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04 December 2006

Service dog's ouster violates civil rights

Service dog's ouster violates civil rights

I have a friend who is handicapped. She maintains her independence with the aid of a German shepherd service dog named Spirit. This woman is one of the most courageous persons I have ever met.

On Nov. 8, my friend was denied entrance to [a local big-box store]. A manager told her dogs were not allowed in the store. She told him that Spirit was a service dog and explained what a service dog was, so he let her in and followed her. Midway into the store, Spirit shook his head because an insect had flown into his ear. The manager shouted to my friend and loudly told her her dog had fleas and she would have to leave. She tried to explain but the manager insisted that she leave and escorted her from the store.

This is a civil rights violation and a violation of a federal law, which provides that service dogs be granted access to public places.

Doris Nelsen
Myrtle Beach

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