Veteran, service dog turned away from restaurant; Manager fired

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ALGONQUIN, Ill. -- Memorial Day is a time to remember our nation’s veterans, those who have gone to war to help keep the country free.

But Sunday, a north suburban vet had an experience that shows not everyone remembers. And what happened to him at an Algonquin restaurant should serves a reminder to us all.

Garrett Loughran of Huntley has served four tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. And like a lot of veterans, Garrett uses a service dog to help with his PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder.

Hershey, a 5-year-old labradoodle, helps keep him calm in crowds and adjust to civilian life. He’s no ordinary canine. In fact, he’s specially trained for this. By law, he’s allowed to go where Garrett does— no questions asked.

But yesterday, Garrett’s mom wanted to take him to a pre-Memorial Day lunch at the Houlihan’s in nearby Algonquin.. And that’s when things got a little touchy. The veteran, his mom and his dog were turned away.

“He had his red cape on that said he was a ‘service dog,’” said Laura Wills, Garret’s mother. “We have the papers with us but she just said ‘Well, we don’t allow dogs in the restaurant. What type of service does he provide?' And my son said ‘You’re not allowed to ask that.'”

“I expected that by this day and age that everybody knows what service dogs are and they should be more accepting of veterans like me who have to have a service dog to acclimate themselves to this new world again,” Garrett said.

When the family complained about the treatment they received, the restaurant chain wasted no time in responding. They apologized profusely. And, in a letter to the family, a senior manager writes,

There is no apology that is sufficient in this circumstance. This is inexcusable. I will ensure this is addressed and that no other person has to endure what you and your son did today.

Then later today, an official corporate statement said,

To be perfectly clear:  Houlihan's supports and appreciates all veterans and the sacrifices they have made and continue to make for this country.  We have and will always allow service dogs in our restaurants.

Houlihan’s says the manager involved in turning Laura, Garrett and Hershey away has been fired and it’s donating $2,000 dollars to the organization Pets for Vets. That’s the cost of training one service dog for a veteran who needs one.

Garrett says he considers that extremely generous and the amount of awareness raised by all this to be priceless.

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93 comments

  • John H.

    I would like to know how this individual managed to get hired and then became a manager. At the very least, she is not very bright.

    • Jon B.

      Seems like an overreaction. She could just be ignorant about service dogs pertaining to non-physical ailments and/or the laws pertaining to them. Doesn’t necessarily mean she isn’t intelligent or is callous or incompetent.

      • Kevin

        I agree, a little over reaction on the restaurants part to fire her. Sounds like she did what she was supposed to and he wouldn’t give any answers.

      • Lacynda Mathes

        As a manager she should be aware of laws regarding service animals. And Kevin, the veteran was right, she’s not allowed to ask what the disability is at all. And he is in no way obligated to answer. The law is clear. And she broke the law. It was clearly grounds for dismissal.

      • Don Finley

        Lacynda, you are right that the manager isn’t allowed to ask what the disability is. However, if you read the article again you’ll see that’s not what she asked. What she asked was “What type of service does he provide?’ ” If you’ll read the relevant section of the Americans with Disabilities Act you’ll see that the manager is allowed to ask about the service animals tasks. In this case the manager was wrongfully dismissed. Here’s a link to the ADA’s web page if you’d like to learn more. http://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm

    • Lovin_Nola

      Managers can and should ask the screening questions the Americans with Disabilities Act allows them to ask (Is that a service dog AND what work or task does the dog perform) in order to keep people from parading their pets around our food. The veteran does not understand service dog laws and believes businesses have to let him in no questions asked but he is wrong. I hope he learns the laws before he harms more people and businesses.

      • jackson

        Please get YOUR facts straight. From the ADA FAQ: Some, but not all, service animals wear special collars and harnesses. Some, but not all, are licensed or certified and have identification papers. If you are not certain that an animal is a service animal, you may ask the person who has the animal if it is a service animal required because of a disability. However, an individual who is going to a restaurant or theater is not likely to be carrying documentation of his or her medical condition or disability. Therefore, such documentation generally may not be required as a condition for providing service to an individual accompanied by a service animal.

      • Lovin_Nola

        ALSO straight from the ADA: When it is not obvious what service an animal provides, only limited inquiries are allowed. Staff may ask two questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability, and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform.

  • 45645

    “to help keep the country free”, but not to keep us free from our government.
    How long will the country believe the biggest lie that the government tells us?

  • CuriousCaroll

    Actually, the veteran is the one in the wrong here. The ADA says that business (including restaurant) staff may ask two questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability, and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform. The veteran mistakenly believes that he can go anywhere with his dog “no questions asked”. He is wrong. Businesses do have the right to ask questions and he should actually encourage businesses to ask these questions because it means they are screening to keep regular pets out which will keep his service dog safer.

    • Don Finley

      Thank you, Caroll. You took the words right out of my mouth, figuratively speaking. Tom Negovan, you should research your facts a little before you publish an article. Here’s a link to the ada’s relevant page. Take note of the paragraph titled “inquiries, exclusions, charges, etc.” http://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm

    • 1996

      Also to mention, there is no paperwork or vest needed for service dogs to prove they are service dogs. Makes me wonder how much the vet knows about service dogs

      • Scarlet

        Service dogs are not “required” to wear a vest or even to be certified. They do not have to be “professionally” trained either. You can train your service dog your self at home. As long as it provides an actual service and you are disabled it is covered under the ADA.

    • farfallealfredo

      You left out “When it is NOT obvious” (emphasis mine). In this case it was obvious since the dog was wearing the vest and they had the papers, so the restaurant was not supposed to ask.

      If he had shown up with a dog without a vest THEN the restaurant can ask.

      • DFDK9

        This is incorrect.

        The ADA states that businesses and their employees may ask those questions when it is not obvious what the dog does. Simply the presence of a Service Dog vest does not make it obvious what the function of the dog is. It’s obvious what the function of the dog is if the person is clearly blind or physically disabled. If the disability is invisible, the function is not obvious and stores are allowed to ask.

      • Mia Service Dog handler

        “When it is not obvious” relates to the disability of the handler…not whether a dog has anything indicating he is a service dog. (I can put a vest that says “service dog” on a chicken, that doesn’t make them a service dog.) Not obvious disabilities may include seizures, severe low or high blood sugar for diabetics requiring insulin, severe allergies needing immediate intervention to prevent attacks, PTSD and other mental health issues that cause an impairing disability to their handler- as opposed to obvious disability such as blindness, wheelchair use, or missing limbs requiring mobility assistance,or other visibly physical disability etc. They may ask if it is a service dog for a disability and what tasks the dog is trained to do, whether the dog is wearing identifying gear or not, or if the handler has any papers stating that he is a service dog. Most service dog handlers do not readily carry documents from the trainer, their doctor or the service dog organization who may be aware of the dog’s trained tasks, therefore providing them only makes it more difficult for those that do not have papers and are not required by law. Handlers also have the option of training their dogs themselves (therefore no organization to provide documents), which takes hundreds of hours of training and up to 2 years to train the dog to their disability, rather than being on a waiting list for several years or needing to raise thousands of dollars in order to pay for their service dog. The only papers that would be helpful to give any business that does not know the law, would be a copy of the ADA law pertaining to service dogs and state/local laws which may be different from the federal law, and thus possibly provide a greater protection for public access, such as covering service dogs in training which federal law does not protect. It is the responsibility of any service dog handler to learn the laws regarding access with their SD. Having a disability does not excuse a service dog handler from knowing and obeying the laws as written, or give license to act inappropriately by yelling, cursing, or other disruptive behavior (which this vet did NOT do, but some handlers shown by the media have done) when questioned about their dog.

  • DFDK9

    According to the law (the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA), businesses are allowed to ask if the dog is a Service Dog and what it is trained to do.

    So, according to the law, the manager (and any business) is allowed to ask what the dog does. They’re not allowed to ask what the person’s disability is, though. If the veteran says his dog must be allowed “no questions asked,” then he doea not know the law and needs to read up on it for the next time he is challenged in a business.

    Service dogs must be trained to do specific tasks that help mitigate a person’s disability. Being calming, providing comfort, or providing emotional support aren’t tasks. I hope when your article states that the dog “keeps him calm in crowds,” that it refers to a specific action by the dog (a task) and not just its presence (not a task).

    On a side note, Memorial Day is NOT when we thank our veterans. Memorial Day is when we remember our war dead. Veterans Day is when we thank our vets.

    • michele

      You need to read the details on the ADA website. It clearly states keeping calm in a panic attack from PTSD. Unless you know someone worth PTSD you have no idea how quickly and how severe those panic attacks can be.

      • 1996

        Would love to know what part of ADA law you are reading from. Every part I have read gives clear distinction between a Psychiatric Service dog and an emotional support dog, the latter not being a service dog. DFDK9 states the clearly the difference being task not presence

      • Mia Service Dog handler

        I do have PTSD and my SD is trained in specific tasks for my disability, not just being a comfort to me. Calming is only a task if the dog does something to mitigate the disability (as in alerting to a panic attack, helping handler get to a safe spot, interrupting a flash back and grounding them to the present, etc.) Just being with their owner to help them be relaxed is not a SD task that allows them public access rights. Some states may have less restrictive laws allowing for service dogs in training, or may let individual businesses decide if they allow pets or not, but per ADA law, only trained service dogs (and in some cases miniature horses) and their disabled handler are allowed protection from discrimination of the public access laws. Service dogs in training or non disabled handlers, and therapy or emotional support animals (ie pets/companion animals) do not have the same protection under the law. http://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm

      • DFDK9

        As a Service Dog advocate, I am extremely familiar with the ADA and what is or is not a task, actually.

        A task is a trained behavior. For example, a dog trained to perform DPT when a person has a panic attack. Or a dog trained to act as a barrier between the handler and other people. Or a dog trained to lead that person out of the crowded room or area.

        Being present and providing comfort or emotional support are not tasks. But there sure are a lot of organizations giving emotional support dogs to veterans and telling them they can go the same public places as Service Dogs…

    • Sashalynn Anonymiss

      That is very ignorant of you. I myself have a service dog that helps me with panic attacks and no I can not go 45 mins without him near me. When I go into an attack I completely black out. My dog is trained to not only alert me of an oncoming attack but if I go into one he is trained to bring me out of it. If he is unable to do so he is trained to pull me away to a safe spot well away from what caused the attack. Service Dogs are NOT pets. They take their jobs very serious and some times our lives depend on those Dogs.

    • Mia Service Dog handler

      Service dogs dogs provide critical and often life saving assistance to their disabled handlers, allowing them greater independence and the freedom and ability to enjoy the same quality of life and access other services that are offered to every other person in this country. They no longer have to rely on others for that assistance, may have intervention from their SD that humans can’t detect even before a serious condition affects their health, and often it helps keep the disabled handler from being isolated or excluded from events that he may not be able to attend alone. Asking them to go 45 minutes without their dog is insensitive. Not all disabilities are visible and symptoms may come up unexpectedly at any time. People with disabilities can’t say, “Hey disability, I want to do something fun now, so I need you to leave me alone for the next 45 minutes.” Don’t we wish??? Asking them to eat outside or stay at home is just repulsive. Would you take away someone’s wheelchair or artificial limb in order to obtain services? A person with PTSD or other invisible disability may “look fine”…but a sudden sound, odd smell or unexpected sight could trigger a very disabling reaction. Other invisible disabilities may include life threatening allergies, seizures, and hyper or hypoglycaemic reactions for diabetics to name a few. Service dogs are working even when it appears that their handler is fine, and can alert or respond accordingly if the person needs assistance giving them the ability to try to be “just like other normal folks” who can do these things without worrying about a crippling disability getting in the way.

    • Swell_Swell

      Would you ask the same question of someone who is diabetic and suffers from sudden episodes of low blood sugar (which can be fatal)? Or would you ask this question of someone who is epileptic? PTSD is more than a psychiatric disorder; it is often complicated by head injuries that our veterans suffer.

  • David

    Also, Memorial day and Veterans day are two different holidays. This was Memorial Day, which is a time to reflect and honor those that have sacrificed their lives. You pretty much described Vets Day.

    • MARY

      Yes, David..Memorial Day and Veterans Day are two separate Holidays. However, since this gentleman is suffering from PTSD, and is a VETERAN. He may be remembering his fallen service men/women. Hence, MEMORIAL DAY.

      • Pamela Hollar

        The point is that the holiday was misrepresented in the article and in the news story.

  • Marcia

    ADA laws are here to protect folks like this man and many of use with service dog. I also have had this issue many time. Now I educate these folks give them the federal law and ask to to call the police this changes there tune real fast. I also speak to my community the lion, chamber, church’s, all EMS fire law,rotary clubs. So many time folks there are also not aware of these laws and now can better educate there staff. We can be asked by law what the dog does for us, but by law NOT turned away. The issue is the 20 dollar vest sold on Amazon to the women with the purse dog that barks and is make a mess of the ADA issue bc she want her dog with her. That’s the big issue here. FAKE service dogs. Make me very upset and make problems for the vents and folks like myself with Serice dogs. Seems to be a matter of wording here in the article that have confused folks with the questions asked. All I can say places of business need to be sure to educate there staff and pls brung awareness of the Federal law of service animals to your community respect us.

    • 1996

      Besides the title to and into by the newscasters, who says they were refused service. The reporter on scene even said that the vet chose to leave.

  • Mia Service Dog handler

    I feel bad for the condition of the vet, but he was in the wrong. First, they CAN ask the tasks of his dog, and if he is a SD. And secondly he does not know SD laws. If he got the dog from the organization the restaurant donated to, they even state they are pets, not service dogs. The manager should have been educated, as should all the staff and corporate, but not fired in this instance.

    I understand the backlash for turning away a veteran, especially on a day to honor the fallen service men and woman who have defended our country. But businesses are absolutely in their right to ask if the dog is task trained to mitigate symptoms of their disabled handler.Not all disabilities are visible. They may not ask the nature of the person’s disability, require special tags, ID, doctor’s letter, certificates, or gear. They can ask what tasks the dog is trained to do, but not require them to perform those tasks. Just being a comfort to the handler is not a task.

    From the Pets for Vets website:
    “Can you train my dog to be a service dog?
    Pets for Vets does not train service dogs. We train companion animals.
    The most important training is good manners and basic obedience focusing on
    Canine Good Citizenship (CGC) standards. Petco and PetSmart both have group
    training classes, which are a good place to start.”

    “What is the difference between a service dog and a companion dog?
    A service dog is a working animal. A companion animal is a pet. There is a need for both. Pets for Vets selects a shelter dog based on a veteran’s needs and lifestyle. We then train that dog to be a good pet. Shelter dogs often need training before they are integrated back into the community. If you are interested in having a service dog, we would suggest you contact one of the following organizations:
    Assistance Dogs International, Inc.
    Wolf Pack, Inc.
    American Dog Trainers Network Service and Assistance Dogs”

  • Vic

    Thanks to this vet and all the other veterans, all you folks with negative, crude comments have the freedom to express them. God bless them all.

  • Mia Service Dog handler

    The patch on the dog’s vest was from PAW pals…on their website they say that they do NOT train Psychiatric service dogs or emotional support dogs (which do no have public access rights with their handler anyway) They only train service dogs for physical disabilities, skilled assistants for children under age 18 with disabilities or adults with physical or developmental disabilities who are assisted by another able bodied family member, and facility dogs (which are also known as therapy dogs) and do not have public access rights other than the facility they were trained to serve.

    “Paw Pals Assistance Dogs DOES NOT train:
    Psychiatric Support Dogs
    Medical Alert Dogs
    Emotional Support Dogs (ESAs)
    Seizure Alert Dogs
    Hearing Dogs
    Guide Dogs
    Dogs privately owned by the individual”

    So tasks is his dog trained to do to mitigate his disability? If he is not, then he is not a service dog. No ID, patch, “Official” registration or certification (online are just listings for anyone that pays a fee and does not prove service dog status) doctor’s letter, or vest proves they are a service dog. A handler may choose to have a vest labeled as service dog, but it is the task training that makes a service dog. And even a service dog may be asked to leave, if they act inappropriately by barking, pulling, lunging, damaging property, interfere with customers, or eliminate anywhere but designated areas. It takes hundreds of hours and up to two years to train a service dog.

    A well trained pet can be a huge comfort to a person with PTSD, but if they haven’t been task trained, they are not a service dog no matter how good they make their owner feel.

    http://www.paw-pals.org/page/page/1117134.htm

  • Mia Service Dog handler

    I do want to thank this vet and all vets for their service. That is not the issue here. What he has done for the country is honorable indeed. But in order to enjoy the freedoms and rights that service dogs handlers are provided by ADA law, this vet and any other potential handler, do need to learn what is and is not covered by that law.

    I know how helpful a dog can be for PTSD as that is what my dog is trained to help me with. But I know the federal, state, and local laws regarding my rights with a service dog and have made sure that I meet the requirements to have him with me, and can help educate those that do not know.

    This vet has that same right. He can get additional training for his dog if he is not task trained. OR, he can learn the law and answer the questions that a business is legally allowed to ask. If they ask the wrong question, he may educate them on what they ARE allowed to ask. And calling corporate is a good way to inform them that a business needs additional training. I think all businesses should be required to post a copy of the ADA service dog laws, and any state or local laws that may allow for additional access. (btw, if state and federal law differ, it is the law that is least restrictive to the handler that prevails….as in some states allow public access for service dogs in training,) If a business violates that law, even after informing or attempting to educate them of a service dog handler’s rights, then the complaint would go to the jurisdiction who regulates that law. A service dog in training, therefore, would not be covered under federal law and would have to be addressed to the entity that covers that state’s law.

    I thank each and every service member who allows me to enjoy the freedoms we have today. I would like for them to be able to enjoy the same freedoms. They do deserve to feel safe and secure in their own country and home. If having a service dog is what gives them back their freedom and independence to enjoy life, I hope that they will seek that. But I also hope that they educated about the laws and training required to do that.

    If anyone here has an issue with not allowing a comfort or emotional support dog to have access with their disabled handler, then they need to work on changing the law. not bashing the business that actually enforces their rights…But the dog still needs to have impeccable manners and should be able to do all the skills in the public access tests and be used by handlers that have documented disabilities that interfere with major life functions and quality of life. (not I’m so depressed cause my boyfriend just broke up with me and I want my dog with me everywhere.)

    Additionally, those people who try to pass their pets off as a service dog by buying fake “official service dog” credentials online when they are usually not even disabled, should face stiffer fines and penalties. (which is likely why the law was changed to exclude emotional support animals.)

    • WDWgirl

      Well said. I think all of our veterans have done an incredible service for our country & can’t thank them enough. But the law is the law. I wasn’t aware of the distinction between service animals & support animals or what exactly businesses are allowed to ask. But based on what I’ve read here, the manager did not actually break any laws. In fact, the opposite may be true. Allowing a non-service dog in an establishment that serves food is probably a health code violation of some sort. It seems like there is a lot of misinformation out there. Thanks for providing nicely articulated information information without bashing anyone.

  • Lovin_Nola

    The veteran and his mother need to learn the laws! Next time someone asks them if their dog is a service dog and what work the dog performs they need to just answer the questions! No business has to let the dog in if they don’t answer the questions!

  • John Schmitt

    As Algonquin Village President I was heart broken to have read about this incident. I am very glad that Houlihan’s has stepped up and done the right thing. All of our businesses need to be aware of not only the law but what is just plain right.

    • Natalie

      John it sounds to me like the only one who actually knew the law was the person who got fired. Houlihans was just trying to save face in light of some really bad press. Shame on them for making the employee the scape goat.

      • Mia Service Dog handler

        I agree Natalie. Their reaction may even cause more issues as they didn’t effectively educate their staff or the public to accurate ADA law, which it seems the fired employee was trying to follow. Now employees may be afraid to speak up and ask the questions that ARE allowed by law (ensuring that only task trained service dogs are seeking access and not a pet wearing a fake SD vest), or hesitant to ask handlers to remove their service dogs if they are acting inappropriately and being disruptive or out of control, or not housebroken, which by law they have every right to do. This puts other service dog teams at risk (of untrained pets attacking or interrupting the legitimate working dog) or of painting a bad picture of service dogs in general, to the public and business employees, who then regret having to deal with the next service dog handler they encounter. Houlihan’s and the media have the opportunity to help educate hundreds of people who are tuning in to this story (and the other highly sensationalized service dog stories that many news sources have rushed to report.) It would be wise for them to check the facts and report accurate information before publicizing these stories, and in the case of the restaurant, learn the law and their rights as a business and be sure to train all their employees to such, and not have the one person who was potentially following the law end up losing her job. Being a Veteran does not make that person immune from the laws that every other disabled American must follow. (Even on a holiday.)

    • Mia Service Dog handler

      I ‘m not sure that is where this Vet got his dog from. This is where corporate is making a donation. But you are correct in that they do not train service dogs. They rescue shelter dogs and pair them up with veterans as companion animals which are pets. They explicitly say on their website that they do not train service dogs and states the difference between service dogs and companion dogs, stating that the training they give is to make them better PETS……The patch on the red cape vest worn by this vet’s dog is for PAW Pals, which does train legitimate service dogs, but NOT for PTSD or other invisible disabilities. (paw-pals.org) Being a Veteran does not automatically give a person the unquestionable right to do whatever he wants. Veterans may indeed serve our country which protects the freedoms that we enjoy, but they still have to follow the same laws as every other citizen of this country, disabled, Veteran, or not.

  • Tanzo

    In the managers defense, their policy may not have been clear enough and she was just abiding by the rules and got fired for it. Sad

  • tmf

    Pets for Vets does not train service animals. they train companion animals. Big difference. If he got his dog from Pets for Vets, it is not a service animal.

  • Richard Miller

    I am a GM for another restaurant group and encounter this often. But the ignorance I see most often is from the members of the general public who complain that the animal is allowed to be on a restaurant, or think that it should/can be approached and pet like a normal dog. People on the whole are unaware of the laws and guidelines for the use of these incredible animals. I think your station now has the responsibility to go beyond this story and take the initiative to run some pieces on the service animal process – how they’re trained, who may use them and why, and what the rules and expectations are for their use. This would go a long way in preventing this from happening again.

    • Mia Service Dog handler

      I couldn’t agree with you more! When stories like this are followed by so many people, it is an ideal to educate the masses on the entire law as it pertains to disabled Americans with service dogs, as well as the businesses that they are seeking equal access to. Informing them on what is and is not allowed to be asked by the business, what type of training is required by service dogs, what the difference is between Service Dogs, companion animals, Emotional Support Animals, Therapy dogs, and pets, and which of these may a disabled handler be allowed to have public access with? Not everyone knows the full ADA laws and often try to interpret them to fit their opinions. Reporters and other forms of media should be doing a better job at researching the information and stating erroneous information as facts. Reporting inaccurate information only perpetuates the cycle of people not taking the time to learn and follow the laws, and passing along misinformation to many others just because of the sensationalism it creates.

  • Christin

    I think they overreacted when firing the manager. I agree with them if the reason he got turn away was for not answering the question. The ARE allowed to ask if it is a device dog and what it is trained to do. The manager was just doing their job.

  • tracy

    As a visually impaired person my dog goes with me everywhere. She is not a guide dog but a trained companion animal. She always wears her vest and alerts when my blind cane misses a danger. I have never been treated with disrespect or refused service because of her. If a dog is trained and certified there should be no problems. However, make sure your dog has and wears the service animal vest. I have met several unusual service animals including a 135 pound emotional support dog. By the way, my companion animal is an 8 pound maltese.

    • DFDK9

      Your post is very confusing.

      What makes a Service Dog is that they are trained to do specific tasks that help the handler with their disability. If your dog is trained to alert you, she is a Service Dog. If she is not trained to do anything but basic obedience, she’s not considered a Service Dog under the ADA.

      There is no certification for Service Dogs unless they come from a program, nor is certification required.

      Emotional Support Animals are not Service Animals and are not allowed in public places unless those places allow pets.

  • Judy

    I’m glad the manager was fired BUT Memorial Day is not a day to honor veterans, it’s a day to honor those who lost their life while serving our country…..I am shocked at how many Americans get this wrong, my husband is a veteran, I did not honor him on Memorial Day because he’s ALIVE…stupid reporting on your part

  • Judy Oxley

    I’m glad the manager was fired BUT Memorial Day is not a day to honor veterans, it’s a day to honor those who lost their life while serving our country…..I am shocked at how many Americans get this wrong, my husband is a veteran, I did not honor him on Memorial Day because he’s ALIVE…stupid reporter.

  • Marcy

    Note to article author: Memorial Day is to honor service members who died during war time. Veterans Day honors…. Wait for it…. Veterans.

  • Birdie

    While it’s very unfortunate this veteran’s needs weren’t accommodated, it seems to me that the manager was poorly trained, and didn’t understand what she should have known about service animals. Is that entirely her fault?

    Also, Memorial Day is NOT a time to remember veterans. It is a time to remember the fallen soldiers who died serving the country. With articles like this, it’s no wonder half the country mistakenly thinks Memorial Day is about barbeques and celebration.

  • Bethesda

    The article isn’t exactly clear what happened. Yes, Garrett was wrong in that the manager was allowed to ask that question. However, it also sounds like the manager gave them a definitive “No dogs allowed.” Which, by itself, is absolutely an illegal policy. The article has a few inaccuracies about the law and the utility of Memorial Day. Maybe it’s misrepresenting the account.

  • Jen

    The manger has absoluetly no right to ever ask a customer about thier medical condition for any reason, it’s called HIPPA. THIS was registered and paper carrying service animal. That should have been enough. The manger was not stupid, just ignorant. Some fault does fall on the company for not properly training the manger. I still would have fired her as this was very bad PR for the restaurant.

    • Don Finley

      *snip*The manger has absoluetly no right to ever ask a customer about thier medical condition for any reason – If you read the article, Jen, you’ll see that the manager did NOT ask about the medical condition. The manager asked “What type of service does he provide?’” which is allowable under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Here’s the appropriate paragraph from the ADA. – When it is not obvious what service an animal provides, only limited inquiries are allowed. Staff may ask two questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability, and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform. Staff cannot ask about the person’s disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.

      Note the last sentence about ID cards or training doc.’s. I could go online right now and register my service dog and get a certificate, and I don’t even have a dog! Please read the ADA service dog page and educate yourself. http://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm

  • Jacob Murphy

    I wonder if the manager will now seek to sue for wrongful termination, as it appears she was not in the wrong for asking the two questions staff are allowed to ask; per the ADA: When it is not obvious what service an animal provides, only limited inquiries are allowed. Staff may ask two questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability, and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform. Staff cannot ask about the person’s disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.

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