In Clearwater, Florida, the popular restaurant Maggie Mae's on Sand Key booted a couple out for bringing their two "morkies" into the restaurant on Saturday morning even after telling the waiter the dogs are service dogs reported clickorlando.com.
Dr. Richard Davis and his wife Lior Shar state they have been the subject of discrimination and depend on their service dogs for their disabilities. According to the Americans With Disabilities Act, service dogs are allowed to be brought into any business as long as the person has a disability and the dog is not disruptive.
There are no requirements to provide proof of a person's disability nor any proof of a dog's training.
For instance, in a case like this, the staff at the restaurant are only allowed to ask if the animal is a service dog and what services do they provide?
Perhaps what brought the contentious discussion on Saturday morning had to do with the dogs being brought into the restaurant in a stroller. On an online discussion group called Service Dog Central, most of the questions centered around how the dogs could be performing their tasks sitting in a stroller. Poster Roxie asked:
"I will be interested in the outcome of their complaints. There is no ADA requirement a SD can't be in the confines of a stroller. (Is there?)
I don't agree with SDs being in a stroller. But, if there is no law barring SDs in strollers...... ??? I think the crux will be if the couple both are disabled under the ADA and their dogs-in-stroller actually are task trained to mitigate their disabilities!"
The restaurant owners stated they plan to retrain the staff regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act. Dr. Davis and his wife plan to file complaints with the Pinellas County Office of Human Rights and the United States Department of Justice.
In May, a 20-year-army veteran, Kevin Crowell, who had his spine replaced after a roadside bomb exploded and now suffers from post-traumatic stress was kicked off an American Airlines flight headed to Key West from Miami with his service dog. Ironically Crowell was on his way to a Wounded Warrior event. The airlines has since apologized.
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