Service dog and owner denied service at 2 local restaurants

by Sue on June 23, 2016

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LAMPASAS, Texas (KWTX) Service animals are used by a variety of people, including those with disabilities. Stacy Dickey is one of those people. She is a combat veteran who suffers from PTSD and a traumatic brain injury.

In May, Stacy Dickey was denied service at a Lampasas restaurant. She says the owner told her he was concerned that allowing her service dog inside would violate health code.

The same thing happened again Saturday at a different restaurant in the city.

“The hostess, before I got into the door asked me for certification for my service dog, and I informed her, same situation, that that is not a legal question, and there is no certification that is governed or legitimate,” Dickey said.

According to Texas law and the Americans with Disabilities Act, a person who is blind or has other disabilities has the right to bring a trained service animal to all public places.

If someone’s disability is not visible, like Dickey’s, employees can only ask the person whether the service animal is required, and what kind of task the animal is trained to perform.

After this weekend’s incident, Lampasas police are handing out informational sheets about service dogs to restaurant owners in the area, “So that they’ll know, that they’ll know that the dogs are allowed to be able to come into the restaurants,” Lampasas Assistant Police Chief Sammy Bailey said.

Bailey said most restaurant owners she has spoken with also thought they were not allowed to have animals inside because they are preparing food.

“I’m don’t want to hurt anyone’s business, I don’t want to cause anybody strife, but the lesson does need to be learned here, because this is a federal civil right,” Dickey said.

The owner of the first did not return a call Monday and the owner of the second was out of town.

In a phone interview he said his restaurant will “never have this problem again,” and the he has apologized for the situation to Dickey.

He says he wasn’t versed on the state law.

Dickey said she plans to file a misdemeanor complaint against the restaurant owner.

 

NOTE FROM SUSSIE: The reason I posted this here is that I think that it is wonderful that that the local authorities got involved in educating the local store owners. An individual can do their best to try and convince a store owner of the rules and regulations. But nothing drives it home more than when the Police come knocking on their door.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Wendy Clouser 06.27.16 at 6:35 am

I carry ehs service dog laws with me for my state..then I tell the I’m calling police for them to be cited.one time it was cited by police n then I turned ada attorney n then they had comply all ada violations.but usually education by police works.but carry federal law n your state ehs law on service animals .I have codes in my phone notes.

2 Betty 06.27.16 at 7:55 am

I had an incident like this at Toy-R-Us in Flint, Michigan a few years ago. I walked in with my service dog and the manager came up to me and ask me to leave because dogs are not allowed in the store. I explained that she is my service dog and he he was wrong and he very rudely told me he would check on that, which he did and came back and said ” He was wrong” Since that time I have business card size cards with the law on it. Although I haven’t had to use it yet and that was 3 years ago. I guess Michigan and Florida are up on the laws a little better now.

3 Junk Bin 06.27.16 at 8:25 am

I have TBI and PTSD along with mobility issues. I have had run ins with the Post Office, grocery stores, , restaurants, etc. If they insist I leave with my service dog, they get a lawsuit form the US Attorney, if they change their mind they get an ADA instruction card.
I have had the police demand I leqave and than the Police Chief, Mayor, and City Council ended up with a visit form the US Attorneys office and a lawyer.
Unless you stand up for your self and your civil rights , someone will try and take them away. Freedom of Religion and the 2nd are but two that are violated without fear by the left

4 Judy Neese 06.27.16 at 11:27 am

This is why I carry service dog informational cards with me. They inform the business what they can and can’t do and ask. It has the ADA guidelines on the reverse side as well as a phone number they can call. I do a lot of education to businesses including restaurants because many just do not know. I recommend getting a card to carry and I had them to the business to keep. I got mine from SitStay.com

5 Sue Compton 06.27.16 at 11:53 am

As a hearing impaired individual, I strongly support the allowance of service dogs whenever and wherever their assistance is needed. Ignorance is never an excuse, for business owners or anyone! However, it is vital that service dog use is kept legitimate- It only takes one selfish person’s misuse of the law to ruin things,for all of us. And sadly there are those who do abuse his law.

6 Susie S 07.07.16 at 7:50 pm

I live in Wisconsin, have used Button now for six years now. We have had a few problems. I use button for diabetes, and still get some questions.

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