs in - one couple always brings their yorkie in (poor thing has had terrible health problems lately, so they never leave her alone), thankfully they carry her around. ...I only wish we had a sign "Pets must be on leash" as one woman let her boston terrier loose. Another time a woman brought a kitten in with her and at the time we had an employee who was very allergic to cats working.
post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by lil maggie View Post
As I stated before, I really don't care what these owners do or don't do in their own business. Whether or not a business wants to have a resident cat, dog, goat or even pig, I feel it's up to them. I do have a problem with people that can't handle smoke in a restaurant or a bug. But fleas or OK.
What I got out of the article was that it was a stray cat that took up residence. Meaning, it came off the street and no one knew if it had fleas or parasites or anything and was laying around people drinking coffee. It still came into the coffee shop which is considered a restaurant. Like I said, again, I don't care one way or another. I love tons of animals, I just find it hysterical that people can be so picky about some things but not others.
Only some people are picky about those things and they are the ones that scream the loudest. If those same people ever closely examined the kitchens or their favourite restaurants they probably would never eat out again. Having a resident cat lounging around would be the least of their problems and the cat would probably keep the mice and rats at bay that tend to invade kitchens in urban areas. I personally would feel more comfortable about eating at an establishment with a resident cat knowing the cat is likely keeping the vermin away.

Some people will find something to complain about in any situation - that's just who they are. Often it is more to get attention than for any health reason.

If I had an eating establishment and wanted to keep a cat, I would actually prefer that folks who didn't like that idea stay away and I'd be happy to cater to those who didn't mind my cat.
post #25 of 28
If it's a resident cat, and they're taking care of it, I wonder if perhaps a sign on the window something like this would keep people happy:

This is our cat, he lives here in the shop. He's clean and healthy and licensed -- he had his physical exam, received all his vaccinations and is wearing flea and tick protection. He is NOT allowed in the kitchen. If you're allergic to cats, please ask us for the hypo-nonallergenic rrom. He's also not allowed to go in there.
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
If it's a resident cat, and they're taking care of it, I wonder if perhaps a sign on the window something like this would keep people happy:

This is our cat, he lives here in the shop. He's clean and healthy and licensed -- he had his physical exam, received all his vaccinations and is wearing flea and tick protection. He is NOT allowed in the kitchen. If you're allergic to cats, please ask us for the hypo-nonallergenic rrom. He's also not allowed to go in there.
I'd be more inclined to post a message saying:

This is our cat, he lives here. He's clean, healthy, licensed and part of our family. If you do not like cats or have allergies we would request that you not come in - he was here first!
post #27 of 28
I like yours better.
post #28 of 28
There are so many delis in NYC that have cats, I usually look for one when I go in. Most of them keep them out of the store during the day, and let them out at night. I think it's a rat/mouse thing.

In fact, when I went running one morning I ran by a really nice restaurant (which was still closed, because it was early in the morning), and walking around by the front window, inside, was this beautiful cat. I stopped and he walked right up to the window and rubbed on the window like he was being petted. ( He really wanted to be petted. ) I could tell he was meowing. He looked well fed and well taken care of. I just wanted to go in and pick him up and cuddle him!
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