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Are Dogs Allowed in Goodwill?

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I love nothing better than shopping at area thrift stores. Goodwill–with nearly 3,300 outlet and retail stores in the US–has been selling used items since 1901. But are dogs allowed in Goodwill to shop with you?

Is Goodwill dog friendly?

Unfortunately, dogs are NOT allowed to shop at Goodwill stores with the exception of service dogs.

If you are planning a Goodwill shopping trip, please leave your dog at home and buy a surprise to bring back–or shop the online Goodwill store instead!

Are Service Dogs Allowed in Goodwill?

Even though Goodwill stores are not dog-friendly, trained service dogs are permitted into the stores under the protection of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

These protections only cover service dogs required to help you perform some function. ADA notes, “The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.

While you are not required to have a special tag, vest or harness on your service dog, Goodwill employees have the right to ask you two questions:

  1. whether the service animal is required because the person has a disability
  2. what type of work or task the service animal is trained to perform

Remember: If your dog is not a trained service dog, do NOT misrepresent your dog as a service dog or you will be breaking the law. Depending on where you live, misprepresenting your dog as a service dog can carry a fine of up to $1000.

ADA also notes that the service dog must be under your control or you may be asked to leave a store or public place. “A service animal must be under the control of its handler. Under the ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless the individual’s disability prevents using these devices or these devices interfere with the service animal’s safe, effective performance of tasks. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls.”

Where Can I Shop with My Dog?

We have a list of 100+ dog-friendly stores you may be able to shop with your dog in your home town!

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Are Dogs Allowed in Goodwill?
Paris Permenter
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