KDLT Home KDLT on Facebook KDLT on Twitter Get the KDLT iPhone App Get the KDLT Android App

Family Upset After Dog Removed From Eatery



Bookmark and Share

One Sioux Falls' family is crying foul after they say they were discriminated against for having an emotional support dog at a fast food restaurant, Thursday.

 

Mocha may have brown fur but she seems to be in a grey area.

 

Thursday afternoon when Alan Steele and his mother Edwina decided to dine in at a Sioux Falls Taco Bell, they were told to do something that surprised them.

 

“We were asked if we were going to eat in. I said, ‘yes, we are.’ And he goes, ‘I'm sorry. I can't allow you to do that,’” said Alan Steele.

 

The Americans with Disabilities Act allows any service animal into any just about any business.

 

“On the back it says that she is a part of the American Disabled Act of 1990,” pointed out Steele.

 

Mocha is titled as an emotional support dog. Mocha's owner, Edwina Steele suffers from depression and anxiety and can't take prescriptions due to a heart condition, as they tried to explain to the Taco Bell staff.

 

“She is a service animal, emotional support. And he goes, ‘that doesn't matter,’” added Steele.

 

“Just because a dog has a vest on doesn't mean the dog is protected,” said Steve Slavik, the CEO of Big Paws Canine, a company that trains dogs for Veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder.

 

“What a service dog is and how it is defined, is a dog that is trained to perform work or perform a task for an individual with a disability,” quoted Slavik from the American with Disabilities Act.

 

And the Steele’s may be out of luck when trying to bring Mocha with them to businesses with pet policies.   

 

“Dogs that wouldn't be protected are emotional support dogs and companion dogs. They are still considered pets and they are not defined in the protection of the ADA,” added Slavik.

 

But, asking someone about their dog, when it comes to determining if they are indeed a service animal, can be tricky.

 

Businesses are only allowed to ask two questions when it comes to service dogs.

 

Is the service animal required? And what work has the dog been trained to perform?

 

Businesses cannot ask what the owners disability is or for the owner to provide documentation.

 

“If the dog is barking or being destructive to merchandise or going to the restroom on the floor, those types of things, even if it's a full-fledged 1,000 of hours training service dog, a service dog can be denied access,” added Slavik.

 

The Steeles say there was no indication of any misbehavior at the Taco Bell, Thursday and they still hope for an apology from the restaurant.

 

“I would like for people to ask and understand before they criticize or discriminate against her,” added Steele.

 

There's no doubt Mocha is a lovable pup. But, service dog experts say an emotional support dog has no protection when it comes to the Americans with Disabilities Act.



< Prev Story Back To Top Next Story >
     

SD DUI Implied Consent Law Ruled Unconstitutional

The South Dakota Supreme Court has ruled that the state's ...

Judge Rules On Evidence In Pierre Teen's Trial

A judge has ruled on what evidence can be presented during the upcoming trial of a ...

Transportation Funding Panel To Meet In Pierre

South Dakota lawmakers will take input next week in Pierre on the state's ...

Restaurant Won't Pass Higher Wage To Workers  Aug. 21

Presentation Gets Shot At Regaining Accreditation  Aug. 21

Federal Jury Convicts Man In Large Drug Bust  Aug. 21

El Riad Shrine To Host Midwest Shrine Association  story with video  Aug. 21

Weiland Calls Rounds 'Senator' In Forum Gaffe  Aug. 20

U.S. Senate Debate Surrounds EB-5 Scandal   story with video  Aug. 20

Iowa Mother Charged After Girl Becomes Pregnant  Aug. 20

SD Gubernatorial Candidates Square Off   story with video  Aug. 20

South Dakota Hunger Report Released  story with video  Aug. 20

Students Issued Chromebooks For Year Ahead  Aug. 20

SD Groups Form Alliance Against Pipeline  Aug. 20

SD Man Sentenced Over Worker Lead Poisoning  Aug. 20

Suspect Tried To Push Woman Into Lake  Aug. 20

South Dakota Students Score Well On ACT Exam  Aug. 20

Neunaber's Father Died Of Natural Causes  Aug. 20

Rapid City Teacher Faces Child Porn Charges  Aug. 20

Uranium Mine Hearings Continue In Rapid City  Aug. 20

KDLT News Archive
     

Iowa Mother Charged After Girl Becomes Pregnant

Authorities say a central Iowa woman faces a child ...

Suspect Tried To Push Woman Into Lake

Sioux Falls Police are looking for a 19-year-old man ...

Neunaber's Father Died Of Natural Causes

(KTIV) The Plymouth County Sheriff released the ...

U.S. Senate Debate Surrounds EB-5 Scandal   story with video  Aug. 20

Rapid City Teacher Faces Child Porn Charges  Aug. 20

South Dakota Hunger Report Released  story with video  Aug. 20

Students Issued Chromebooks For Year Ahead  Aug. 20

Man Convicted Of Murdering 2 People In Sioux City  Aug. 20

KDLT News Archive
     

Explorers quick start too much for Birds  story with video

Sioux Falls, SD-- The Sioux Falls Canaries were dogged by timely ...

Scheels Plays of Week from August 11th-17th  story with video

Zach Borg has your Scheels Plays of the Week from August 11th-17th. ...

Bougher pitching well for Railcats  story with video

Former Jackrabbit Stephen Bougher has had a solid second season in the American ...

Birds go extras behind Kirby-Jones HR's  story with video  Aug. 19

MMA Fights finally come to South Dakota  story with video  Aug. 19

Kluwe, Vikings Reach Settlement To Avert Lawsuit  Aug. 19

Softball season is underway  story with video  Aug. 18

Talcott adds amateur title to resume  story with video  Aug. 18

KDLT Sports Stories
     
Back To Top