Locals divided over popular shopping mall's 'nonsensical' ban

While we're undoubtably a country of dog lovers, most Australians agree there are some spaces that should be left strictly for humans

The lifts at Mall 88 in St Leonards, beside a sign banning dogs.
A Sydney mall has banned dogs in lifts, attracting a mixed response from shoppers, some of whom criticised the state of the elevators to begin with. Source: Facebook

Locals are divided after a popular shopping mall banned dogs from lifts, moving away from the general trend across Australia of allowing more pets into our shared spaces. Throughout the country, dogs make up half of the nation's pets, with there being an estimated six million in Aussie households.

In recent times, we've even seen major airlines allow dogs into cabins on domestic flights, a move that was met with both praise and criticism. While we're undoubtedly a country of dog lovers, most agree some spaces should be left strictly for humans.

But are those places elevators? According to some North Sydney locals, maybe not.

The lifts at Mall 88 in St Leonards, that one shopper branded 'disgusting' and 'dirty'.
One shopper said the elevators at Mall 88 in St Leonards are 'disgusting and continuously dirty'. Source: Facebook

Sharing her opinion online, one woman said she was surprised to find that Mall 88 in St Leonards, five kilometres northwest of the city's CBD, had banned dogs in lifts — a change handed down by Lane Cove Council.

"Is this because we need to keep our dogs safe from the disgusting and continuously dirty lift?" she questioned on social media. "What suggestions are there for people with dogs, who can't physically manage the stairs?"

While several people agreed with the woman's sentiment, with some arguing that "dogs in this area are better behaved than most humans", others stood by the council's stance.

"There are plenty of people with allergies, phobias, or PTSD from dog attacks," one person stated. "The lifts at 88 are for people with disability or mobility issues."

"OK but some people with disabilities have dogs," somebody else said in response.

"I’d like to point out that dogs aren’t to go on the escalators either," another person wrote. "So how do you get from the car park to the ground floor if not in the lift? I’ve used it with my dog many times for this exact reason." "This doesn't make sense to me," a fourth argued.

Dozens of others weighed in with their varying views, apparently reflecting the bitter divide among locals in the area. Speaking to Yahoo News Australia, a spokeswoman for Lane Cove Council revealed why it decided to prohibit dogs.

"The sign has been placed at the lifts by Council as a measure to help address a recurring issue of cleanliness in the lifts," she told Yahoo.

A dog in a trolley, amid debate about whether the animals should be allowed in shopping centre lifts.
Australia is a nation of dog lovers, but where's the line when it comes to sharing our space? Source: Getty

"Council had been receiving ongoing reports of a strong urine smell within the lifts and it became apparent over time that the issue was related to dogs urinating in the lift.

"As there are other networks of ramps and stairs to reach Wadanggari Park, council has placed signage at the lifts in an attempt to reduce the impacts of dogs urinating within this space — as is the case with other scenarios, this does not apply to those with assistance dogs."

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