Woman talking(l+r), Trader Joe's(c)

Wileydoc/Shutterstock @misslelesims/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘I love my dog but what business does he have at a grocery store??’: Trader Joe’s customer says the store has a new pet policy after viral dog pee incident

'Think before bringing in your rat dogs.'


Jack Alban


Posted on Mar 28, 2024   Updated on Mar 27, 2024, 4:22 pm CDT

Recently, the Daily Dot reported on a Trader Joe’s customer who brought their canine into one of the popular grocery store’s locations. While pushing their dog on a shopping cart throughout the store, the pet proceeded to pee into a fridge, contaminating $400 worth of food.

And one TikToker, named Lele (@misslelesims), believes that the backlash the aforementioned viral incident received may have ultimately convinced Trader Joe’s to implement a strict no-pet policy in its stores—or at least one location she recently visited.

“Trader Joe’s claps back!!!” a text overlay in the video reads. “Y’all I’m really crying. Trader Joe’s said we are not playing with y’all and your pi**y a** dogs.”

Throughout her video, Lele records herself over a green-screened image of a sign highlighting it’s “service dogs only” policy outside the Trader Joe’s location.

“So I don’t know if y’all have seen that video of the girl who brought her French Bulldog into Trader Joe’s and it like pi**ed all over the frozen section and it was like disgusting,” Lele says. “Well, apparently Trader Joe’s is clapping back at a national level, because I was at the downtown Chicago location and they had this sign up that says, ‘Trained service animals are welcome, this does not include emotional support animals.'”

“And then at the bottom it says, ‘As a grocery store, there are sanitation and safety standards we must follow,'” Lele adds.

The clip then transitions from the cute sign that sports an animated placard of a puppy, to another smaller, yellow sign in the store that’s taped to a window inside the grocery store.

“And they even doubled down, y’all, saying, ‘Service animals welcome, pets not allowed.’ Period b*tch. Period,” she says. “I’m actually so glad that Trader Joe’s is taking a stand against this because as someone who loves dogs, this current generation of dog owners needs to be humbled so bad.”

Lele then asks viewers to keep their eyes out for similar signs at their Trader Joe’s locations.

She doubled down on this stance in a caption for the video where she wrote: “Also I think theyve always had a small sign saying this but they said theyre gonna make SURE yall think before bringing in your rat dogs.”

It seemed like there were a lot of other TikTok users who agreed with her outlook on folks bringing their pets into supermarkets. “I HAAAATE seeing pets at grocery stores,” one person wrote.

Another posed a question that supported Lele’s stance on the matter: “I love my dog but what business does he have at a grocery store??”

One viewer said they saw similar verbiage while shopping at Target. “Our target added a sign too! And said service dogs don’t ride in carts,” they wrote.

“I have seen people bring ‘service dogs’ that are barking and growling at people,” another person penned, suggesting that there are shoppers out there who lie about the training of their so-called “service dogs.”

US Service Animals writes that TJ’s has a “strict no pet policy.” While responding to a frequently asked question about pup-friendliness inside a Trader Joe’s store, Dogster had a very simple response: “The short answer is no.”

@misslelesims Also I think theyve always had a small sign saying this but they said theyre gonna make SURE yall think before bringing in your rat dogs #traderjoes #dogs #dogowners #fyp #greenscreen ♬ original sound – lele

A viral Reddit post uploaded by user @nightskiesnight saw them also urging folks to “stop bringing [their] dogs to Trader Joe’s” complaining that their owners are usually too preoccupied to tend to them or make sure they aren’t harassing other shoppers.

Skool however, writes that, “Trader Joe’s does not have a standardized policy on dogs and instead leaves the decision about this matter up to the discretion of the shop manager in each location,” before adding that there are “general principles” customers should “think about” before bringing their pets with them on a shopping excursion. The Daily Dot has reached out to Trader Joe’s via email for clarification, and to Lele via TikTok comment.

If the Trader Joe’s dog pee incident says anything, it’s probably best to leave non-service pups at home.

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*First Published: Mar 28, 2024, 5:00 am CDT