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Debate rages in Toronto after dogs allowed in Indigo stores

Attention all shoppers: You can bring your dogs to the Indigo store at Bay and Bloor, but you might get some side-eye for it.

A Facebook comment war has broken out this week under a post from the Indigo, Chapters and Coles brand page.

The post in question, published yesterday, features a photo of one woman and two dogs with the caption "I came to Indigo this weekend because I was downtown and I wanted to hang out. I love reading but also love spending time with my dogs, and Indigo is a place that allows me to enjoy both of these activities."

[UPDATE: Sept. 26, 1:55 p.m. Indigo removed the photo and post from its Facebook page on Tuesday. "We’ve been in contact with the individual in the photo and she does not feel comfortable being included in this conversation," an Indigo public relations manager wrote to us by email. "Out of respect to her we have deleted her photo from our page, and would ask that her photo and name are also removed from your post."]

The photo of the young woman and her two poodles seems to have brought the matter to many new eyeballs, however, and more than 100 people have now weighed in with their thoughts in just 24 hours – because Facebook.

"This gives a clear message to those of us with allergies: Your health doesn't matter," reads the top comment on the post. "Indulging people who cant leave their dogs at home matters more."

"This is where I get so frustrated with society," wrote another top-voted commenter. "Unless it is a legitimate service dog it does not need to go with you places. People need to realize that animals do not belong everywhere."

If you've seen the pet-filled hashtag Indigo promoted with this post – #IndigoWeekend – you can probably guess what happened next.

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Team doggo argues that perhaps the nay-sayers are overreacting a bit. Some are comparing dogs to children, saying that if customers must put up with screaming kids, they should be allowed to bring their pooches.

"All everyone does is complain about nonesense," writes one. "Stop being so damn sensitive. One company allows dogs, just don't stop there and shop online."

"Why must people make a negative out of a positive?" asked another. "My mom always said if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything. Leave the girl alone people."

Allergy sufferers seem to be winning the fight, if top-rated comments are a barometer of success. The volume of comments in support of dogs at Indigo is higher, however.

And then there is the contingent of people who don't seem to understand the issue very well.

"Are there no rules whatsoever regarding this policy?," asked one woman. "What about a horse? Can I bring a horse in? A goat? A chicken?"

Lead photo by

Danielle Walker

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