Reminder: Non-Service Animals Aren’t Allowed in the Sunvalley Mall

September 26, 2016 14:00 pm · 87 comments

A Claycordian who calls herself “Disgusted in Concord” is sick of seeing dogs in the mall, especially when they fight.

Here’s her story:

In addition to shopping, I also walk at Sun Valley Mall for exercise. During the recent past, I have noticed small dogs either being carried or in a baby stroller on Sundays.

This last Sunday, a couple was walking their Alaskan Husky on a long leash along with a smaller dog. This was on the lower level at the JC Penney’s end. As they were walking toward the center court, a customer was walking his black lab. As these two dogs passed, a small fight between the dog’s ensued.

Neither of these 3 animals had any markings that they were service dogs. Needless to say, there was NO security present to aid the other customers.

What is the policy of Sun Valley Mall in reference to dogs in the mall?

Pets/animals, with the exception of service animals such as Leader Dogs, are prohibited, according to the Sunvalley Mall.


Lone Ranger September 26, 2016 at 2:04 PM

Dogs in ANY store at ANY time other than service animals should be banned. Problem is, any dog can be called a service animal by anybody and the nobody can ask them for any sort of proof.

I’m shocked and appalled at all the people that think taking their animals shopping is somehow and cute and appreciated by everybody.

Silva September 26, 2016 at 2:05 PM

That’s absurd. It wasn’t that long ago when you couldn’t just take your dog anywhere you pleased, was it?

Simonpure September 26, 2016 at 2:06 PM

Perhaps Bart police are securing the mall

Melanie September 26, 2016 at 2:09 PM

Wouldn’t it make more sense to contact someone at Sunvalley?

NoMoreFreeRide September 26, 2016 at 2:10 PM

It is of course illegal to have a non-service dog in the mall. All service dogs must have an identifiable vest and proper paperwork. Sick of people taking their dogs/animals where they don’t belong. If you don’t want your dog to get hot in the car leave it at home!

Nmc September 26, 2016 at 2:10 PM

Mall security same MO as Bart cops. Where are you ?

Good! Finally! September 26, 2016 at 2:11 PM

Service dogs must be clearly know that it’s a service dog, wearing blue or green and the obvious is guiding a blind person. I’m glad that they put their foot down on this. I can’t believe people can’t leave their dogs at home. I have a dog and the last thing that I would do is bring my dog to any store or restaurant.

Kyle September 26, 2016 at 2:14 PM

Dogs have been with us for eons, they provide security, companionship and services. They should be allowed anywhere , service dog or not. So they have some disagreements sometimes, stick 20 people in a room, someone is bound to get punched, lol) Get of your high horse lady, you can’t always have it your way.

Justin September 26, 2016 at 2:14 PM

If it’s not enforced there’s unlikely to be any change on the matter.

Patty September 26, 2016 at 2:14 PM

Especially in restaurants and food stores. But I think they should be banned from all stores if they are not true service dogs. And the service dog stuff is a scam. Anybody can claim their dog is a service dog. Shameless.

TIFOKCIS September 26, 2016 at 2:15 PM

I bought a shopping cart full at .99 Store and paid taxes and I’ll do any damn thing I want.


NoMoreFreeRide September 26, 2016 at 2:15 PM

@#4 Absolutely. They will be liable if anyone got bit by a non-service dog and I would remind of that fact.

the who September 26, 2016 at 2:16 PM

The problem is they cant ask for proof, I think that needs to change.
Under the law the service animal needs formal service dog training and be able to preform some kind of task or capability.
A therapist can say you should have a comfort animal but that doesn’t make it legal.
I think some could benefit from a comfort animal, but they should have to be certified and property trained.

Anon September 26, 2016 at 2:17 PM

Just goes to show how self-centered many people have become. They constantly whine for more rules for everyone else, while refusing to follow the most basic ones themselves.

I can’t imagine why anyone would want to go to Sun Valley anymore.

Mr. Pink September 26, 2016 at 2:18 PM

Nobody gives a s*&t anymore. It’s all about what “I” want to do. “I want to bring my dog in that mall/store/restaurant and I couldn’t care less about any of you.” And if you call said pet owners on their BS be prepared for rude confrontation. Just another example of our deteriorating society.

Dave September 26, 2016 at 2:18 PM

I think that in Europe, dogs are allowed anywhere .(?)

the who September 26, 2016 at 2:23 PM

also, as a dog owner , i feel bad for a lot of the dogs. Some look scared. I love my dogs and they get treated like part of family but they are not my kids. But they do play a big roll in the family , and get love and respect. BUT THEY ARE NOT CHILDREN.

palermo September 26, 2016 at 2:25 PM

I am more disgusted at people taking them into restaurants, which we are seeing a lot of. I’m not talking about out on the patio, I mean inside. I saw one eating food off the owner’s plate. They sit in the booths.

Donna September 26, 2016 at 2:27 PM

@ Melanie # 4. I tried to “contact someone” at Sunvalley when I was harassed by a man who actually worked there. He actually followed me around the mall and made rude comments, and I was really frightened. No success, no response from mall management. Good luck trying to get them to do something about an animal that isn’t human. It’s a tacky place.

Not for or Against September 26, 2016 at 2:31 PM

No one can ask for their paperwork to show that they are a service animal. So regardless of if they are wearing their markings or not.
Until that changes, people are going to say it is a service animal just to have them along with them.

Laid back Larry September 26, 2016 at 2:32 PM

No dogs in the Mall?


They still got the sourkrout there?

Scotch September 26, 2016 at 2:33 PM

No, nonorefreeride, I have a service dog and I do not have to have a vest or any paperwork for my medical alert dog. I do put it on her when we are out in public places to keep from having to explain every 5 seconds. The biggest problem I have is people not knowing to pay no attention to my dog and she is not there for their affection. Education on both sides is needed. There should be some kind of licensing to keep people from claiming their pets are service animals.

ranchgirlca September 26, 2016 at 2:33 PM

No one can ask for proof that the dog in question is a service dog, so this ‘law’ is unenforceable. I’m not saying some people don’t have a need, but the fact that no one is allowed to question or require proof… it really is a joke.

Concordville September 26, 2016 at 2:39 PM

Yes, I’ve noticed a huge uptick in dogs that are clearly not service animals in a variety of stores in the past year or so. I think pet owners see other people doing it without reproach and then assume it is okay now. I’m an animal lover but dogs or any other live animals do not belong in grocery stores or restaurants. In Pet Smart and similar, fine. I hope merchants step up enforcement to try to nip this in the bud.

Correcting Ignorance September 26, 2016 at 2:41 PM

Just felt that we should correct ignorance around this issue – yes # 5 = I am looking at you. From the Federal government ADA site (

Q5. Does the ADA require service animals to be professionally trained?
A. No. People with disabilities have the right to train the dog themselves and are not required to use a professional service dog training program.

Q7. What questions can a covered entity’s employees ask to determine if a dog is a service animal?
A. In situations where it is not obvious that the dog is a service animal, staff may ask only two specific questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability? and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform? Staff are not allowed to request any documentation for the dog, require that the dog demonstrate its task, or inquire about the nature of the person’s disability.

Q8. Do service animals have to wear a vest or patch or special harness identifying them as service animals?
A. No. The ADA does not require service animals to wear a vest, ID tag, or specific harness.

ME September 26, 2016 at 2:46 PM

Seriously, I had no idea people would take their dogs to the Sun Valley Mall. I try not to even take myself to that mall. I’d never allow my dog to go there for her own well being, not that of others. You think I jest, I do not.

Jojo Potato September 26, 2016 at 2:47 PM

I’m so sick of this I won’t even quote the law, look it up. That time while I was waiting to get my free donut and I turned to behind me to meet a dog on her shoulder right into my face and I knew I couldn’t say anything I knew it was over. Dog owners are pigs!. Poop everywhere, no leashes despite the rules. I for one am sick of them, the owners, not the dogs!

anonymous September 26, 2016 at 2:47 PM

I am an owner of 2 dogs and we consider them our kids as our human kids are full grown and on their own but there is no way I want to take them shopping or to a restaurant with me other than to a pet store. It is nice not too have deal with kids of any kind, human or animal when I shop or eat out. Somehow your pets manage to stay by themselves when you go off to work.

No you don't.... September 26, 2016 at 2:50 PM

Service animals do NOT have to wear vests or identifying info as one commenter stated. The owner does NOT have to prove that the animal is a service dog.

So sorry that mall security wasn’t there to aide you in your extreme time of need.

Live and let live.

aunt sue September 26, 2016 at 2:50 PM

Saw a non-service dog take a poo right in front of Macy’s, inside the mall. The rules probably have to do with something small like the local health & human safety code. Your dog would probably rather be at home, since it’s not an actual child you can leave them home.

et -al September 26, 2016 at 2:51 PM

Concord has gone to the dogs. It’s the two leg kind that create problems.

You got what you voted for.

It's easier to travel with a dog in Europe than own in the USA September 26, 2016 at 2:58 PM

True story… Here, non-dog people would rather have you leave them in a hot car…or at home where they don’t have any solicitation. Then they can complain when a dog is on leash in an allowed area and seems excitable.

Typical USA….we fight for freedom so we don’t get them.

RetailSlave September 26, 2016 at 3:01 PM

I absolutely hate when people bring dogs inside grocery stores! Speak up and tell the owners not to bring them inside. I do not appreciate your dogs butt all over my grocery cart.

Dog whisperer September 26, 2016 at 3:08 PM

If a dog is SO insecure it can’t stay home alone while the owner goes shopping, out to eat, etc. the people shouldn’t have a pet.

Mrs. R September 26, 2016 at 3:12 PM

I have a service dog, to mitigate my medical condition. I have been told by property managers and security at Sun Valley Mall, that small dogs are allowed as long as they are carried or are in a stroller. The only dogs that should be walking on leash are service animals. I was informed if I encounter any issues with the dogs I should report it to the customer service desk or Sun Valley security and they will ask the person to remove the dog from the premises. While I understand people love their dogs, and want to bring them wherever they go, it does create problems for folks with service dogs as other dogs can be a distraction and prevent the service dog from doing it’s job.

Mr Webster September 26, 2016 at 3:18 PM

@ It’s easier to travel…..

You should look up the definition
of solicitation or at least stop trying
to use five syllable words that you
have no clue what they mean.
If you want your dog to have solicitation
take him to your nearest freeway off ramp
and let the homeless guy ask him for
a handout.

Patty September 26, 2016 at 3:23 PM

So who wants to be like Europe?

Lorelei September 26, 2016 at 3:24 PM

I’m so happy for dog owners and their animals. They have strong and loving bonds and they enricheach others’ lives. That being said, please keep your dogs out of my face. Thank you.

No Probkem September 26, 2016 at 3:32 PM

Haven’t been there in 15 years.

GRX September 26, 2016 at 3:42 PM

No duh.

Are you kidding me? People have to be reminded of this???

mary f - ph September 26, 2016 at 3:43 PM

What is it with crazy, self-entitled Californians? I am from the east coast, and you never see a dog inside a store or at a restaurant (Lazy Dog) unless they are clearly marked as a seeing-eye dog. I only learned of this behavior when I moved to California.

mary f - ph September 26, 2016 at 3:44 PM

Except pets were allowed inside stores like Petco and Petsmart and Pet Quarters.

Meow September 26, 2016 at 3:44 PM

Guess the law reads both ways. You have to be able to provide proof when needed.

Grewah September 26, 2016 at 3:45 PM

Blame it on Paris Hilton from about a decade ago.

Cellophane September 26, 2016 at 3:47 PM

Dogs in the Mall is a problem for the Mall cops.

Irresponsible, selfish people are the problem.

Anyone ever figure out how to fix arrogant?

Turn and burn September 26, 2016 at 3:51 PM

Where’s that guy that claims to be mall security on this site? He can’t chime in on this? Oh wait, he only likes to bash on the police for their lack of security or slow response times. Come on Mall Man! Man up and protect us from the idiots and their pets.

Lisa September 26, 2016 at 3:54 PM

I was recently at a grocery store when a person came in with their mid size dog. Service dog….don’t know since you can’t ask. There was a person there who was HIGHLY afraid of dogs and just about had to be carried out of the store. I also know people who are allergic to dogs….just wondering where their rights begin.

The Mamba September 26, 2016 at 3:56 PM

Huh, I didn’t see any dogs when I was there last weekend, would have classed the place up.

Pavlov September 26, 2016 at 3:59 PM

Dog people are so silly!
Sounds like a guy i know who has to go with his wife everywhere because he is so insecure.

Kalifornia Native September 26, 2016 at 4:01 PM

Certified Service Animals Only.
How hard is that to understand.

Badger September 26, 2016 at 4:12 PM

Certain stores, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Osh, Concord Feed, etc. allow dogs. As someone who frequents these stores with my dog, I only bring him with me if I can pay 100% attention to what he is doing while I shop. If he did anything naughty, like peeing on something, knocking something over or trying to shoplift (he’s obsessed with balls, or anything similar) I am ready to buy it, clean it, or apologize profusely for it.
Anyone who cannot control their dogs, or their dogs are not child/man friendly, should not take them out in places like this. Frequently I find kids want to pet my dog, and don’t necessarily ask. Adults too! But my dog is 110% happy with this. If he wasn’t, he would not go to these places with me. I’m not going to fake that he’s a service dog so he can shop with me.

THE ANIMAL September 26, 2016 at 4:18 PM

Good thing I never took my Boa or Python with me when I went shopping.
They are both deceased now, but might of been entertaining to see the
reactions …………………

John Pope September 26, 2016 at 4:33 PM

What do you call a ________ with a dog? A vegetarian.
What do you call a ________ with 5 dogs? A rancher.

Dog lover September 26, 2016 at 4:50 PM

Of course dogs shouldn’t be brought to the mall. The person who brought a Husky is especially feeble minded to think they wouldn’t have a problem.

Mailma September 26, 2016 at 4:52 PM

I was just in Safeway on Willow Pass Rd. Medium size dog in cart. No one said a word. You see it all over. The mall security can ask if that is a service dog. If they say yes they just walk away.

rofl September 26, 2016 at 4:59 PM

Or when their dog goes to the bath room in the middle of home depot and then they walk away. LOL

Atticus Thraxx September 26, 2016 at 5:11 PM

Just keep them out of restaurants and grocery stores and I’m cool.

Claycordian September 26, 2016 at 5:29 PM

I am so sick of dog owners that claim “companion dog” status just so they can take their stinky little beasts everywhere, including restaurants. We had a dog across the aisle from us the last time we were in Il Fornaio in Walnut Creek. This was not a seeing eye dog. Absolutely sickening!

Ron Swanson September 26, 2016 at 5:39 PM

Try downloading the Dog Whistle app.

tired of taxes September 26, 2016 at 5:45 PM

Do you still go to the Sun Valley mall? Don’t like dogs in your mall?
Get a dog whistle for under $10. A few people with whistles for a few weeks will deter people with dogs from bringing them in the mall.

It will suck for legitimate service animals though.

mary f - ph September 26, 2016 at 6:49 PM

Then how is the dog who hears the whistle supposed to alert their owner they must leave at once? Tap him on the shoulder? Start barking out of control? That doesn’t work when parents have screaming toddlers. The dogs would just suffer.

mary f - ph September 26, 2016 at 6:50 PM

They need to try that dog whistle trick at Lazy Dog in Concord.

City Girl/TJ Maxx September 26, 2016 at 6:59 PM

TJ Maxx also allows dogs in their stores. Last Friday there was a medium-size dog on a long leash in the store. It was a nasty dog, too. The owner allowed the dog to sniff my feet while the owner was 8 feet away flipping through racks of clothes. I had to shake my foot and tell the owner I didn’t want his dog near me. The owner didn’t give a crap and totally ignored me. I have seen this more than once in that store, and management told me that they absolutely allow dogs. DISGUSTING!!!!!

Melanie September 26, 2016 at 7:06 PM

Donna #19

There’s a big difference between complaining about a man who makes rude comments (who’s allowed in the mall) and dogs (who aren’t allowed).


aghast September 26, 2016 at 7:46 PM

I love dogs but I certainly don’t want dogs that are not service dogs, peeing and defecating all over the mall. And they will believe me. If they don’t urinate or relieve themselves inside the owners will take their pets outside and of course we will be tripping over the stuff because as we know not all pet owners are responsible pet owners. Leave them at home in the cool air and let other’s shop without the interference of your pets. Give me a break people. This is getting way out of hand.

Grewah September 26, 2016 at 8:21 PM

Can we legally break windows on cars with infants in them? I can’t find a Good Sam law in CA that says we can?

Mr. Irony September 26, 2016 at 8:33 PM

Pretty sure the lady from the original post is breaking a law by exercising in the mall and not shopping. Something we call loitering.

PH resident September 26, 2016 at 8:37 PM
Cautiously Informed September 26, 2016 at 9:00 PM

The selfish uncivilized inconsiderate ‘it’s all about me’ people know no limits.

Dr. Martin Luther Burbank September 26, 2016 at 9:14 PM

Had a dog sniffing My hand at work, five minutes later it did not recognize Me and thought I was a threat to its owner, and bit me on the arm…, after I yelled “” at it remembered Me and was friendly again, Animal Control Officer was called and I went to the hospital , with Dog owners insurance later harassing Me.

Why September 26, 2016 at 10:47 PM

As long as there’s no food served, there shouldn’t be a problem taking a small dog to the mall. I see ZERO problem with that. Until someone outlines the issue with a small dog in a public place, I’ll stick with my opinion.

Why September 26, 2016 at 10:50 PM

#70, you shouldn’t have extend your arm to an unfamiliar animal. While it’s no excuse for the dog’s behavior, do not forget that your actions contributed to the situation. Let’s not blame everything on others.

Dogamatic September 26, 2016 at 10:53 PM

Where is the love?

Starman September 26, 2016 at 11:48 PM

Being handicapped any dog can be a service dog no registration by law it is voluntary. But you still can be liable for any damages done by that animal. You can’t ask what the dog is for due to laws protecting the disabled.

I don’t require a dog yet but it must he nice to be perfectly healthy so you can complain about others I would trade my disability in a blink if I could

rofl September 27, 2016 at 1:16 AM

Ban all dogs. Back ground checks for all owners. 15 day waits mandatory. LOL

Ale September 27, 2016 at 7:13 AM

I am going to get a service rattlesnake and take it everywhere with me. At least I am not allergic to them like I am to dogs.

I saw a lady on bart one day with a emotional support bird in a cage. This stuff is getting absolutely ridiculous. I like my cat. She gives me emotional support. I still am not going to take her everywhere I go.

Turn and burn September 27, 2016 at 9:02 AM

@ Starman But you can ask what tasks the dog is used for.

Doh September 27, 2016 at 12:01 PM

An emotional support pet is not a service animal and should not be allowed in malls and restaurants.

H September 27, 2016 at 10:16 PM

How am I supposed to enjoy my shopping trip without my emotional support pitbull? I get to take it on airplanes!

Fedup September 28, 2016 at 11:28 AM

99.9% of you commenting on this are wrong about the law. No one can demand proof from a person with a service dog what kind of dog it is trained to do, because this is in violation of their HIPPA privacy disclosing a medical condition for that person. They can only ask if it is a service dog. The dog does not have to wear any identification to be deemed a service dog and no one can ask to see any paper work. By asking what the job does for that person is deemed embarrassing and invasion of that persons medical privacy. It is like asking why a person is in a wheel chair or using crutches. Sun Valley mall better get a good lawyer if they ban service dogs cause they do not have identification. If they ban a person for this reason the skies the limit for civil penalties.

Fedup September 28, 2016 at 11:29 AM

NoMoreFreeRide —your wrong about demanding paper work or identification.

Turn and burn September 28, 2016 at 12:18 PM

What about the person who slips on dog pee? Those tile floors can get pretty slick.

Cellophane September 28, 2016 at 1:41 PM

There are numerous sites where people can purchase phony Service Dog harnesses, vests, collars and leashes. Animals who do not have any training should not be masquerading as service dogs.

It’s the dog’s owners, people with no character values, integrity or morals that cheat the systems for their personal pleasure.

Some people are so disgustingly self-centered that….words fail me.

Anon September 28, 2016 at 2:16 PM

Can I bring my emotional support jackal?

Honestly, some pet owners don’t realize that not everybody likes doggies-excuse me canine-Americans.

Khloe September 28, 2016 at 2:25 PM

If they were on a leash then the owners can control them. You seem like a person who has no life and has to be involved in everybody else’s business. The police need to focus the real criminals that frequent the mall and not be worried about a Chihuahua in a stroller. SMH!

RanchgirlCA September 28, 2016 at 5:18 PM

@ Fed up Plenty of people know you can’t ask for documentation. The problem is people making phony claims that their dog is a service animal when it isn’t. They take advantage of this fact. There needs to be someway to document this need that doesn’t indicates ate why, which protects their rights and could stop the phony baloney.

Fedup September 28, 2016 at 7:08 PM

Ranchgirl I hear you, but there is none! You can’t push anything, because this jacked up PC state will sue you. Remember hard working law abiding tax payers in CA are an endangered species. Remember all dogs matter!!!

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