While there are many Americans with legitimate needs for service animals, and who are legally allowed to take those animals into restaurants and stores where they would normally be banned, there are some people who exploit the service animal label without any bona fide medical or therapeutic need. Now some Florida legislators are looking to penalize these fakers with fines and possible jail time. [More]
Perhaps the only thing worse than being terrified by a mall Santa Claus is not getting to hang out with the guy when your heart is set on it. The family of a 7-year-old autistic girl in California says the youngster was “heartbroken” when she didn’t get to see Santa after a 30-minute wait, because he didn’t like the look of her service dog. [More]
We’re guessing that no one at Best Western is checking the hotel chain’s Facebook page today, as it’s full up with people angry that the company not only denied a room to a family with a service animal, but then waited a week to try to make good on its mistake. [More]
How many times do we have to go over this? When someone enters a business with a dog and says, “This is my service dog,” the correct answer is not “You aren’t blind!” Yet a Texas Marine veteran says that he was asked to leave a restaurant because he brought his service dog in training into the establishment. [More]
People and dogs have been cooperating for thousands of years now. It’s our thing. In the modern world, it’s generally not okay to take your dog shopping, on a plane, or to Starbucks unless it’s a service dog trained to perform some kind of function other than being a fun pet. Not everyone knows this, which leads to some unfortunate situations…like the experience that a man had at a Houston Starbucks when he and his service dog were questioned at the door. [More]
No matter now much you wish you could bring your pet everywhere, it’s not cool to pass your dog off as a service animal in order to do so. The problem is that impersonating a service dog is very easy to do, thanks to the privacy rules that are part of the Americans with Disabilities Act. [More]
The owner of a Massachusetts restaurant thought that he knew what service dogs look like, and the terrier in his dining room didn’t fit the profile. “It just looked like a regular mutt,” he told a reporter. Not like the guide dogs for the blind or alert dogs for the deaf that most people picture when they hear the words “service dog.” He threw the dog and his owner out of the restaurant, prompting boycotts and howls of protest. [More]
Earlier today, we told you about a Whataburger restaurant in Florida that called the police to force a customer to leave because of complaints about her service dog. Now, a rep for the fast food chain gives the company’s side of the story. [More]
Many people in Pennsylvania and New Jersey speak highly of the Wawa chain of convenience stores. Which is why it was a bit of surprise to folks in the area when a man was kicked out of a store earlier this summer because he brought his service dog into the building. Now the chain has not only agreed to fork over a bit of cash to the customer, but to also make sure its employees don’t repeat the mistake. [More]
The founder of a group that places service dogs with disabled vets says he went through a 48-hour ordeal at Dulles airport outside Washington, D.C., this week and that not only did United Airlines employees kick his service dog twice, but one staffer actually insulted him in public. [More]
Police were summoned to a Boston-area restaurant over the weekend after a group of 13 diners, including six with service dogs, were turned away by the manager for fear that so many canines could cause chaos. [More]
Legally, service animals are allowed in any place that their humans are: stores, restaurants, buses, and, yes, taxis. Yet a Colorado taxi driver has been suspended from work and fined by the state after refusing to let a blind woman bring her dog inside his taxi, claiming allergies. He demanded that the dog ride in the trunk. The woman, late for an appointment, acquiesced… then complained, taking her story to the media to publicize service animals’ rights. [More]
Ooo, you nasty! With your service animal! Get out of here! That’s the new informal slogan of Isis Bridal & Formal in Dallas after news broke that they kicked out a 62-year-old grandmother with multiple sclerosis, because they were worried her service dog would get service dog cooties all over the dresses.
Dillard’s ejected disabled Army Staff Sergeant J. Alex Gozalez and his service dog Mason for violating the store’s no animals policy. The store manager did not believe that Gonzalez is disabled because he is neither blind nor deaf. Gonzalez uses Mason—who wore a vest reading: “SERVICE DOG – DO NOT PET”—to help keep his balance.