Fox Valley Mall Please Become Dog Friendly

Fox Valley Mall Please Become Dog Friendly

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Rena Church started this petition to Fox Valley Mall


Fox Valley Mall, Aurora, IL, Please Become Pet Friendly Like Yorktown Center Mall in Lombard.

Walking is one of the world’s most popular forms of exercise and its benefits to health are well known. I am inveterate walker, and so is Rula, my chihuahua/rat terrier mix.  We usually walk 5-8 miles a day, not only because it’s great exercise, but because we like to get out amongst ‘em and enjoy the world.  In our neighborhood the number of people walking dogs and frequenting dog parks continues to grow, and it seems like most everyone these days is wearing a fitness tracker. But going out and about can get rough from January through March, when the Chicago area weather turns brutal. During those months I always lament the fact that there is no dog friendly indoor walking track near my Fox Valley home.

So, I was excited to read that the Yorktown Center Mall in Lombard, IL had recently implemented a dog friendly policy.


Although Yorktown is 21 miles from my house I figured that if they had decided to welcome pups, it would only be a matter of time before other malls followed suit.  With this in mind I called the Fox Valley Mall in Aurora, which is only about 5 miles from my house, and asked them if they were planning to adopt a similar dog friendly policy. NOPE, I was told, it had been discussed and it was not going to happen. Ever.

I was a little surprised. In the last few years Fox Valley has lost many national chain stores, as well as some major anchors such as Carson’s and Sears. I had read that the mall was under new ownership and that the managers were looking for ways to attract customers.

 As everybody knows, online shopping has revolutionized the retail industry. Brick and mortar stores must employ innovative methods to attract shoppers or those shoppers will simply vanish into the cyber vortex. But mall operators across the country are rising to the challenge.  They are responding by reorganizing these tired old mega centers into appealing places where people want to be. Some malls feature entertainment, outdoor gardens, gyms, grocery stores, apartment complexes, and in the case of Yorktown Mall, enlightened, dog friendly policies. Instead of becoming sprawling, half empty boxes surrounded by acres of crumbling parking lots, or worse, getting bulldozed and dumped into landfills, these malls are being developed into walkable community centers.

I rarely visit the Fox Valley Mall anymore. I’ve spent too much time looking for items that the stores don’t have, only to be told: “You can probably find it online.”  I’m not averse to buying things from mall stores, but why spend precious time driving, parking and schlepping when you can buy with one click? Unless of course, that time at the mall could also be used to do something enjoyable. Like a daily dog walk.  Like meeting up with other dog walking friends. Like having coffee, enjoying a concert, and since we’re here: how about some shopping?

This coming year I was hoping to become reacquainted with the Fox Valley Mall. But unless the new management decides to upgrade their dog policy, it looks like I and many other dog walking shoppers will be visiting Yorktown Center instead.

Yorktown Center Dog-Friendly Policy

Yorktown Center is dog-friendly year-round and welcomes all well-behaved dogs, regardless of breed, into the Center.

·        Dogs must be leashed and/or in a carrier at all times.

·        Leashes must be no longer than 6 feet (including retractable leashes).

·        Dogs must be under their owner’s supervision and control at all times.

·        Dogs must be in compliance with applicable laws, including laws regulating licensing and vaccinations.

·        Dogs are not allowed to approach other guests or dogs unless invited.

·        Dogs are not permitted in The Eatery, the children’s PLAY area, and Wendella Park. Pet policies vary by store or restaurant. Dog-friendly retailers can be identified by a pawprint-shaped graphic in the storefront window.




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