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 >
     

Helping Vets One Turkey At A Time

The turkey hunting season is well underway. For a group of people they've ...

Grill Catches Fire, Damages SF Home

A Sioux Falls home is damaged tonight after the family's grill caught fire. Sioux ...

Humane Society Discourages Adopting Easter Pets  story with video

The Easter holiday is a time where many give candy and ...

Man Critically Injured In Motorcycle Accident  Apr. 20

Rapid City Police Search For Missing Inmate  Apr. 20

Woman Dies In Rock Climbing Incident In SD  Apr. 20

IA Teen Dead After Climbing Onto Moving Train  Apr. 20

West Des Moines Police Find Body, Burning Vehicle  Apr. 20

SD Birth Rate Rising After Recession Slump  Apr. 20

Governor's Mansion Hosts Easter Egg Hunt  Apr. 20

Dozens ‘Party For The Planet’  Apr. 19

SD Native Rises Above Tragic Accident  story with video  Apr. 19

Thousands Hunting For Easter Eggs  Apr. 19

Sioux Falls Storm Helps Kids In Need  story with video  Apr. 19

Sioux Falls Storm Helps Kids In Need  story with video  Apr. 19

Sioux City Riverboat Casino Prepares To Close  Apr. 19

After Wait, Ranchers Find Relief From USDA  Apr. 19

Man Approached Small Children In Mitchell  Apr. 19

Branstad Pushing Priorities On Lawmakers  Apr. 19

SD Lottery Offers Losing Tickets 2nd Chance  Apr. 19

KDLT News Archive
     

Man Critically Injured In Motorcycle Accident

A man is in the hospital after crashing his ...

IA Teen Dead After Climbing Onto Moving Train

Des Moines police say a teenager died while trying to ...

Rapid City Police Search For Missing Inmate

Department of Corrections staff members and local ...

Woman Dies In Rock Climbing Incident In SD  Apr. 20

Grill Catches Fire, Damages SF Home  Apr. 20

Humane Society Discourages Adopting Easter Pets  story with video  Apr. 20

West Des Moines Police Find Body, Burning Vehicle  Apr. 20

SD Birth Rate Rising After Recession Slump  Apr. 20

KDLT News Archive
     

Starr Reflects On NFL Combine Experience  story with video

VERMILLION, S. D.   --  Like many college graduates, Tyler Starr is looking ...

2013-14 Stampede Plays Of The Year  story with video

The final Stampede season at the Sioux Falls Arena did not produce a Clark ...

Storm Stomp Wyoming  story with video

SIOUX FALLS, S. D. --  The Sioux Falls Storm defeated the Wyoming Cavalry 64-29 Saturday night, ...

FORCED OUT: Fort Wayne Sweeps Sioux Falls  story with video  Apr. 19

Red Raiders Roll Past Briar Cliff  story with video  Apr. 19

Skyforce Need Complete Effort To Win In Fort Wayne  story with video  Apr. 19

Pitching Propels Jacks To Sweep At Fort Wayne  story with video  Apr. 19

Coyotes Drop Series Finale With IUPUI  story with video  Apr. 19

KDLT Sports Stories
     
Back To Top