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Connecticut vet says restaurant refused service dog

January 29, 2013 3:33:20 AM PST
A Connecticut veteran says her service dog wasn't allowed into a business despite being fully registered to do so.

Jackie Milhomme's service dog, Jesse, has been by her side for nearly a year now. Jackie is still dealing with the after-effects of serving in Iraq, and she says Jesse helps her cope with the nightmares and flashbacks and keeps her calm in public.

"In crowded areas, he puts a little space between myself and whoever tries to approach me," she said.

Jesse was with her when she tried to attend her lifelong friend's 40th birthday party, but she says the owner of Nate's Bar and Grill told her the dog wasn't allowed.

"I said, 'Yes he is. It's a federal law. I can have him. He is a working service dog. His vest states as such,'" she said. "I tried to show the gentleman his papers and his ID, and he brushed me off with that."

Jackie says instead of fighting back, she chose to leave.

"I was very frustrated," she said. "I was very upset. I went out to the car, and I sat there and cried for about 15 minutes."

The Federal Americans with Disabilities Act says that any business that serves the public must also allow service animals to accompany a disabled person.

Officials with the Federal Americans with Disabilities Department says Milhomme needs to make a formal written complaint, and they will the then investigate and make sure the establishment is in compliance.

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