Fears lead to dog ban at shop

Nicola Lee of Warburtons Chemist in Fleetwood have issued a blanket ban on all dogs except guide dogs coming into the chemist following complaints.
Nicola Lee of Warburtons Chemist in Fleetwood have issued a blanket ban on all dogs except guide dogs coming into the chemist following complaints.

COMPLAINTS that dogs have been intimidating customers have led a high street chemist to issue a blanket ban.

Warbuton’s Chemist, in Fleetwood, has allowed their regular customers to bring dogs into the Lord Street store for years.

But recently complaints have been received that some dogs, in particular those owned by recovering addicts picking up methadone, are misbehaving.

And now the pharmacy has issued a blanket ban on all dog owners, including pensioners, bringing their pets into the shop.

Manager Karen Youles said it was a shame elderly customers would be affected, but a complete ban was the only way to appease the situation.

She said: “We have been aware of this issue for a long time but I think there was an incident recently where two dogs were fighting in the shop.

“It is intimidating for customers, there is a difference between a small Chiwawa in a basket and a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

“The problem dogs are usually owned by our methadone users, we get up to 60 in a day and about a dozen of them bring in dogs.

“It is the minority, I must say, but to remedy the situation we have had to say no dogs allowed except guide dogs.”

At a recent police and communities together meeting in the Pharos ward residents also complained about methadone users taking alcohol into the store and groups gathering outside.

Town councillor Bernice Harrison said she had seen more and more customers taking dogs and alcohol into Warbutons.

She said: “It seems to have got worse over the last few months.

“It is very intimidating if you have a lot of people gathering at one time, especially if they have big dogs, but unfortunately it is not a police issue.

PCSO Jeanette Ashurst said: “It is very difficult to stop individuals gathering.

“I have spoken to staff at Warbuton’s and hopefully we can rectify this situation.”