Dogs stay warm in Minnesota mall

A Minnesota mall has become a warm winter respite for dogs and their humans alike.

Starting in January, the Rosedale Center in Roseville, a suburb of the Twin Cities, began letting dog owners walk their pets for two hours on Sunday mornings before stores opened for business, and the idea has been a howling success, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

“We thought we’d see 20 dogs on the first Sunday and there were hundreds,” Lindsay Wlaschin, assistant marketing manager at the mall, told the Star Tribune. “It’s snowballed into something greater and greater each week.”

It appears that the Rosedale Center is the first mall in the country to accommodate dogs, and it’s been a huge hit with local residents.

“(It has) become a community gathering where people are meeting with their friends and neighbors as a Sunday ritual,” senior marketing manager Liz Ostrander told the Star Tribune.

The new pet policy has been good for the mall’s businesses, too. According Wlaschin, the Rosedale Center has seen a 10 percent increase in traffic on Sundays.

The mall plans to keep the Sunday dog-walking sessions going year-round, and dog owners plan to keep coming.

“This is a good place to bring them year-round because when you have animals that are so low to the ground like corgis, they don’t get dirty in the mall,” Megan Eliason, owner of corgis Wigglebutt and Bubblebutt, told the Star Tribune. “The dogs like the socialization and for me it’s almost like going to a dog show because you see so many breeds.”