Should pets be allowed in air-conditioned stores during a heat wave?

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WATCH: One dog owner is raising concern about animals being left in hot cars after she was kicked out of a retail store. Jill Croteau reports – Jul 3, 2017

A Calgary pet owner is concerned about strict store policies that don’t allow pets inside.

Her two-month-old Maltese was forbidden in a retail store over the weekend. His owner, Sandi Dykema, said she had him tucked snugly in her apron when she went into the second-hand shop.

“I carried my puppy in and I got about two or three feet into the store and the manager asked me to leave,” Dykema said. “She said no ‘because of allergies.'”

So she left with Patches, wondering why retail store policies can’t be more flexible given the summer heat.

READ MORE: Life Meter for Pets: animal rescue organization warns against leaving pets in cars

“I thought it was over-the-top political correctness,” Dykema said. “I think in general, that’s a more humane thing to do. Although the best thing is to leave pets at home, but you don’t always do that and just make allowances. Doesn’t that seem a little more reasonable?”

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There are a number of dog-friendly establishments in the city. Cold Garden, a microbrewery in Inglewood, invites customers to have a pint with their pooch.

READ MORE: Dog-friendly patio options vary across Canada

Owner Dan Allard doesn’t understand why some businesses don’t allow dogs.

“You walk on a public sidewalk and we don’t have a separate partition for dogs, so why does that change in an establishment?” Allard said.

The business has overcome some regulatory hurdles to allow people to bring their pets in and he feels others should have an open-door policy.

“Alberta Health Services is now allowing this and being flexible with patio spaces and interior spaces like ours,” Allard said. “Maybe they’ve realized it’s over-regulated and it should be left to businesses to decide.”

An organization representing small businesses insists no establishment should be forced into it.

READ MORE: After dog bite at Holt Renfrew, should dogs be allowed in Toronto stores?

A spokesperson with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business said there could be a long list of outstanding issues.

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“Employees could have allergies or be fearful or not comfortable with it,” Amber Ruddy said. “There could be property issues if the dog might knock something off the shelf, so I think it should be up to the business owner if it’s appropriate for them.”

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