Disabled veteran denied service because of service dog - WNEM TV 5

Disabled veteran denied service because of service dog

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

A disabled Army veteran said he and his service dog were turned away from a restaurant in Gladwin.

Workers told him animals were not allowed in due to health code violations.

“When we got kicked out I was almost shaking I was so upset,” said Rick Fall, veteran.

He and his wife have been married for 20 years and had special plans to celebrate Monday night. They were going to head to the Riverwalk Grill in Gladwin for a nice meal.

Fall, who served in both the Vietnam War and Desert Storm, uses a service dog and he was turned away. He was told his service dog had to go. Their presence was an apparent violation of the Gladwin County Health Code.

“I was so offended when I left. It was our anniversary and we were going there to eat because it’s a nice place to eat,” Fall said.

The restaurant’s actions are in direct violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act that states service dogs can only be removed for excessive barking or disruptive behavior.

The owner told TV5 he is sorry.

“Very sad to hear that this happened. Definitely not a policy or anything we would ever enforce or support,” said Brock Dennings, owner. “We are a pet friendly building. We’re all pet owners and we’re very proud to have veterans. We do a lot of veteran support things.”

Dennings said he doesn’t want this to happen to any customer again.

“We’re communicating with staff to make sure that if there was a misconception or misunderstanding, that this is handled properly,” Dennings said.

Fall wants to bring awareness to this issue so what happened to him doesn’t happen to anyone else.

“They know and other people know that a veteran or anyone with a service dog has the right to be in that location,” Fall said.

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