Plans to ban dogs from a village cofee shop have got local residents hot under the collar.
Customers at Costa Coffee in Storrington are up in arms after learning of proposals to introduce the ban.
Many say they enjoy going into the cafe with their pets for a drink after taking their animals for a walk around the village.
A protest petition about the proposed ban was put up in the coffee shop when rumours spread via social media about the restriction.
The store itself was first opened in Old Mill Square in 2015 and has proved a popular meeting place for local residents.
One woman described the proposed ban as ‘a shame’ because, she said, sometimes a coffee after a dog walk was the only time that some pet owners had a chance to socialise with other people.
Another customer posted a query on Costa Coffee’s Facebook page asking the company to confirm that they allowed well-behaved dogs in their stores and pointed out that a ban on dogs would lead owners and dog lovers to boycott the Storrington coffee shop.
But a spokesperson for Costa posted a reply stating: “I can confirm that our policy states that only assistance dogs are allowed in store. Although I am a big fan of dogs and would love to welcome them into our store, this is not the case for everyone unfortunately. Therefore we have to be mindful of all our customers.”
And a Costa spokesman told the County Times: “Costa’s policy is for no dogs, other than guide dogs, to be allowed in stores.
“This policy is nationwide, however, we appreciate there is some inconsistency across a number of our stores around implementing it.
“We are aware that our franchise partner, who runs the store in Storrington, is currently in the process of reviewing their approach of allowing dogs in store following customer feedback.”