NORFOLK -- You may have seen someone bring their pet into a local grocery store recently.

Although several stores say it's against their policy, a federal loophole may make it okay.

Viewers told us on Facebook about seeing pets regularly inside their favorite grocery store -- not service dogs, but normal, everyday pets.

Farm Fresh, Harris Teeter, and Food Lion tell 13News Now their policies follow federal guidelines that specify pets are not allowed, but a guard or guide animal is allowed in some areas.

Harris Teeter even requires a security officer escort with a customer.

The disconnect could lie in the wording of the rules.

The Americans With Disabilities Act defines a service animal as '...any animal trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability, regardless of whether they have been licensed or certified by a state or local government.'

A dog doesn't need a special vest, and the owner doesn't even need paperwork to call their pet a service animal.

'You have to take them with you a lot,' said dog owner Colin Sullivan. 'Maybe that's the idea, that we aren't going to discriminate against dogs.'

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