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This mall has not gone to the dogs

Last Updated Jan 14, 2020 at 3:15 pm MDT

CALGARY (CityNews) – A Calgary shopping centre has updated its policy on allowing dogs into the building after tweeting over the weekend that the city’s pooches were welcome to join you on your shopping trip.

“We love seeing pups in our centre and they’re welcome to join you on your shopping trip,” read a tweet from Southcentre‘s social media account. The mall has apparently has been allowing dogs–not just service dogs–for years.

“It gives people the opportunity to bring their dogs in, get their exercise, do some shopping. It’s great,” said dog owner Vanessa Cappon.

The only conditions were dogs remained outside the food court, owners come prepared for any messes, and that each store’s policy on dogs is respected.

“They’re safe in here with their owners,” agreed another shopper. “I think it’s a fabulous alternative when there’s such cold weather.”

This led to some applause on social media from dog owners but it also brought up concerns from some shoppers.

“I’ve had one dirty look from someone who didn’t know what was going on,” said Cappon. “He kind of looked at my dogs pointed and looked in disgust but that’s about it. Everyone else is really excited about it and said they’d come back with their dogs.”

It turns out, so many people brought their pups to the mall over the past few days that the owners had to throw cold water on the whole thing.

“We overstated our ability to welcome pets and are not able to meet the resulting demand of our city’s amazing pet-loving community at this time,” said Southcentre in a statement on Monday.

“Southcentre Mall would like to affirm that we love pets and pet owners, and we look forward to continuing to host pets onsite during animal-designated events in the near future.”

Most shopping centres will allow service or support dogs and Sunridge Mall said it’s looking into the possibility of allowing dogs in the future.