View Full Version : Animals at work?

01-01-2013, 10:31 AM
I'm just curious how your guys's work deals with animals.

Mine has an open-door policy. Animals can roam free. I'm even considering bringing my rabbit(soon to be rabbits, I'm getting another in a few hours) to work for kids to play with and pet.

Just a bit worried about the fact that our second-most-common customers are dogs. XP While my rabbit seems pretty okay with dogs, when the big ones (like golden retrievers) start getting too excited, he does seem to get a bit nervous.

We joke that we have ice cream for the kids, and dog-bones for the dogs. I think it was an inherited policy, from the fact that the previous owner had a dog and a cat that he let roam the property.

How about you guys?

01-01-2013, 04:44 PM
Unless all the dogs are familiar, I would advise against bringing a rabbit in. I know dogs who are great with kids and cats but when they see a "prey" animal, they go right after it.

01-01-2013, 04:46 PM
There's no official policy at my place, but I'm quite sure they're not allowed.

If they were, I couldn't work there. I'm pretty much allergic to all kinds of animals.

01-01-2013, 07:18 PM
I've delivered to places with office pets. One of them had a dog who could find items that were unusable and would take them off to her bed. Every night her Mom would have to take the items back to the line to be checked to see if they really were bad, she had over a 80% rating last I knew.

I've also seen office cats and having to take the cat out of the satchel before you leave is always interesting.

Once had a office lizard and that was interesting to see him eat grasshoppers but not when it was a spider day. *shivers*

But I have never seen a office rabbit. And I think your only going to ask for trouble if you bring a rabbit into a office where a dog already has pecking order. I would hate for you to lose the rabbit cause the dog takes it as a squeaky toy.

01-01-2013, 10:34 PM
As far as I know, animals aren't allowed in the library unless they're part of a program or they're a certified service animal. And with the latter, let's just say that library administration has had to set strict guidelines because of some problems with library SCs.

01-01-2013, 11:11 PM
I wouldn't bring the rabbits in because most people don't know how to pick one up. Some kids are naturally very gentle, but others will be more like "Yay! Stuffed toy!"

I wish we could have critters at work. There are days when a "kitty fix" would be helpful.

01-01-2013, 11:13 PM
The motel is pet friendly, and I've seen all sorts of pets that guests bring in.

I've also brought the puppy and/or the guinea pig to the office on a few MOD days.

On the paper route, the puppy supervises from the back seat of the car.

01-01-2013, 11:36 PM
You'd have to introduce the dogs and rabbits slowly, but they might very well get along when supervised. Our dogs and rabbits are fine. The rabbits know the dog isn't a threat and she's familiar. The dog knows the rabbits are not toys and feels she should protect them. It also helped that because the rabbits weren't scared, they didn't run, and didn't trigger her hunting instinct. I brought one of the rabbits to a pet store costume contest where their were a dozen dogs. They were so confused, because they probably didn't recognize a rabbit and he just sat there, so they all just ignored him!

Wish I could bring my pets to work. Hee, I could have a service snake or something!

Food Lady
01-02-2013, 01:30 AM
They aren't allowed in unless they are service animals. One of our cashiers has a service dog.

01-02-2013, 01:56 AM
I used to work at The Pharmacy Named After Two Streets In Downtown Manhattan That Was Recently Bought By The Green Wall (hereinafter TPNATSIDMTWRBBYGW).

Once upon a time, long before my tenure there, they had a corporate policy of one official cat per store. Seems it was cheaper than hiring an exterminator.

Then one day (sometime in 1999, I think) a customer walked into TPNATSIDMTWRBBYGW carrying a dog. The dog spotted the cat and went for it, the owner tried to break up the confrontation, and the dog went berzerk and attacked its owner. They wound up having to pay her off, and removed the cats from the stores.

Of course by the time I worked there in '02-03, the mice had the run of the place.

ETA: would "official cat" be abbreviated "OFFAT"?

01-02-2013, 02:09 AM
ETA: would "official cat" be abbreviated "OFFAT"?
As long as it doesn't meet the OFFOG (http://web.archive.org/web/20080124051440/http://www.scifi.com/scifiction/classics/classics_archive/russell/russell1.html)! Or maybe that's what really happened?

01-02-2013, 02:21 AM
There's a tradition of railway stations keeping cats, occasionally by domesticating strays. This was of course back in the days when even small stations still had full-time staff who could look after the cat, and when there was a need to keep vermin out of both the waiting room seat cushions and the parcels office. Seat cushions are these days reserved for the first-class lounges which are only at larger stations, and as for parcels offices...

The typical staff of a country station in Britain might have been the stationmaster, the porter, the booking clerk and often a signalman, since stations were good places to break a block section. The stationmaster might have been assigned to several nearby small stations simultaneously, but he was responsible for administering freight and parcels work, as well as the station as a whole. These days if you want to send a parcel, you either take it to the post office or call for a courier - such is the modern idea of progress.

Draper Mel
01-02-2013, 05:10 AM
I've worked at various theaters where people would bring their dogs to work. This is ok...if it doesn't get out of hand.

One theater I worked at a long time ago, the wardrobe supervisor volunteered for the big animal shelter in town. She fostered animals, mainly dogs, and would bring her foster dogs to work with her. She must have gotten about 15 dogs adopted out that way. There was also the time she found a litter of kittens whose mother disappeared. She brought in this mewing box of adorableness. They were just old enough to start eating wet food, but they'd stand in it while doing so. So after they ate, she wiped them down and then we all took a kitten and figured out how to hold them and keep them warm while we worked. I had a kitten get quite comfortable down my shirt. Squee!!!

On the other hand, it got a little out of control when people started thinking "Oh well I'll just bring my dog and he can stay in the costume shop." One tech Saturday we had 5 dogs in there! They were well behaved, but come on, people, we're a costume shop, not doggy daycare.

But mostly, I think animals in the costume shop is a bad idea. There's pins on the floor, and you don't need cats sleeping on expensive fabric or dogs chewing on stuff. Plus the allergy issue.

In offices, I think it's easier to keep stuff out of reach, and to close the door so your dog doesn't bother other people. It's a nice little morale booster.

01-02-2013, 05:37 AM
My boss figured as long as I took a box from the box room so the bunny could hide, it wouldn't be that big of a deal. Just as long as the bunny wasn't at the virtue of the dogs.

I know our customers really like the open-door policy we have to animals. I've never seen a non-dog animal come in, but they're just glad that they can take their dogs out on the boats too. (Usually the dogs get super-excited about that.)

Next door there is a rental house that is practically a bed-and-breakfast (usually up to four families will pool their money together and stay there). Some of their dogs get smart, realizing if they drop by they'll get treats. One started dropping by every 15 minutes until I realized it was the same dog, and stopped giving him treats.

Another one comes over and quietly asks for a treat. You give it to her, and then she quietly asks for another one. She's so polite I usually give her multiple small treats rather than one big one, just because she hasn't worked out that she's still getting about the same, and it makes her happy.

01-02-2013, 06:26 AM
We have a very open door policy on pets in my store. The Shawnie Lama (a customer and friend that has a couple screws loose) brings in his Irish Wolfhound, Shaggy, on hot days. I had an Assistant Manager temping for a little while and he got upset until I looked him dead in the eye and said Shaggy was a service animal and therefore if he tried to force the Shawnie Lama and Shagster out of MY store then he was getting a verbal whipping. From itty bitty me.

Temping Assistant Manager wouldn't look at me for a WEEK. Which I was totally fine with because he was a dillweed anyhow.

I have several customers that have service animals, actually. Mimi is a service pup for her Mom, who suffers from Bi-Polar disorder, and she's about to have a brother to help for when Mom goes into episodes.

I was going to train up two hound-mixes for my glucose levels but that fell through.

I've had customers come in with kittens, dogs, and a bird flew in the open door on the last nice weekend and he was left in there for two days (I dubbed him Damascus, because I didn't wanna yell "DUMBASS!" in the store). Haven't had anything besides dogs and cats, though. I'm looking forward to a lizard or snake so I can squee over them.

01-02-2013, 07:07 AM
Used to work at mart of domesticated animals, so i've had quite a few animals cross my path. My new job, however, is more confined to the humans. That being said, we did have a woman bring her service monkey in the store. And i got to pet it!!! I asked permission first, of course.

01-02-2013, 08:02 AM
Service Monkey for the win!

01-03-2013, 04:14 AM
Very occasionally someone brings their dog to the office, but that's not very common. They also sometimes bring their kids in, and they promptly occupy the kitchen table. (Finnish kids tend to be remarkably well-behaved.)

Once however a seagull managed to get into the loft at my parents' house - a loft that had been converted into a bedroom and art studio, but was temporarily not in use. I went up there purely because I was suspicious about noises I'd heard up there for several days. And it had shat EVERYWHERE. I wasn't about to clean that mess up, so I just figured out how to shoo it out of the window that had been left open, then closed it.

Much earlier I was helping on a farm (don't ask why, it's not exactly my core competence), and I noticed that a small bird had got stuck in a barn. The windows of the barn were glazed, even though there was no door, and the bird must have gone in through the door, hit the glass on the way out, and couldn't figure out why this invisible barrier was preventing it from getting out into the sunshine again. So it was just fluttering constantly against the window and getting nowhere.

The trick then was to figure out how to take hold of it without injuring it. It turned out to be a swallow, which you might recognise as a species that spends virtually all it's life on the wing, so it wasn't going to get tired and fold it's wings for me any time soon. Fortunately as it was effectively hovering at the window, I could fold it's wings for it by taking hold with both hands from outside and above. Now a swallow turns out to be a very small bird - roughly the size of a tit - so it was hard to find a balance of holding it securely while not crushing it. But I did manage to hold onto it until I could get to a clear view of the doorway, whereupon it flew off and instantly went back to chasing insects as if nothing had happened.

01-03-2013, 01:00 PM
Yeah, we've had a few birds. My boss rescued one in a similar way. He encouraged the bird to get on a stick, and led it outside.

I found one baby bird hanging off our workshop's deck by fishing wire. It was NOT happy. It was hard to get it to sit still long enough to unwrap it.

Another group of baby birds had to be moved, as they were in a very, very high traffic area. (We're one of two access points for the lake, and they were in that access point.) Their mother came and took them later, thankfully. (It's just a myth that momma birds will ignore their babies if touched by humans.) We think they fell off of a tree over-looking the ramp.

01-03-2013, 05:54 PM
We don't have any office animals at the bank, but we have a very open-door policy about customers bringing pets in to visit. Many customers will bring their dogs in with them. We usually don't get any other pets, although Hubby brought his iguana in a few times before he started getting surly (the iguana, not Hubby).

Everybody's favorite visitor is one customer's Newfoundland, Shiva. Newfies are huge, and Shiva's no exception. She's also a service dog, not for her owner, but as a visitor to area hospitals and nursing homes. Shiva is the sweetest, softest, most well-behaved, and most adorable dog I've ever met. And I'm not even a dog person. :D

01-03-2013, 06:47 PM
I don't recall ever working anywhere with animals, except one office where I was a programmer, for a while a bunch of the guys thought it was cool to each keep one of those fighting fish (betas?) on their desks - I have a suspicion they were putting them in together to fight and betting on them or something when no one else was around).

When we lived in the UK, I noticed tons of small stores and pubs had resident four-footers, usually cats. On a recent trip to New Orleans I noticed a lot of that as well there, too (well, shops, not pubs). Maybe it's just because in so many places small stores hardly exist anymore in the US, but I don't often see them - when I do, it seems to be either a quilt shop, or a bookshop.

Can I thread-jack with a cute story? When in New Orleans we went out to see a plantation.. We were chatting with the woman in the giftshop, and noticed a pretty white kitty in the shop, which we of course had to give due attention to. She was telling us that for quite a few years (I think it was 12 or so) they had a resident white cat at the plantation called Sugar (it had been a sugar plantation). Eventually, the cat passed away, and everyone missed it. Several months later, this white cat suddenly showed up and made itself at home. So they called it Splenda, since it was a Sugar substitute. :rolleyes:

01-03-2013, 08:08 PM
Service Monkey for the win!

One of my friends from a church I use to go had a friend who had a service monkey! I never met the woman or her monkey but from what I was told the monkey was great for picking up stuff that the woman couldn't reach etc. :D

At my old job a coworker told me that the store's policy was "service animals only" but... it wasn't posted anywhere so I pretty much didn't give a flying fuck. If someone brought an animal in I'd just remark on how cute it was. As far as I cared they were all service animals. *grin*

Besides, we were an electronics store so... the only "food" we sold was prepackaged snacks. As long as the dogs didn't piss on the product and behaved themselves that's all I cared about.

One puppy was just *adorable*. Another looked like a miniature husky plush toy - the fact that it was moving was the only reason I knew it was alive. And another had on a military vest with M.O.L.L.E straps.

Although my FAVORITE "bring your dog to work" story has to go to... Blue Man Group. Back when they were kinda new, they were doing an interview and showing the reporter around the studio, showcasing the instruments such as the "tubeulum" and the "drumulum" when Matt's dog ran by. Without missing a beat he said it was a "dogulum"!

Since then, BMG has a bit of a running gag about the magical quality of the "dogulum sound". Back when they were doing Intel adverts, Chris filmed a behind-the-scenes vid for a fan group (Blue Man Library) and included the "special guests" - his pair of dachshunds in a baby carrier. :lol: They also once did a demonstration of how they got the "dogulum" sound - you get a dog into a deep meditative state and then mic it... again a video of Chris, this time in full blue costume, petting one of his dogs. ;) And, IIRC, on the old message board he once posted about the album, "It's all dogulum!"


01-03-2013, 11:26 PM
This is the only store cat I know...and I"m friends with her on facebook :lol:


She's an awesome cat and very soft. And this is a pet store so yeah perfectly cool to have her there.

01-04-2013, 12:35 AM
Hee. She's 'product tester and queen'.

Sapphire Silk
01-05-2013, 04:11 AM
Only service animals are allowed on campus or in the hospital. However, one of the volunteers has a trained therapy dog that visits the hospital once a month. She is a big hit with both patients and staff.

01-05-2013, 06:48 AM
When I worked at Motel Hell, we once had to confiscate a guest's belongings and hold them ransom until he paid for the week's rent he owed us. He never paid, and so we kept his stuff... including a Quaker parrot.

On occasion, I would also bring one of my black cats to work on Halloween. Aside from those two stories, we were pet friendly, and so it was dogs. Dogs every day and in abundance, with the rare cat.

No, come to think of it... One other story. I got out of a speeding ticket once by showing the officer the kittens I was taking to work for my boss to see. After that, when I got to work I managed to get a picture of my then-boss, a very dignified Indian lady, with a tiny black-and-white kitten on her head.

01-10-2013, 08:26 PM
...there was no way a cat that small could have made the leap into the truck.

Don't you believe it. Cats can jump amazingly high whenever they get into the mood for it. :angel:

01-11-2013, 06:09 AM
My brother used to ride our Bear (yeah, how...unoriginal LOL) like a horse back in the day, and the dog thought this was great fun! Unfortunately, Bear was stolen from our yard one night...but I've never forgotten him or how awesome he was.
Aw. :( I'm sorry about Bear.

Back OT, I did work in an office that had a cat (http://www.fratching.com/showthread.php?t=4387). That did not go well (http://www.customerssuck.com/board/showthread.php?t=80015) at all. Not to say that it couldn't work, as long as the animal is spayed/neutered, housebroken and friendly or at least tolerant of the people there. I've seen dogs and cats in many stores, usually used bookstores or model train shops. Those animals are usually politely friendly, happy to sit pretty while the customers coo over and pet them. :)

I also know of a few antique stores with pet birds and I've seen a doctor's office and a car wash with fish tanks. It is amusing to note that everyone in the waiting room was watching the fish and ignoring the TV! :lol:

01-11-2013, 01:46 PM
... It is amusing to note that everyone in the waiting room was watching the fish and ignoring the TV! :lol:
Of course. The average IQ of the commentators is at least an order of magnitude greater.

01-13-2013, 10:32 PM
As long as it doesn't meet the OFFOG (http://web.archive.org/web/20080124051440/http://www.scifi.com/scifiction/classics/classics_archive/russell/russell1.html)! Or maybe that's what really happened?
My Eustace says Peaslake doesn't mind...

01-17-2013, 05:07 PM
My family has owned a car shop for 13 years. Ever since we've had a dog (first Ginger, then her and Rat, and now just Rat) my mom or dad would take the dog(s) to work with them. As my parents only ever worked in the office and never on the cars the dogs were welcome in the shop. And customers were free to bring their dogs as well.

01-18-2013, 11:02 PM
One of my coworkers trains service dogs. She has whichever dog she's currently training with her at work probably 80% of the time. It's really nice having a dog in the office. It just makes me smile. They're very well trained and well behaved, of course. And we're all trained to ask my coworker before petting the dog or saying hello because she has to tell them that they're not working anymore and can take a break to socialize.

01-19-2013, 10:22 AM
I don't recall ever working anywhere with animals, except one office where I was a programmer, for a while a bunch of the guys thought it was cool to each keep one of those fighting fish (betas?) on their desks - I have a suspicion they were putting them in together to fight and betting on them or something when no one else was around).

Why couldn't they have fully-debugged, production-level fish at the office?:lol: Did all the fish have good-looking fins, or were they ragged? If they had been putting them to fight together, in short order the losing fish would be dead, and the winner's fins would be shredded, so if the population remained steady and the fish looked good, it's unlikely they were staging fights.

01-22-2013, 02:26 AM
We have one woman who has a little (think tucked under her arm when she comes in) service dog. The problem is, the woman is lazy about putting the tags on her dog. She's just now gotten to the point where they're on the dog all the time, and she's gotten a service vest for it. Works out well...except she tried putting the dog on my counter once, with another customer there who of course got outraged. *sigh* Other than that, no animals allowed. As for animals other places, the one that sticks out is the cancer clinic mom went to in Iowa City. They had fish tanks there. Beautiful, tropical fish, too. They were fascinating to watch.

01-22-2013, 06:16 PM
Unless all the dogs are familiar, I would advise against bringing a rabbit in. I know dogs who are great with kids and cats but when they see a "prey" animal, they go right after it.

I read this one again and... this is why I usually ask before I bring my dog into a store. She's rat terrier / italian greyhound, which means she's got a really strong prey-drive and a strong chase drive too.

so a rabbit? o yeah she'd go after that in a heartbeat.

01-23-2013, 01:53 PM
yea no animals for us... :( I work inside a vault so wouldn't work out too well for the animals. Would be rather boss to have a ferret in here though!! then i could teach him trixy things!!

01-23-2013, 09:28 PM
Appropriately for this thread, I was called out to the alarm system at work on Sunday. The control panel said the PIR in the invoicing office had been activated, and that it was the only part of the system with an issue.

I wandered in, assuming that a driver had collected their paperwork and done something odd, only to find a robin flying around in there. Red breast, wings, feathers, that sort of thing.

Took a bit of chasing around with a fleece and a fortuitous landing position for me to capture the fellow and release him or her outside.

Gave me a smiley feeling for a few hours afterwards, though I think the bugger got back in.


01-23-2013, 09:53 PM
Raps' story reminded me of this.

It was a hot day, and BFF and I went to a pizza joint downtown that serves really good 'zza, and we don't go there nearly enough. The door is open (I'm not sure this building has an A/C), and inside it's just us, a couple other tables, and the guy working the counter.

In strolls a pigeon. It wanders around the main floor, picking up crumbs. BFF and I look around, and no one seems to notice. The pigeon nonchalantly spends a few minutes making a big round, with no one apparently caring, then waltzes right out the door and continues down the sidewalk on its original heading.

When we mentioned it to the guy who brought our pizza, he said "Yeah, he's in here almost every day. He does that." The guy's tone was a bit exasperated. I'm guessing they may have tried to dissuade the pigeon in the past before finally giving up and letting the bird do its thing.

We laughed at it. You had to see this pigeon to get the full effect. It just had such a nonchalant attitude, and had its routine down. It was amusing.

01-24-2013, 04:42 PM
When my hubby worked at the juvenile correction facility, they had a problem with bats. They were constantly chasing a bat out of one room or another.

The building was an old, 3-story school that had been abandoned for about a decade before they set it up for juvenile corrections and rehabilitation. Hubby bought a fishing net on a 15' pole to catch the bats with. Bats, as you may know, need to drop before they can start flying, so he would position the net under them, then bump them with the edge of the net so they'd fall in. Then he could take them outside the building and release them.

The main corridor on the first floor had 15-foot ceilings and ran the entire length of the building. One day, there was a bat flying down the main corridor and back. Even on the rare occassions it would land at one end of the hall, by the time Hubby got to that end, it had taken off again. So he tried a different tactic: he stood in the middle of the hallway with his net. He waited for the bat to fly towards him and swung the net into the air, snagging the bat out of the air and twirled the net around so the bat wouldn't escape. Then he looked around to see if anybody had seen this feat, and nobody was around. :(

02-25-2013, 07:34 AM
Policy for both places I've worked at is that only service animals.
With the hardware store, they didn't follow through. Someone brought in a ferret once and it pissed in front of my register (of course SC didn't tell me) .
With the porn shop, sm is far more strict, however lap dogs/kitties can come in if owner carries them at ALL times.

02-25-2013, 10:52 AM
Had to review this thread for some clues/tips, as several people are now bringing small dogs to the restaurant and claiming them to be service animals. Anyone know if certification is by state or county or what?

With the porn shop, sm is far more strict,

Ah yes. Context is everything. :devil:

02-25-2013, 11:14 AM
Had to review this thread for some clues/tips, as several people are now bringing small dogs to the restaurant and claiming them to be service animals. Anyone know if certification is by state or county or what?

I don't believe you're allowed to ask for certification. You can eject a customer if a "service dog" causes a disturbance, but that's it.

02-25-2013, 11:31 AM
My mechanic has a few cats. Some of them are relaxers and some of them are rodent prevention devices :-D

02-25-2013, 06:45 PM
AFAIK, most service animals are supposed to wear a jacket or harness that makes the fact pretty obvious. That's certainly true for a Guide Dog - who wouldn't be much use without the distinctive harness with it's rigid handle - but it should also be true for animals used for less conventional roles.

So is it safe to assume that an animal without a harness isn't actually a service animal?

02-25-2013, 09:25 PM
AFAIK, most service animals are supposed to wear a jacket or harness that makes the fact pretty obvious. That's certainly true for a Guide Dog - who wouldn't be much use without the distinctive harness with it's rigid handle - but it should also be true for animals used for less conventional roles.

So is it safe to assume that an animal without a harness isn't actually a service animal?

I don't think so. There's a FAQ at http://www.ada.gov/qasrvc.htm, it sounds like you pretty much have to take their word for it.

Luna Baby
02-26-2013, 12:30 AM
My place doesn't have an official policy either, but I can bring my dog in when needed (pickup from groomer's/sick pup/etc). In fact, one of our mills had a mill manager that brought his large breed dog in every day.

The sweetest thing I get to see, though, is when a stray momma cat has her babies in the mill. Our guys will find them and watch them until they are old enough to be removed from the mother. They'll catch her to get her spayed/returned to the country side and then they guys all have to get together to decide who gets which kitten!:) These guys warm my heart to see them squee over tiny kittens!

Our newest employee caught a random adult male cat (very rare for us) and took him home. After a vet visit, shots, neutering, and a few other things to ensure safety for the pet and family, the cat and his little girl are best friends!

03-01-2013, 09:59 PM
When Ember was a kitten and needed to be bottle-fed, my animal-loving boss let me bring her with me every day til she was old enough to stay home. I had a large collapsible crate in my cubicle and I stopped working to feed her every few hours. I didn't make a big deal out of it and no one said a word other than "OMG BABEH KITTEH!! ::squee::"

At one point one of the other cats was seeing a dermatologist who had an office near here, and I'd bring her up in her carrier until I had to leave for the appointment. So long as she didn't bother people (and she's a perfect angel) no one cared.

People occasionally bring their dogs up if they have a nearby vet appointment, but so long as the dog isn't hyperactively barking and/or peeing, no one seems to mind. I mean, I'm sure we're not supposed to have animals up here, but a lot of us commute in from out of town and it's just easier to bring the animal with us and then take them home after the appointment than to have to go home and get the pet.

Flying Grype
03-02-2013, 05:31 AM
Most people who have a service animal will have it wear a jacket or something that warns people that the animal is on duty and shouldn't be interfered with. I don't think there's ever a law requiring that, though. Best not to confront people; if an animal is causing a disturbance then you can deal with it.

The Hurting
03-05-2013, 03:33 AM
We have an assistance animal only policy, that occasionally might require people to present information. I guess either to verify that the individual is disabled or that the animal is registered.