Coles shopper voices disgust over unusual checkout guest

A Coles customer has taken to Facebook to vent about an unusual sighting at his local store.

The New South Wales man posted on the official Coles Facebook page to voice his concern that a pet dog had been allowed to sit on the checkout at the Norton Plaza store.

“Coles supermarket. Food type place!” the customer wrote. “Where your dog (not a companion animal) can jump up on the checkout and rest comfortably while you have your food purchases processed!!”

Coles store checkout area with small brown dog sitting on checkout
The Coles customer was concerned that the dog was in an area where food is placed. Source: Facebook

Accompanying the man’s post is a photograph of a small leashed dog sitting at the end of a cash register in the bagging area.

The dog’s owner is speaking to the checkout attendant as she processes his groceries. No assistance vest or harness can be seen on the animal.

Coles confirms pet policy

A Coles spokesperson has confirmed with Yahoo News that everyday pets and animals are not permitted to enter stores.

“Assistance and companion animals are welcome to accompany their owners in our stores if they are clearly identified by a collar, coat or harness,” they said.

“We do not allow for everyday pets or animals to enter our stores.”

Looking into a Coles store, woman at register
Coles has upped their cleaning practices and surface wipe-downs according to its website. Source: Getty Images

A Coles spokesperson also commented on the man’s post, assuring him that his complaint is being investigated.

“Your feedback regarding this matter has been forwarded to the relevant team for their information,” they wrote.

Yahoo News understands that Coles is following up the complaint directly with the customer.

Why aren't dogs allowed in supermarkets?

According to an extensive review by the Law Society of New South Wales, dogs aren’t permitted to be present in certain places due to Australian law.

The review states that dogs, with the exception of assistance animals, are prohibited from the following areas:

  • Children’s play areas

  • Food preparation/consumption areas, although changes have been made to the act which allow dogs to attend cafes with dog-friendly policies, provided the animal remains on the ground and is not fed

  • Recreation areas that do not permit dogs

  • Public bathing areas with "no dog" policies

  • School grounds and childcare centres

  • Shopping areas and stores where dogs are prohibited

  • Wildlife protection areas which prohibit dogs

The review also indicates that where dogs are permitted in public, the animal must be wearing an identifying collar with contact information and remain leashed at all times, except in designated off-leash areas.

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