Dogs in the Club Lounge

Old Jul 16, 19, 10:08 am
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Dogs in the Club Lounge

Hi All,

I'm posting this mostly because I know Hyatt Corporate pays attention to these boards. Last weekend I was at the H.R. Lost Pines (a wonderful place) and twice observed animals in the club lounge. These may have been "comfort" animals but were definitely NOT "service" animals. The difference is one type is highly trained and extremely obedient (service) such as seeing eye dogs, while the other type is really any dog with any or no training where you have a doctor's note (or not) saying it helps you in some way.

Anyway - this is an issue that must be addressed. I watched a 10-12 year old girl FEED the dog from the club lounge buffet. When I inquired with the lounge attendant what the policy was, she said she frankly didn't know and wasn't empowered to discuss it with a guest anyway, that only management or security could do so. I then brought the issue up with management who said it would be addressed.

I know we've had other reports of this happening at the H.R. Grand Cypress - but is it going on elsewhere? If so, we need to speak up... typically it's illegal for animals to be in food service areas but the whole "comfort" dog thing has made it a gray area that people are exploiting...
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Old Jul 16, 19, 10:59 am
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Thanks for bringing this up. I find it disgusting as well (except for the service dogs obviously), from a hygienic perspective (same goes for rooms especially with carpets).
Luckily, I have not experienced this so far.
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Old Jul 16, 19, 11:52 am
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I agree it needs to be addressed and I also feel the whole "emotional support" animal thing is being taken advantage of and most DEFINITELY those dogs should not be in the club, much less being fed food in the club. That is disgusting. I'm a dog lover, have no problem with dogs but please not where there is food!
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Old Jul 16, 19, 12:24 pm
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Originally Posted by wrldwide1 View Post
I agree it needs to be addressed and I also feel the whole "emotional support" animal thing is being taken advantage of and most DEFINITELY those dogs should not be in the club, much less being fed food in the club. That is disgusting. I'm a dog lover, have no problem with dogs but please not where there is food!
I love dogs, too, but this is getting absolutely ridiculous. I have NO issue with legitimate service animals being virtually anywhere, but any dog can be declared a "comfort" or "therapy" dog with a note from a dentist (yes, I've known of dentists providing notes on demand in order to get patients "free" transport of their dog on a plane). Hyatt needs to establish standards for comfort/therapy dogs - and these standards should include NO access to any space where food is being actively served - especially from a buffet.
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Old Jul 16, 19, 1:00 pm
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In the USA, most jurisdictions forbid nonservice dogs in public food service areas, although there can be exceptions for outdoor areas and particular types of establishments such as wine stores.

If management in non responsive, a (threat to) call the public health authorities or agency responsible for restaurant inspections might get their attention.
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Old Jul 16, 19, 1:07 pm
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Flying is one thing.
Legitimately need a comfort companion to visit the lounge in a hotel?
I doubt it.
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Old Jul 16, 19, 1:10 pm
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Originally Posted by lighthouse206 View Post
I love dogs, too, but this is getting absolutely ridiculous. I have NO issue with legitimate service animals being virtually anywhere, but any dog can be declared a "comfort" or "therapy" dog with a note from a dentist (yes, I've known of dentists providing notes on demand in order to get patients "free" transport of their dog on a plane). Hyatt needs to establish standards for comfort/therapy dogs - and these standards should include NO access to any space where food is being actively served - especially from a buffet.
The situation can't be that bad if there wasn't a thread here until this week. I've seen a few dogs in airport lounges but never in a hotel lounge. (And in such cases, the dogs are generally better behaved than the owners, so the dogs are a plus.)

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
In the USA, most jurisdictions forbid nonservice dogs in public food service areas, although there can be exceptions for outdoor areas and particular types of establishments such as wine stores.

If management in non responsive, a (threat to) call the public health authorities or agency responsible for restaurant inspections might get their attention.
Service dogs aren't any cleaner than "comfort" dogs, so there's no real difference here from a health perspective. Complaining to the government is a good way to get the buffets removed rather than a good way to make sure minimum-wage employees start trying to police which dog is which.

Originally Posted by rickg523 View Post
Flying is one thing.
Legitimately need a comfort companion to visit the lounge in a hotel?
I doubt it.
Nobody needs a dog or cat or rabbit to fly, either. The whole thing is a sham.
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Old Jul 16, 19, 1:40 pm
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Originally Posted by joe_miami View Post
snip
Nobody needs a dog or cat or rabbit to fly, either. The whole thing is a sham.
I agree it's all pretty bogus.
But I have seen passengers praying, sweating, grabbing the armrest in a death grip, and screaming at the slightest turbulence in an airplane.
I've never seen anything of the sort in a lounge.
That was the distinction I was trying to make.
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Old Jul 16, 19, 1:54 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
In the USA, most jurisdictions forbid nonservice dogs in public food service areas, although there can be exceptions for outdoor areas and particular types of establishments such as wine stores.

If management in non responsive, a (threat to) call the public health authorities or agency responsible for restaurant inspections might get their attention.
This is because it is, generally speaking, a violation of the local health code.

I would also have asked the manager what she meant by "it will be addressed."
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Old Jul 16, 19, 2:05 pm
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Originally Posted by rickg523 View Post
Flying is one thing.
Legitimately need a comfort companion to visit the lounge in a hotel?
I doubt it.
It was clearly not an issue like that. It was a girl (and her family) and their pet dog. The dog had no training (was sniffing/licking me while I was selecting food). However, if challenged, I suspect these people would have tried to claim she has an anxiety condition or other "disability" requiring her to have a dog with her at all times.

I didn't think it was a real issue either until I experienced it first hand last weekend (AND the hotel's apparent attempt to avoid confrontations over it)... but I know it has been happening at the Hyatt Grand Cypress as there was a thread about that earlier. If it's happening at these two resorts, then it's likely happening at all the resort properties.... and it's something that Hyatt must address.
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Old Jul 16, 19, 4:14 pm
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Originally Posted by lighthouse206 View Post
Hi All,

I'm posting this mostly because I know Hyatt Corporate pays attention to these boards. Last weekend I was at the H.R. Lost Pines (a wonderful place) and twice observed animals in the club lounge. These may have been "comfort" animals but were definitely NOT "service" animals. The difference is one type is highly trained and extremely obedient (service) such as seeing eye dogs, while the other type is really any dog with any or no training where you have a doctor's note (or not) saying it helps you in some way.

Anyway - this is an issue that must be addressed. I watched a 10-12 year old girl FEED the dog from the club lounge buffet. When I inquired with the lounge attendant what the policy was, she said she frankly didn't know and wasn't empowered to discuss it with a guest anyway, that only management or security could do so. I then brought the issue up with management who said it would be addressed.

I know we've had other reports of this happening at the H.R. Grand Cypress - but is it going on elsewhere? If so, we need to speak up... typically it's illegal for animals to be in food service areas but the whole "comfort" dog thing has made it a gray area that people are exploiting...
Itís first and foremost a complete failure of parental duties. Letís just start there! Dogs donít digest people food well either, which says nothing about how offensive this feels to people who donít care for pets. I am a huge dog lover but unless they can completely blend into the wallpaper like a service dog would, I donít see them belonging in a club lounge. Do write the GM but not the government unless the property canít provide satisfaction.
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Old Jul 17, 19, 12:57 am
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Originally Posted by lighthouse206 View Post
It was clearly not an issue like that. It was a girl (and her family) and their pet dog. The dog had no training (was sniffing/licking me while I was selecting food). However, if challenged, I suspect these people would have tried to claim she has an anxiety condition or other "disability" requiring her to have a dog with her at all times..

I love dogs. HOWEVER when your animal ( I do not care what adjective you give it) starts sniffing or licking me THERE WILL be a problem! For starters- Iím petrified of this animal- not really, but what about MY needs!
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Old Jul 17, 19, 6:42 am
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in the US this would be a serious violation of protocol. Only certified SERVICE dogs would be allowed in this case, and their owners would never knowlingly allow them to be fed by strangers/kids.

I would have quickly asked the owner to remove the dogs, followed by a gentle tug of leashes out the door ;-)
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Old Jul 17, 19, 8:02 am
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Originally Posted by Collierkr View Post
in the US this would be a serious violation of protocol. Only certified SERVICE dogs would be allowed in this case, and their owners would never knowlingly allow them to be fed by strangers/kids.

I would have quickly asked the owner to remove the dogs, followed by a gentle tug of leashes out the door ;-)

Actually I believe the legal issue is much more complicated as people are trying claim a disability which is alleviated by having their (untrained) dog in their presence at all times. Companies are fearful of saying no to them.

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Old Jul 17, 19, 9:11 am
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Originally Posted by lighthouse206 View Post



Actually I believe the legal issue is much more complicated as people are trying claim a disability which is alleviated by having their (untrained) dog in their presence at all times. Companies are fearful of saying no to them.

You highlight FEAR which has no legal relevance here. There is no ambiguity on the legal aspects when it comes to Service dogs. And just because someone brings a Service dog into a food establishment doesn't mean it is okay for that dog to run rampant, and put the food being eaten by others at risk.
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