Veteran and restaurant disagree over service dog in restaurant - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Veteran and restaurant disagree over service dog in restaurant

Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA

 After being asked to eat on the patio with his service dog Missy over the weekend at Spicy Mike's BBQ Haven in Amarillo, navy veteran Eric Savage took to Facebook to address what he considered to be discrimination.  

"To easily put it I was pissed," said Savage. "I'm surprised I remained under control. I do have PTSD, which is anger issue problems, rage, amongst other things which Missy helps me with."

 Savage says the purpose of the video was to educate people on what can and can not be done when it comes to people who depend on service animals.

"She's like my daughter, to me she knows me better than me because the way a service dog works," said Savage. "Whenever your body goes into some kind of bad reaction your brain starts kicking out chemicals and your dog can smell those chemicals through the sweat on your skin. So they know even before we will know when that will happen."

Mike Havens, owner of Spicy Mike's BBQ Haven, says there was no discrimination behind their decision to ask the customer to eat outside.

"We've had other service dogs in the restaurant that have never caused a problem," said Havens."They come in, they lay down on the floor. They're not licking, they're not looking for food, they're not doing anything, they're behaving just like they are supposed to, but we have a dog that comes in that's causing problems I'm still going to ask someone to leave and that's our right according to the ADA rule."

Under ADA regulations, service animals are not required to display special identification or training documentation and should be allowed on all public premises. 

"There is no national certification or licensing for service dogs. In fact, it's very, very acceptable to owner-train a service dog, meaning that the person who owns the dog trained him himself to perform the act that he is helping this person with," said President of the Animal Lodge in Amarillo Michelle Hill. "So there is no certificate, vest, or licensing that any service dog has to wear."

 The regulations do state that a person with a disability can be asked to remove his animal if the dog is out of control. 

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