Service Animal Asked To Leave Abbeville Restaurant
Service Dog Asked To Leave Resturant
Chester and John Davis
An Army Veteran says his dog was asked to leave an Upstate restaurant, something he says is illegal.
"He's definitely gotten me out of the box," says Army Veteran John Davis about his new pal Chester.
Chester and Davis were introduced in April. They've become fast friends but their relationship is beyond just play time. Chester is a service dog.
"He's been trained to watch my back," Davis says.
Davis served nearly 25 years with the Army and National Guard, most recently with Operation Iraqi Freedom. Davis says before he met Chester he hardly left the house.
"PTSD is a monster to deal with, it totally changed me," Davis says.
That's all changed now. The pair go everywhere together but last week Davis says they were asked to leave a local restaurant. He says they were eating at Yoder's Dutch Kitchen in Abbeville when the manager approached Davis about Chester.
"The manager looked at me and said you're welcome to eat here but the dog's gotta go," Davis says.
Davis and Chester left. Davis called 7 On Your Side because he thinks there are some people who don't know the rules when it comes to service animals.
The Americans with Disabilities Acts allows service animals to go anywhere normal customers are allowed to be. Businesses can ask only two questions 1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability and 2) what work or task is the dog trained to do. Requiring medical documentation or a special identification card is not allowed. Businesses also can't ask about the person's disability.
We spoke with someone at Yoder's who confirmed the incident happened and said they would pass a request for an interview onto the owner. The owner has not called.
Davis still plans on going out and hopes sharing his story will turn into a teaching moment so people know the right questions to ask.
The full ADA guidelines can be found by clicking here.