Our Lives With Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury

I Need Your Help, Please (Updated)

Side Car Cafe, Memphis, TN

We had our first access issue on 19 October, 2012. My husband and I had gone out for a date to one of our favorite restaurants. We had been there before with Chauncey without issue. It started when my husband and I entered through the patio and a waitress stopped us and said ‘no pets’. I calmly told her that Chauncey was not a pet, he was a service dog and by federal law he is allowed to accompany me. She obviously didn’t believe me, but told us we could take a seat anywhere. Our waitress brought us menus and got our drink orders just before one of the managers came out to our table with the same line “I’m sorry, we don’t allow pets”. Once again, I explained that Chauncey is not a pet; he is a service dog and tried to explain that he was allowed by federal law. She smiled and walked away. As our server brought out our drinks, I noticed that the manager and a couple other staff members were staring at us through the door. A few minutes later, the owner came out.
Now, mind you, I chose a table in the corner, away from the other guests which I often do so we can eat in peace without the other guests fawning over Chauncey, as well as to keep the staff from having to navigate around him. I also chose this table because it was the only one where I could have my back to a wall (PTSD). So, here we are, sitting away from the other guests (inside was packed, another reason we chose to sit outside), and he comes out with the exact same argument. He starts trying to say that the Health Department doesn’t allow animals. I tried to tell him that by federal law, he is allowed. Every time I tried to speak, he cut me off. He was trying to make it obvious that he wanted us to leave without actually telling us to leave; however I was NOT about to leave, at this point I had lost my appetite but was going to eat out of pure spite. Every time I tried to tell him about the ADA laws, he kept going on and on about how he has to follow local laws. My husband tried to explain that federal trumps state and local but he didn’t want to hear any of it. He told me that since I didn’t have an obvious disability (“you’re obviously not blind”) and didn’t have any documentation to prove he was a service dog that Chauncey couldn’t be there. I told him that by federal law, he couldn’t require documentation. Then he asked me “well, what do you need him for anyway”. I tried to explain that he couldn’t ask me that question and that’s when he started getting even more rude.

I told him he is violating my rights and his response was “yea, and I’m a democrat, but that’s neither here nor there”. He was extremely condescending to everything I tried to say to him. He tried to make the argument about liability “if your dog bit someone”, continued with the health inspector malarkey, and just went out of his way to interrupt me every time I tried to speak. Finally, when it became obvious that he wasn’t going to be able to bully us to tuck tail and leave, he says “well, since its quiet out here, I’ll let it slide this time”.
As this is going on, my husband was pulling up the ADA access page from the ADA.gov website. He tried showing the owner but he said “I’ll look that stuff up on Monday, but I’m going to go by the local laws, not that stuff”.
I had the president of K9s for Warriors (where Chauncey and I graduated) call the owner and he was apparently just as condescending to her.
By the time we finished our dinner, I was still shaking and my husband was livid. By the way, the entire time this was going on…Chauncey was lying at my feet, he never moved and never did anything to draw attention to himself. By the time we left, there were several other customers sitting around us…none of them had a problem with Chauncey being there.
K9s for Warriors will be sending him a certified letter on Monday explaining the laws. We’re hoping this (and his own research, if he actually does it) will cause him to do the right thing…which at this point would be a sincere apology and retraining for his staff. If not, we are prepared to contact the ADA as well as the local news media.

**edited to add: Chauncey was wearing his service vest that evening. It is a Digital ACU (army uniform) print with two large patches that say “Service Dog” as well as other patches.

**PLEASE READ** I want to thank everyone for taking the time to share this blog and to voice your opinions and support. However, it has been brought to my attention that some people are leveling threats through the phone and email toward this business. It was NEVER my intent for any threats to be made against this man or his business. I am truly sorry that some people took this to an extreme. For those who have acted honorably, thank you. For those who haven’t, please stop immediately!

-UPDATE-

Mr. Robilio published an appology on his facebook page. I appreciate the appology. I will not, however, be leaving this issue. While it may no longer focus on what happened to me specifically…this is something that has been happening again and again, nationwide.  There is a lot of work to do to help make sure no other Service Dog Team, civillian or veteran, whether their disability is visible or invisible, has to endure what we have dealt with these past few days.

There have also been two news stories done locally. Basically, one telling his side of the incident on WMC-TV (I will warn you, there are factual inaccuracies), and WREG’s story that tries to tell both sides. I would like to thank both news agencies for covering this story and bringing this to light (though for obvious reasons, I’m a little more biased to one than the other).

At this point, I urge you to use this entire situation as an educational tool. Help others to learn from it so that other veterans (and the disabled in general) don’t have to go through what we endured. Leave Mr. Robilio alone…he doesn’t need our help anymore.

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53 responses

  1. To the management of the Side Car Cafe. I am a veteran of the United States Navy. I understand that you harassed a fellow veteran by making it extremely difficult for her to stay in your restaurant because she had a service dog with her. !. Under Federal Law, no business can under any circumstances deny anyone the use of their service dog.2. The business does not in and circumstance have the right to demand or request the reason for the need of the service dog. The lady in question would have been within her rights to call the police, local, state, and Federal, in response to your harassment. You will be hearing from more of us. Do not for a moment think that this is over.By the way, I am also a psychiatric Nurse, And am very familiar with the laws regarding service dogs.

    Sincerely,
    Paul R. Laubhan, R.N.

    October 21, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    • Thank you Paul!! Well said!

      October 22, 2012 at 5:47 pm

  2. I posted a stern but polite posting on this restaurant’s website. I am disgusted and ashamed of their outlook and response. I am just livid about their attitude. I hope they come to their senses and realize that they are in the wrong–not just morally and ethically, but legally. UGH…Side Car Cafe….YOU STINK!

    October 21, 2012 at 11:09 pm

  3. I’ve read enough to know that I will NOT be patronizing this restaurant EVER.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:11 pm

  4. Reblogged this on Focal Breeze.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:52 pm

  5. I posted them this on their facebook and expressed my thoughts of what they did to you and I believe I was polite as possible.

    Here is what I posted and I do hope that an apology is directed your way soon.

    Prayers sent your way and best wishes.

    Susan

    My Comment to SideCar Cafe

    “I really hope that you familiarize yourself with the actual ADA and understand it as well as educate yourself on the fact that not ALL disabilities are VISIBLE. In fact, I have a very close friend who wears prosthetic legs and was harassed when he parked in a handicapped spot, got out of his car while wearing a business suit, and an employee informed him how horrible he was for parking there. After she was shown that he did have the disability, she tried to apologize but he left and I don’t blame him. (Note: This chain of events was not done at your place of business, I am merely using it as a real life example)

    The point is this: Don’t make assumptions and right now there are a LOT of vets out there with PTSD and you can’t “see” it but it’s there and very real. The animal that they utilize in order to go into public venues and business helps them.

    I also understand there are two sides to every story, however, the law also states that there is no proof needed when a person has a service animal. “Businesses may ask if an animal is a service animal or ask what tasks the animal has been trained to perform, but cannot require special ID cards for the animal or ask about the person’s disability.”

    Owning a business is a huge responsibility as I am a Business Management Major and it is extremely imperative you know the actual law instead of what you “assume” the law to be. Remember what happens when we “assume” things, right?

    What you have done, you may thought was correct but it wasn’t.

    In any case, I hope you do the noble and right thing in this matter and apologize to the family. PTSD and other disabilities have rights for a reason, please don’t infringe upon those rights in the future.

    Thanks for your time and here is an excerpt as well as the link.

    “Service animals are animals that are individually trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities such as guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling wheelchairs, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, or performing other special tasks. Service animals are working animals, not pets.

    Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), businesses and organizations that serve the public must allow people with disabilities to bring their service animals into all areas of the facility where customers are normally allowed to go. This federal law applies to all businesses open to the public, including restaurants, hotels, taxis and shuttles, grocery and department stores, hospitals and medical offices, theaters, health clubs, parks, and zoos.”

    http://www.ada.gov/svcanimb.htm

    October 22, 2012 at 12:21 am

  6. I posted your story on my service dog site. I asked that people be respectful if they post. good luck! http://www.facebook.com/WeAreForeverWarriors

    October 22, 2012 at 3:28 am

  7. dwadaf

    I know that service dogs are not required to be identified by tags or vests, but that puts business owners in a bad spot. People can take in their pets claiming that they are service dogs. I’ve seen people do this and there’s no proof that the dogs are not what the owners are saying they are.

    While this dog was trained and well behaved, I’ve seen “service dogs” that weren’t and that opened up the business owner to lawsuits and fines. The ADA does require service dog owners to pay for all damages and allows business owners to remove the dogs and owners from their property for misbehavior.

    I think both parties could have handled this situation a lot better. If I had a service dog for my epilepsy, another hidden disability, I would have something to identify it as such. Tags, a vest, a certification card, something to show the business owner to take the pressure off them. The restaurant owner should have been more polite to his customers, especially since the dog was so well behaved, and I hope at the very least he offers a refund for the meal after all of this is worked out.

    For purposes of clarification, I am a military spouse as well as being a disabled American.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:36 am

    • Actually, Chauncey was wearing his vest. It is clearly marked SERVICE DOG on both sides. I also do have identification cards showing Chauncey and I has a service dog team, which (while they cannot be required as a condition for access) I have shown on other occassions when there was a polite request for them. However, when faced with a bully, I am not about to go beyond the measure of the law just to accomodate him.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:31 am

      • dwadaf

        If Chauncy was wearing his vest the owner was completely in the wrong. I apologize, I didn’t see that anywhere in the post. If it were me I would have whipped out the ID just to knock his argument out from under him and leave him in the position of continuing to be a butthead, or apologizing to me.

        October 22, 2012 at 11:35 am

      • I saw you guys walk in. I was sitting at the corner of the bar by the entrance. I did not stay long enough to see this but I am glad you are speaking out for all of us that are disabled! We have a Mastiff in training. God Bless You! OH and yes the dog was clearly labeled and very well behaved.

        October 22, 2012 at 5:39 pm

  8. Pingback: Restaurant Says ‘No Pets,’ Tries To Make Iraq Vet And Her Service Dog Leave – The Consumerist

  9. As someone who has a disability that is not easily seen, the actions of this restaurant, are outrageous. It is a shame that some people clearly do not understand the nature of the laws. I hope the owner realizes his error in judgment.

    -JM Kraemer, The Lego Church Project of Saginaw, Michigan.

    October 22, 2012 at 3:22 pm

  10. elizabethscortes

    I sent the following email through the contact link on sidecarcafememphis.com since I don’t have a facebook page. I wish I lived close by so I could speak to the owner directly.

    To the management and owner of the Sidecar Cafe,

    The behavior of your staff in regards to Melissa and her service dog was reprehensible and considering how easy it is to confirm the legality of her service animal and it’s presence within your business your ignorance is inexcusable. The only acceptable course of action for you at this point is a sincere apology. Both face to face for this veteran and her husband but also publicly, on your website and Facebook page.

    I will go out of my way to make your despicable behavior known until I see evidence of an apology. I am only one person and am aware that my impact is minimal but I think you will find that even one voice can reach farther than will be healthy for your business in todays world.

    Please note that I feel an apology is the minimum of an appropriate response. I feel much more will be required of you to stem the tide of negative reactions to this entirely preventable event.

    I expect a response indicating your receipt of this email, and hopefully, an expression of remorse.

    Regards,

    Elizabeth

    October 22, 2012 at 3:59 pm

  11. Hello,
    I saw you, your husband and your sweet dog come in. The dog was clearly marked. It was not that busy and I sat at the corner of the bar next to the entrance. I have Multiple Sclerosis and have a Mastiff in training to be my service dog and to help me when my legs muscles spasm and I fall down. (not from drinking) I will no longer support any place that would ask a woman and her service dog to leave! God Bless You!
    Mendy Knecht

    October 22, 2012 at 4:31 pm

  12. can’t not believe that owner treated a vet like you like that for you had a right under the ada to be there with Chauncey for he was serving his purpose . for that owner needs to not only brush up on the ada and that not all disabilities are phycical in nature but also needs to learn that federal law trumps state law no matter what. plus the owner needs to apoligize for treating a vet like that . now know if i am ever in that area to not eat at that place

    October 22, 2012 at 4:31 pm

  13. I just read about this on the Consumerist and I just wanted to say how very sorry I am that this happened to you and happens to others. That restaurant owner sounds like an unbelievably ignorant person who has NO IDEA how to even talk to people with disabilities. I’m glad you were able to get the word out about your experience, and I hope other restaurant owners and the like take notice. Thank you so much for your service to this country.

    October 22, 2012 at 5:15 pm

  14. firedog

    http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-side-car-cafe-memphis#query:sidecar%20cafe

    there’s the Yelp review site…seems like they aren’t doing very well even WITHOUT this. Manager must be cranky because he knows he’s going to lose his job soon.

    October 22, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    • He isn’t the manager…he’s the owner.

      October 22, 2012 at 6:19 pm

      • firedog

        ahh, then it’s easy…go back with the puppers and his vest and if the guy starts again, turn on the video recording feature on someone’s smartphone. Then let the guy fight an ADA lawsuit.

        Restaurants run on a pretty thin margin normally, but if this place is a “biker bar” like they yelp reviews seem to say…he should be doing alright since liquor is one of the places that a restaurant has KILLER margins.

        October 22, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    • YELP took down my posting…

      We’re writing to let you know that we’ve removed your review of The Side Car Cafe. Though we understand users may want to share their opinions about this recent matter, we hope you’ll understand that Yelp reviews are not the place for matters outside of your own consumer experience. Our Content Guidelines (http://www.yelp.com/guidelines) make this clear, and we think this is an important requirement for keeping Yelp a useful site for consumer reviews.

      Due to our guidelines, please note that we will not be accepting further postings from you for this listing.

      October 22, 2012 at 6:39 pm

  15. I posted this on the YELP Sidecarcafe site and YELP removed it saying:

    We’re writing to let you know that we’ve removed your review of The Side Car Cafe. Though we understand users may want to share their opinions about this recent matter, we hope you’ll understand that Yelp reviews are not the place for matters outside of your own consumer experience. Our Content Guidelines (http://www.yelp.com/guidelines) make this clear, and we think this is an important requirement for keeping Yelp a useful site for consumer reviews.

    Due to our guidelines, please note that we will not be accepting further postings from you for this listing.

    They are not my favorite site now either

    October 22, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    • firedog

      Odd, they “filtered” mine and left a different one about this up without any problem.

      October 22, 2012 at 6:47 pm

  16. I sent Sidecar a private message. I know you asked people to be nice but there are a LOT of people posting on their page super rude remarks. Although what they did to you made my blood boil, I also believe in not being an ass and ruining someone’s business to get a point across. I know this has made a LOT of people mad, including me. Just thought you should know. Maybe Sidecar is getting what they deserve…. they really should educate themselves, as we all should! I am a business owner as well and it’s good to know these things! I’m glad I LOVE animals and especially dogs!

    October 22, 2012 at 6:45 pm

  17. I talked to Jason Haag and I have talked to the manager of Sidecar. I am going to talk with the owner tomorrow. Let me know if Helping Heal Heroes can assist.

    October 22, 2012 at 6:55 pm

  18. http://www.dogheirs.com/tamara/posts/2117-veteran-with-disabilities-sues-store-after-he-and-his-service-dog-kicked-out-told-to-go-occupy-wall-street

    October 22, 2012 at 7:06 pm

  19. I worked at a restaraunt here in Memphis where a similar thing occured. I happened to be up with the hostess that day and watched it all unfold. There was a young boy in a wheelchair with his golden retriver coming in with this family. There was a very brief dispute between our owner and the family over letting the dog in and it came to blows. Our owner was decked by the child’s older (very large and muscular) brother before they were told to leave the store. I was forbidden to mention, by the owner himself, to anyone else that he had been struck. Which is why the family was ultimately kicked out. All said and done, he was sued, and LOST. This restaraunt now has a pretty brass plaque right out front welcoming all disabled with service animals. Plus, an large chunk out of his bank account to settle the matter.

    I say that all to say this: that case had issues other than federal law non compliance and it STILL didn’t stand a chance in court. I hope the owner at Side Car understands that not only was this offensive to people they are supposed to serving but it was flat out 100% wrong. Not just morally or personally wrong but wrong on an able-to-be-prosicuted level. If you so chose you could make life difficult for him with just one little phone call. And you wouldn’t be out of line one bit. If the man was decent he would call and do what he could to set things right. At the least if he was business savy, he should make an apology acknowledging his and his staffs error and show a date they have set for compliance training. While that wouldn’t make up for the stress you have had already due to this situation perhaps it would make a few less people prone to do it to you or anyone else again.

    I am just so sorry you had to put up with it in the first place.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:53 pm

  20. I don’t have PTSD, but I am disabled and I have a service dog named Zach. (He’s trained in medical alert-I have epilepsy and wheelchair and mobility- I also have Cerebral Palsy) A couple of months ago I had a similar situation happen to me. Same issues, what if my dog bit someone, or someone has an allergy attack, ect. I explained that my dog is trained and wouldn’t act inappropriately, and if someone has an allergy, my dog trumps their allergy, as my epilepsy is far more lethal than their allergy. The owner then brought up the health dept, not allowing pets I pulled out my law card and asked him to read it, he told me that I could get these “anywhere off the internet, and that for me to eat in his establishment I would have to have present proper ID for Zach.” I explained the laws as they were written that ID and/or certification isn’t required, and that by law I don’t have to show him any. He kicked me and my husband out, and locked the front door of his business not allowing us to come back in. We left and drove out of the town of Marblemount and into the next town of Concrete, where I quickly filed a police report. The Skagit County Prosecutor is now pursuing the case, and we go to trial in December. Any business that does this, needs to be held for libel. I would suggest that you contact the DOJ and your local law enforcement if this happens again, and sue! Trust me, they quickly give a damn when you hit them in their pocketbooks!

    October 22, 2012 at 8:55 pm

  21. I am the General Manager for a local chain. It has always been my understanding that as long as a service dog enters with his vest, we are protected from health department rules. As a dog lover, my biggest problem is not petting and loving all over them. I know that is not allowed. But, clearly marked service animals are allowed anywhere, anytime, and the staff and owner should have known that. I apologize for your incident, even if it wasn’t in one of mine. It makes the industry look bad as this is not the first incident I have read about in the past few weeks. Please, do what you must to help educate people about service animals.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:17 pm

  22. I’ve just read your story and being the mother of an Autistic child I’m absolutely disgusted in the way that you were treated. being from the UK I don’t think that my complaint would stand however I’m so pleased that other people have showed the disgust and stood up for the discrimination that you received. I have to say that when I’m put into a situation where my son is facing discrimination I like yourself won’t back down either and I take the matter further than the owner (My son screams lots as he’s non verbal). I’m so sorry you had to face this situation and I hope that you’ve not got to face anything like it again in the future! Take care.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:57 pm

  23. George Brown

    Here is a link to the story from WREG: http://wreg.com/2012/10/23/woman-says-restaurant-owner-harassed-her-over-service-dog/

    October 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm

  24. I have an invisible disability and it does not matter which one. This story is disgusting. Period. The fact that it happened to a veteran makes it worse to me. I am a mental health professional, and while I do not work with veterans I have seen PTSD. It is debilitating and real.

    But, no matter what the restaurant owner’s argument for the owner’s behavior, being rude to a veteran who served our country to help keep our freedom here and all over the world is a travesty. I would not want to ever visit a restaurant whose owner was this rude and nasty to any consumer…but especially a veteran.

    And on a side note, my late father’s nickname growing up was Chauncey, so I had a big smile on a face as your described your loyal and well-trained friend. Hang tough and thank you for your service, Melissa.

    -kim

    October 23, 2012 at 12:27 pm

  25. I would like to first say that I am very sorry that this happened to you….ignorance is no excuse for the law. The Sidecar cafe, did respond… not sure if you saw that or not….but I pasted it below

    To Melissa and her husband
    In regards to the incident on Friday evening October 19th I take full responsibility for my ignorance of the law in regards to your service animal and I do apologize for that 100% and I hope you will accept my apology. As far as my staff being accused of mistreating or being disrespectful to you all. I was not aware and would surely hope that was not the case.
    For all who have commented on this I apologize. I would like assure you all that at no time would myself or my staff intentionally disrespect anyone be it a veteran or any other human being.

    Sincerely
    Michael G. Robilio

    October 23, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    • I have seen it, I have it linked in the update. Thank you.

      October 23, 2012 at 12:54 pm

  26. Pingback: Woman Says Restaurant Owner Harassed Her Over Service Dog | Local Memphis News

  27. I suffer from PTSD and most people never know or notice. This is a big prolem because in the public space I tend to panic alot. Which causes me to act unusal, causing problems between me and whoever feels uncomortable in my presence. I feel sorry for those that suffer from this illness. Thank you for standing up!

    October 23, 2012 at 4:49 pm

  28. Why not try and make this guy and ally instead of a enemy. I can imagine he thought he was protecting “HIS” business. He may need to work on his delivery, but I see this as a chance to make a positive impact for those with your disability, and those who are ignorant of it’s impact. Take the high road, try and forgive, go back and give him a second chance.

    October 23, 2012 at 6:01 pm

  29. For years other people with disabilities have known that despite the FED law many are not aware of the ADA and are also inclined to worry about being fined by the Health Dept or losing other customers and liabilities.
    It is Important to note that there have been changes to the ADA and other pets (and even dogs ) that are not trained/certified might not qualify anymore. It’s confusing for everyone. I’m not sure what being a dem or gop has to do with understanding law better or not. Carrying a copy of this in your wallet may prevent more than an initial question. http://www.ada.gov/qasrvc.htm

    Please also note due to the huge amount of abuses of the ADA, the scope of what is allowed has been recently severely restricted. An emotional support animal that provides no specific trained service may be excluded, except in housing where more lenient FHEO rules would apply. http://www.workinglikedogs.com/2011/03/u-s-department-of-justice-rules-on-assistance-dogs-to-become-stricter-march-15-2011/ .

    October 24, 2012 at 2:03 pm

  30. Ok, enough of the bullshit. As the owner of a service dog the proof of registry lies with you. You have to provide that to the establishment, the establishment does not bear that burdon. Also, as a service dog owner. you should have attended many classes which inform you of this. You should have had the vest on the dog which holds the registry paperwork. If I were the owner, I would sue you for deformation and non compliance with the regulations governing service dog ownership. Next time, have the required vest and documentation. Stop being a little whiny baby.

    October 25, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    • Ok, I’m not sure which copy of the Americans with Disablities Act you’ve read, but the one I (and many others) have read says nothing about “proof of registry”. In fact, there is NO centralized registration in the US, nor can any “proof” be required for admittance to a public access area. Chauncey was wearing his vest, which plainly says SERVICE DOG and has the patch from K9s for Warriors. I have ‘documentation’ and have shown it in the past when POLITELY asked for it at other locations. But by FEDERAL LAW, I am not obligated to show it gain access to public places (and restaurants ARE public access places). Perhaps you should read and study the law for yourself before bashing another service dog team.

      October 25, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    • Seriously though, I am thoroughly confused as to where you got your information.

      October 25, 2012 at 12:23 pm

  31. To add, in the first sentence of your ranting post against the resteraunt you stated you finally “had your first encounter”, this would imply that you have been instigating for this chance encounter for a while. Are you in that much need of attention? Even if the dog wasn’t marked or you had the required paperwork (which is required), any normal person would have done the establishment the courtesy of at least asking first. I have no doubt you were simply waiting and hoping for a fight. Mr Rubillio could have denied you service for any reason at all. I would have called the police on you. I hope you do the right thing and have the dog marked and with the right paperwork next time. The burdon of proof lies with the owner. Not anyone else’s responsibility and you know this.

    October 25, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    • LOL, you’re comical. You’re reading more into what I wrote to suit your own purposes. I instigated nothing. For that matter, when we are out in public, Chauncey is ALWAYS in his vest (unless we are somewhere that dogs are otherwise welcome…like a park and he’s leashed, etc).
      Again, try taking some time to stop bashing me and twisting my words to suit your own purposes and actually research the law. See what it says for yourself, and then move along.

      October 25, 2012 at 12:36 pm

  32. http://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm
    Try reading it!

    October 25, 2012 at 12:45 pm

  33. I stand corrected, even though the classes teach the owners to identify the animal and carry the paperwork, it is unfortunate that there are no laws to enforce this. However, as the owner of one, you should have the common sense enough and have been trained on how to properly smhandle your animal to eleviate this circumstance. In choosing not too, you are just asking for trouble. I think that is what you were after all along. You wanted to be the center of attention. I think you need to find another sctick and leave hard working business owners alone. They have a hard enough time without your self pretentious bullshit to deal with.

    October 25, 2012 at 12:49 pm

  34. Actually, there have been several other times where I have encountered business owners/employees that did not know the law. I calmly informed them of the law, and even where they can find the information to educate themselves and confirm what I had told them. EVERY SINGLE TIME it was worked out calmly, quietly and plesantly for everyone involved.
    Sounds to me like you are the one who wants to be the center of attention with your own “self pretentious bullshit”. Have a nice day! Buh-Bye!

    October 25, 2012 at 12:52 pm

  35. Ok, since you are aware of the fact that many don’t know…why would you NOT mark your animal, bother to carry the paperwork, or even have the decency to give courtesy to the establishment owner? Then run your mouth like it was something criminal. The owner can refuse service to you at anytime for anything. So do yourself a favor. Mark the dog, carry the paperwork, and be a decent courtious person and you will help avoid this hassle in the future.

    October 25, 2012 at 1:00 pm

  36. OMG! You really need to learn to read something for what the writer is saying not what you WANT to twist out of it! Chauncey was wearing his vest. I do NOT have to show documentation. Should people in wheelchairs have to “give courtesy to the establishment owner”? It is NO different. No business owner would EVER dream to tell someone in a wheelchair to provide documentation. Just because a business has a sign that says “we reserve the right to refuse service….” (blah blah blah) does not make it true. You cannot refuse service based on discrimination. End of story…..and end of this conversation.

    October 25, 2012 at 1:04 pm

  37. I know what you went through. My father has a seeing eye dog and we have had multiple times where they have asked us to leave because the dog is not allowed and we told them about the law. They check with the manager or owner, and they said sorry and we stayed. People dont know about the dogs and some people take advantage of that and bring in personal pets. But like Melissa said, Chauncey had the vest on so he was working, end of story. I am very ashamed of that owner, staff, and those who are bashing this story. I just wanted to say your dog is wonderful and thank you very much for your service.

    October 25, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    • Not bashing anyone but Bullshit is bullshit. This person just looking to pick a fight. If she truly needed a service animal for mental reasons, she wouldn’t feel the need to go mental.

      October 25, 2012 at 2:18 pm

      • Hey, James…from in or near Doylestown, PA… just go away and troll someone else.

        October 25, 2012 at 2:27 pm

  38. James, this is Missi’s husband posting this one. Let me help you understand a few things. The restuarant we went to that night is one that we had been at with her service dog on at least 2 other occassions with no issues. Chauncey always wears his vest when we are out in public. As I had posted on their website I too accepted the apology he gave to my wife and moved on. What you do not realize is that my wife was very taken back, upset, and I even attempted to show the owner on 2 occasions the ADA website (www.ada.gov) with the information about service animals. His conduct was unwarrented and unaccepted. Since then the owner has publically apologized and we have accepted his apology. We have been to other places such as Red Lobster and Ruby Tuesday’s and have had no issues. As for some of your other comments that have been blocked, let me break this down for you. One, my wife is an Iraqi War veteran from OIF1. Secondly, her PTSD is very real and she deals with it as best she can. I myself am a multiple tour (5 years in total – Desert Shield/Storm, OEF 1, OIF1, OIF 07-09, OIF 10/OND) 24 year in service combat veteran and do not cheat on my wife so I would appreciate it if you educate yourself more about the ADA laws and don’t assume things that you know nothing about. I for one hope you never have to deal with the trauma she had experienced or the things I have seen in combat. We like the othe 1% of the U.S. population gladly SERVED our nation and did not do it for the money. It takes a special type of person to volunteer to do this and they come from all walks of life (men, women, all races, religions, political affiliations, etc). I can only hope that one day you may understand this, but if you don’t so be it – we who have served have defended your right for you to have your opinion and respectfully disagree. I hope you have a wonderful life. – Master Sergeant (Retired) Tom Maher

    October 25, 2012 at 7:28 pm

  39. Ok, I understand that they might not legally be allowed to ask for documentation but what happens when people start taking dogs into restaurants or other public places? I’m sure it has something to do with the vest that signifies that it is a service dog but can’t anyone just get a vest? I’m sure they aren’t that hard to produce.

    Honestly, the problem in this situation is the govenment. If they want to allow service dogs and regulate by the ADA they need to have some sort of verification process. If its a service dog then just a card with number…..not listing any kind of disability but just something to justify it to the owner.

    I definitely would say he was not right in asking what your disability. Please do understand how complicated our government has made laws….they really are hard to follow or even know about. He just probably didn’t know and was afraid of getting in trouble with the health dept.

    October 29, 2012 at 3:26 pm

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