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Sign Language: 10 Businesses That Have Fun With Signs, Even When Serious

These stores state their policies with signs, softening the direction with humor or a ‘please.’

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ASK BEFORE TOUCHING animals. Empty dogs outside in the designated area. Keep an eye on kids. Common sense, right? Not so much with some customers. These stores state their policies with signs, softening the direction with humor or a “please.”

Pupology
GEORGETOWN, TX

Customers see this direction at the entrance to Janet Cesarini’s store.

“We chose this sign to bring a smile to our customers’ faces and to kindly remind them that we’re all here together, so let’s use good manners and all get along, like well-behaved dogs do at the play park.

“We also want to encourage them to bring their pets in to shop! We’ve welcomed cats as well as dogs, but the funniest pet we have welcomed was a pot-bellied pig.”

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Dog Krazy
5 STORES IN VIRGINIA

To remind customers of the strength of their dog’s teeth, Nancy Guinn created a “wanted” poster featuring her Bulldog, Porkie. His crime: destroying toys. “It does make people laugh, and it does help us sell a lot of natural chews.”

Your Dog’s Best Friends
ALEXANDRIA, VA

To keep dogs from doing their business in this playcare and boarding facility’s beautiful garden, Paul Haire and manager Annabel Givens created this special spot, complete with polite signage. She says, “It works!”

Bath & Biscuits
GRANVILLE, OH

Give a kid a spray nozzle … Danielle Wilson attempts to keep her self-wash station under control with this humorous threat.

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Loyl’s Natural Pet Grocery & Groomery
HOUSTON, TX

Anyone with a business in a busy shopping center can relate to Cynthia McKinney’s parking woes, which persist even with reserved spots. Customers of the paint shop next door are the biggest offenders. She threatens them, tongue in cheek, with this sign.

Birds Unlimited
WEBSTER, NY

In the area of this store where large birds live, Paul Lewis posted this sign that reads “These birds may bite. Offer flesh at your own risk.” It wasn’t 100 percent effective, he admits. “People who should have known better still tried to pet the birds and got bit. So now a yellow plastic chain also hangs in front of the cages to keep people back.”

Cats N Dogs
PORT CHARLOTTE, FL

Nancy Okun modified a premade sign with a label that says “sniff” instead of “search.” “The sign is really meant to get a laugh, but in case we ever felt the need to check a bag, it covers us.”

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Powder Hounds Pet Supply
BIGFORK, MT

A simple request, simply put. And effective, Julie Johannes says. “It does make all the difference! I could do without the snarky customer comments, though, like ‘My dog can’t read’ and ‘Do I have to pee before I enter too?’”

Captivating Canines
WESTERVILLE, OH

Ron Keller inherited this sign when he bought the business and decided to keep it up. “The previous owners did not like kids and had a bad reputation among the adults. I’m still working to change that, but I will say, there have been many more damages caused by kids than by dogs!”

Animal Connection
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA

True story: This sign exists because a hiker actually came into this store to bathe both himself and his dog after a muddy hike.

Pamela Mitchell is the Editor-in-Chief of PETS+. She works from her home office in Houston, TX, with Ty the Boston Terrier as her assistant.

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