Restaurant hosts seminar on service animals after turning away v - WNEM TV 5

Restaurant hosts seminar on service animals after turning away veteran

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

A Mid-Michigan restaurant is serving up an apology for turning away a veteran and his service dog.

They put that apology into action by hosting a seminar for their employees and others on proper service animal etiquette.

Lori Shaw is an expert on service dogs. When the folks at Riverwalk Place in Gladwin decided they needed someone to inform their staff and anyone else about how to deal with the topic, they called her.

This comes after the staff at the Riverwalk Grill turned away a veteran who tried to eat at their establishment accompanied by his service dog. He had the right to be served.

“Service dogs are allowed in all public places. The only place they can be barred from of course is hospitals – the surgery room, places that need to be kept sterile,” Shaw said.

Riverwalk apologized to Ricky Fall for not allowing him, his wife and his service dog into the restaurant. The restaurant took Fall up on his idea to have a seminar regarding service animals.

“It kind of turned into a win-win for everybody. We could bring awareness to this, help with our in-house training and help other local businesses at the same time,” said Brock Dennings, with the Riverwalk Place.

Stacy Plude is one of the business owners who attended the seminar.

“Didn’t realize the limited number of questions we can ask. So, it was great to know that there’s only two questions that we can ask,” Plude said.

Those questions are “is the dog a service animal” and “what work or task has the dog been trained to perform?”

You may not ask those questions if the need for the service animal is obvious.

Fall was at the seminar with his service dog. He said he was happy with the outcome of a situation that started out on the wrong foot.

The folks at the Riverwalk Place are open to holding seminars on service animals again in the future.

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