Ann Taylor Says Woman's Service Dog Was Without Harness, Except That Isn't True

UPDATE: Ann Taylor has finally admitted it was “misinformed” about the dog being off its harness.


Yesterday we brought you the story of Becky, who is blind and relies on the services of her guide dog, Cricket, to get around. She had an unfortunate experience with an Ann Taylor employee who told her the dog wasn’t allowed in the store. Ann Taylor has been replying to feedback on the story, saying really it was because the dog didn’t have a harness. Even if that mattered, it isn’t true, says Becky’s daughter.

The reply reads:

The situation you are referring to was a misunderstanding that occurred when a customer entered the store with an unharnessed guide dog. In accordance with the mall regulations, dogs should be leashed or inside a carrier at all times. When the customer entered the store with an unharnessed dog, the associate did not realize it was a guide dog, but upon realizing her error, she apologized and told the customer the guide dog could stay in the store.

Funny thing, that whole “no harness thing,” says Becky’s daughter Natalie, who contacted us about her mom’s story in the first place.

Ann Taylor released a statement that is so wrong (said they didn’t see the harness… Though per the ADA that doesn’t matter with service animals … And of course she was using the harness, she’s blind, that’s what it is there for).

I’m so disappointed because I love their clothes! I hate losing respect for a company I love.

Exactly — if a dog wasn’t harnessed, how would the blind person being led by the dog find his or her way around? By listening to the dog’s paws hitting the ground?

And how about the part where the employee apologized and told Becky the dog could stay in the store? Not so, says Natalie.

No. They actually followed her out of the store and said something like “we love dogs, we just can’t have them in our store.”

That was their attempt to make my mom feel better. On Friday, they called my mom back and said the employee was no longer working at that location. Now it sounds like they have a statement and they are sticking to it. I don’t want a lawsuit. Just some sort of education and ownership.

Come on, Ann Taylor.