A North Texas veteran is upset. He says the manager of a local Walgreens store kicked him out because of his service dog.
Christopher Goodson, who served with the United States Marine Corps, said the altercation happened Thursday at the store on Galloway Avenue in Mesquite.
He had just walked in to buy a drink when he said the manager told him to "get the dog out."
“He could have walked up and discreetly asked me, ‘Is this a service dog?’” said Goodson.
Goodson said he explained that his dog Ben is a service dog, but the manager still refused to sell him anything because Ben wasn't wearing a vest.
Goodson said he also showed the manager his dog’s special tag and ID card.
“Everything I was telling him, he was just blowing it off,” said Goodson.
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, service dogs are not required to wear any special vest.
“There doesn't have to be any sort of vest or any sort of markings on the service animal to say it's a service animal to be in compliance with the ADA,” said attorney Pete Schulte.
Schulte advises businesses to ask only two questions to people who bring in animals: is it a service animal and what is it trained to do?
“We tell a lot of businesses, don't even ask if they say it's a service animal,” said Schulte. “As long as it’s being obedient and it’s not out of control.”
Goodson's wife was able to record video of part of the incident, which included some cursing.
Goodson said he was frustrated.
“Yes, I did use profanity with him, but he had me that mad,” said Goodson. “He showed that much disregard for my personal feelings.”
Doctors at the Veterans Affairs hospital prescribed Ben because of his chronic post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. Goodson says the pup is therapeutic and helps deal with depression and nightmares from his service in Afghanistan.
Goodson said he's encountered things like this before, but is usually questioned in a professional manner. A corporate spokesman for Walgreens said, “Service animals are welcome in our stores, and we understand the help they provide….we will make sure our employees at this store fully understand the rights for use of service animals.”
KDFW FOX 4 400 N. Griffin Street Dallas, Texas 75202
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