Trending TikTok Sparks Debate About Service Dogs at Costco
A fluffy service dog has gone viral online after a TikTok video showed the pooch dutifully depositing a bag of treats in front of a Costco cashier. The clip has garnered over 1 million views on the video platform, where TikTokkers have largely fallen in love with the golden retriever. But the video isn’t without its critics.
@rosieandmack Wait til the end 😍 #servicedog #costcodog #goldenretriever ♬ Funny Song - Cavendish Music
On Reddit, Costco superfans have doubted whether the dog was really a service animal.
“Please keep your pets out of the store unless they are actual service animals,” the thread’s top comment reads.
The second-most upvoted comment was equally critical, asking if the dog was “really a service animal.”
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This isn’t the first time Redditors have discussed service animals on r/Costco. Just a few days before @rosieandmack’s TikTok video went viral, a Costco superfan posted a “rant” about “so-called service dogs.”
“So tired of people bringing their dogs into a grocery store,” the Redditor wrote. “They have no vest. They bark and act up. Don’t bring your dog.”
Judging by the post’s top comments and its hundreds of upvotes, many Costco fans agreed with that sentiment.
“I’m not a person who has a problem with animals in public spaces, but I hate the people who feel like they get to be an exception to the rule. It’s not the animal, it’s the entitlement,” a top comment reads.
Emotional support animals are animals that help people just by being pets and being present. They don’t have the right to access public space the way service dogs do.— Rabbi Ruti Regan 🏳️🌈🇺🇸 (@RutiRegan) February 28, 2021
Service dogs, psychiatric or otherwise, are trained to do specific tasks that help with a disability.
In one of the few comments that wasn’t critical of service animals, a Redditor pointed out that service dogs don’t have to wear vests, which is confirmed on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) government website. The Redditor also added that "not all disabilities are visible."
According to Costco’s website, the wholesaler allows service animals in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). However, employees are allowed to ask two questions: 1) Is that a service animal? and 2) What task or function is it trained to perform?
The ADA defines service animals as “dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities,” which could include guide dogs for the blind and support animals for people with PTSD-related anxiety attacks. Notably, this definition excludes animals that only “provide comfort or emotional support.”
When asked for comment, a Costco spokesperson directed us to their website's policies and info page.