The Filthy Animal In This Story Is Not The Dog

, , , , | | Legal | August 13, 2019

(I’m taking some inventory around the store. I have a service dog, though I have a special harness that loops around my body so I have my hands free for work. He has a very obvious vest on with a large patch that says, “Working service dog.” As I’m finishing a section, a woman drags my manager over.)

Woman: “You allow people to bring their mutts in?!”

Manager: “Ma’am, that’s a service dog. It’s illegal to ban them.”

Woman: “No, it’s a dumb animal! Throw them both out!”

(I give my manager a weird look.)

Manager: “Ma’am, it is very illegal for me to do so. He is considered medical equipment, and it’s discrimination for me to ask someone to either leave their service animal outside or deny them service for having one.”

Woman: “WELL, I’LL DRAG THEM OUT MYSELF!”

Manager: “You need to leave, ma’am.”

(The woman reaches for the part of the harness that goes around my body. I push her hand away and step back. She SLAPS me and yanks on the harness strap.)

Manager: “MA’AM, IF YOU DO NOT LEAVE, I WILL CALL THE POLICE!”

Woman: “Call them! Tell them you’re letting people bring in filthy animals!”

(My manager calls them. I hide over behind a counter, where the woman can’t get to me. When the police arrive, the woman rants about how my manager is letting any animal in, while pointing to me and my service dog. An officer comes over to me.)

Officer: “Can we get a statement from you?”

Me: “Yeah, she came up with my manager going on about my service dog and how he shouldn’t be in here. My manager told her he’s legally allowed to be here, and then she decided she’d kick us out herself. She hit me and tried to pull on my harness.”

Officer: “All right, let me talk to her again.”

(She was arrested for assault and banned from the store. My manager sent me home early with pay.)

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