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More and More Places Are Allowing Pets!

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 27: Juliana Beasley takes her dogs, Moishe and Howard, on the subway while evacuating them from Jersey City to stay with her friend Victoria Ford in Brooklyn August 27, 2011 in New York City. In anticipation of a large storm or hurricane hitting the city, the New York City mass transit network, the nation?s largest, closed at noon Saturday, ending subway, bus, and commuter rail service until Monday. Dogs were allowed on the trains Saturday to help encourage people to evacuate. There are approximately 370,000 city residents in low lying areas are under a mandatory evacuation order ahead of Hurricane Irene. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

If you are an obsessed animal-lover like myself, you probably wish that our companion animals were allowed to come everywhere with us, no matter where we go. As more and more research is giving scientific backing to the claim that pets improve our emotional and physical well-being, it seems that more and more places are allowing some wiggle-room in their “no pets” policy. In fact, a lot of places are abandoning them altogether in favor of welcoming our four-legged friends as customers, passengers, and visitors! Check out the following places that are progressive pet lovers:

  1. Public Transportation – Up until pretty recently, animals were not allowed on most (if not all) public transportation systems. Amtrak decided to change all of that in March of 2016, when they unveiled their new pet transportation policy. Each passenger is entitled to have up to one pet and/or carrier allowed with them on the bus or train! The only bummer is that the pet does have to be contained in a carry-on-sized carrier or tote – so it appears that the larger dog breeds (or even medium sized breeds) are left out of this scenario. But, this is a good sign that in the future hopefully the ones left out will be included eventually! Small steps are better than no steps at all, right? Eventually, animals will be able to go everywhere with us, and travelling with them won’t be a hindrance! Now, Greyhound just has to get with the program and follow suit with their own animal-loving laws.


    No more sad puppies like this one left behind!

  2. Hospitals – There are many hospitals in the last couple years that have slowly been opening their doors to animal visitors in order to help patients during their recovery and treatment. Not only have therapy and rescue dogs been allowed to visit the children, seniors, and everyone in between – but the patients’ OWN pets have been granted permission to visit them! Especially with long-term hospital patients who could use all of the love and cheering up they can get. Imagine spending days, weeks, or months inside of a room that isn’t at your home, and where you cannot see your loving companion animal. I don’t know about you, but even when I am apart from my dog for a mere few hours, I miss her dearly – I couldn’t bear the thought of not seeing her for weeks or months! Visits from pets boost the patients’ morale and mood, which in turn encourages them to fight for a speedy recovery – there are many scientific studies that are finding links between animal companionship causing rapid healing among patients! A very basic explanation for this phenomenon is that animals put humans at ease (especially when they already have a strong bond), which relaxes the patient and drastically reduces their stress and anxiety. Since stress and anxiety is actually very physically harmful to the body and its organs/processes/bloodflow, their circulation is therefore improved, and their body functions more effectively which allows them to heal quicker.pethospital
  3. Homeless Shelters – The homeless population already has a difficult time finding a place to rest their head for the night, let alone finding a place that also allows their dog friend to spend the night with them. Some shelters are allowing their occupants to board their pet there overnight, which enables them to avoid separation from their animal. There are so many different situations of homelessness, ranging from a family whose sole provider lost their job, to a widow who lost her husband to an illness or accident. Many women who are victims of domestic abuse flee their home for safety, which then leaves the mother, her children, and all of their pets in need of shelter. Luckily, there are a lot of women’s shelters that don’t turn away pets in such situations! Especially in these harsh and difficult economic conditions, many people are only a paycheck away from being homeless, so a drastic and/or tragic life event can land them in a shelter, living out of their car, or even spending their nights on the streets. As the negative stigma and judgment around homelessness is changing, lots of shelters are realizing that when they allow pets, it allows them to care for homeless individuals more effectively.homelesspet
  4. Gyms – Okay so in comparison to the other places on this list, this seems sort of insignificant. Most people can bear to leave their animal alone for the hour or two that they spend at the gym – but this is still a cool concept! Much like walking your dog gives you the motivation to exercise and focus on your own health, some gyms are not only allowing dogs to join their fitness activities, but they are catering to them and encouraging them to come! I don’t know about you, but this would actually make me want to go to the gym for once…I mean how hard is it to just get some doggy treadmills at the very least?dogsontreadmills

While we still have a long way to go before our society establishes an all-encompassing law that allows companion animals everywhere, we are making great progress! Just stop and think: decades ago, animals weren’t allowed at ANY of these places. For too long, “cleanliness” and “safety concerns” have been the excuse for banning pets from places, but after more places are allowing (or even encouraging) four-legged patrons to their businesses and facilities, they are finding that their conditions are doing nothing but IMPROVING! Everybody wins in this scenario – the business, the owner, and of course the animals.

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{ 9 comments… add one }
  • lannie yee April 20, 2016, 2:10 am

    we need more well controlled pets to be with their owners & family as pets PROVIDE emotional support to all people

  • Kay April 20, 2016, 2:17 am

    I agree and love my dog Pierre

  • Juanita April 20, 2016, 5:28 am

    There is enough problems with people getting their dogs certified as service dogs that really aren’t, that it has become an issue on airplanes. Because of the fake service dogs, people who really need them may soon be denied access to airplanes. Please do not tell people to get their pet dogs certified as service dogs to get around the law.

    • VetDepot April 20, 2016, 10:36 am

      Juanita, thank you for your concern, but I literally have never encountered such a “fake service dog” phenomenon. How do YOU know if someone needs a service dog or not? The fact is, that most people nowadays have emotional problems or “invisible illnesses” that aren’t obvious to others, but a companion animal DRASTICALLY helps maintain their mental stability and health. Just because someone isn’t physically disabled or mentally handicapped doesn’t mean that they don’t need an emotional support dog. Not to mention, it is my belief that even if someone doesn’t “need” a service dog, just the dog’s presence ALONE improves the moods of EVERYONE around the dog, who may have a mental illness but cannot have their own certified service dog. Even if everyone and their mother got their dogs certified as a service dog or therapy dog, it would only HELP people. Then it would be the public’s job to accommodate these animals.

      • Juanita April 20, 2016, 11:14 am

        There have been numerous news stories about fake service dogs and how easy it is to get papers that say your dog is a service dog. I myself have an emotional support dog and appreciate being able to have him travel with me. Not all people like dogs so you can’t make the broad statement the dogs presence improves the mood of everyone. Also I thought that laws were made to be followed and not to be gotten around. This could be debated on forever and everyone has and is initialed to their opinion.

        • VetDepot April 20, 2016, 12:07 pm

          Lol well the very few people that dislike dogs are outnumbered by the general population. But again, I wasn’t advocating for people to certify their dogs – and I do know that there are a lot of places where you just pay a fee and call it a day, without the dog being properly trained or going through any kind of certification course. That is NOT something that is okay or something that I support. If someone wants to make their dog a therapy dog, emotional support dog, service dog, etc. and wants to bring the dog to hospitals, senior care centers, orphanages, etc. in order to boost the morale/mood of the patients, then why not?

        • SUE RADCLIFFE April 20, 2016, 5:16 pm

          In Europe you see the dogs all the time.
          What is our reason in USA? In some
          cities/states we see them. Is it an individual

          • VetDepot April 21, 2016, 9:21 am

            In the USA it seems that many of our perspectives on things and the accompanying rules are extremely dated and absurd, so I think Europe is just generally more progressive. Lol In the USA, dogs are pretty much all over the place, but when it comes to going into restaurants, stores, and other places – it’s seen as a “health and safety risk” which is nonsense. Most PEOPLE (especially children) pose more of a health and safety risk than any dog that I’ve seen in a public place. But yeah, it is an individual decision – there are many specific stores that allow you to bring your dog with you inside, but most do not. Usually if a restaurant has a patio dining area, then you can bring your dog to the restaurant but have to eat outside. Honestly I just bring my dog in wherever I please, and she is so well-behaved, no one has ever told me that I had to leave. 😛

  • Heather June 16, 2016, 9:04 pm

    I love that more places are becoming pet friendly! I’m lucky to live in a very pet friendly city! Lots of restaurants allow doggies on their patios!

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