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 >
     

Red Kettle Campaign Raises Over $280,000

The Salvation Army in Sioux Falls wrapped up their annual Red Kettle Campaign ...

Christmas Eve Meal Feeds Body & Soul   story with video

For many people in Sioux Falls, affording a Christmas Eve dinner or finding ...

Last-Minute Shoppers Hit Downtown Sioux Falls  story with video

South Dakotans are flocking to stores for some last-minute Christmas ...

Police Investigate Sioux Falls Casino Robbery  Dec. 24

SD Reports First Flu Death Of Season  Dec. 24

Thune: No Airspace Plan Would Be 'Terrible Loss'  Dec. 24

"Heroes Behind The Badges" Blood Drive  Dec. 24

Firefighters Deliver Toys To Kids   Dec. 24

Woman Accused Of Drowning Young Daughter  Dec. 24

Antlerless Deer Season Scheduled To Reopen In South Dakota  Dec. 24

Police Release Video Of Berkeley, MO Shooting  Dec. 24

Christmas Tree Drop-Off Sites Open Friday  Dec. 24

Capitol Christmas Tree Display Ends Saturday  Dec. 24

Court Reverses Protection Order Against Man  Dec. 24

SD Farm Bureau Announces Funds For New Fair Building  Dec. 24

Mount Rushmore Receives Lighting System Donation  Dec. 24

The Daily Scoop: 12-24-14  story with video  Dec. 24

Santa Answers Questions From Kids  story with video  Dec. 24

SF Railyard Redevelopment Moves Forward  Dec. 23

Families Reunite Just In Time For Christmas  story with video  Dec. 23

KDLT News Archive
     

Woman Accused Of Drowning Young Daughter

A St. Paul woman is facing a second-degree murder charge ...

Police Release Video Of Berkeley, MO Shooting

Police have released a surveillance video from ...

SD Reports First Flu Death Of Season

The South Dakota Health Department says A Hutchinson County ...

Firefighters Deliver Toys To Kids   Dec. 24

Court Reverses Protection Order Against Man  Dec. 24

Capitol Christmas Tree Display Ends Saturday  Dec. 24

Thune: No Airspace Plan Would Be 'Terrible Loss'  Dec. 24

Christmas Eve Meal Feeds Body & Soul   story with video  Dec. 24

KDLT News Archive
     

Scheels Plays of the Week from December 15th-21st  story with video

Zach Borg has your Scheels Plays of the Week from December 15th-21st. ...

Walker wants to play for Christmas  story with video

When Phil Weber took the job as head coach of the Skyforce he knew for sure what he was getting in ...

Zenner, Weineke All-Americans again!  story with video

PHILADELPHIA -- South Dakota State University running back Zach Zenner and ...

Luverne rallies past Totino-Grace in hockey thriller  story with video  Dec. 23

Jacks win streak snapped by #14 Utah  story with video  Dec. 23

HBC beats Luverne in boys hoops  story with video  Dec. 23

Krogman leads Northern Wolves  story with video  Dec. 23

Hughes signs extension with Twins  story with video  Dec. 23

KDLT Sports Stories
     
Back To Top