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 >
     

Driver Flees After Crashing Into SF House

Sioux Falls Police are looking for the driver of an SUV they say slammed into a house early ...

Paper Or Plastic? Maybe Not In Brookings  story with video

Paper or plastic? We've all been asked it and soon it could no longer be a ...

Myers To File Lawsuit Against SD Sec. Of State

Independent Gubernatorial Candidate Mike Myers has announced he is filing a ...

The Falls: Golf Course Announces Opening  story with video  Jul. 29

Avera Addresses State Employee Healthcare Concerns  Jul. 29

Pink Heals Fire Truck Makes Stop In SF  story with video  Jul. 29

South Dakota Police Say Vehicles Were Set On Fire  Jul. 29

General Counsel Says Prison Reform Working  Jul. 29

Jackley Reveals More In EB-5 Investigation  story with video  Jul. 29

Watertown PD Arrest 3 For Burglary  Jul. 29

3 Reporters Subpoenaed In 'Pink Slime' Lawsuit  Jul. 29

Steps Outlined For Disaster Recovery In Lincoln, Union Counties  Jul. 29

Showcase Your Talent At The Denny Sanford PREMIER Center  Jul. 29

Charges Were Coming Before Benda's Death  Jul. 29

Keller Williams To Acquire HJN  Jul. 29

Man Receives 11-Plus Years For Role In Drug Death  Jul. 29

"Hot Seat" Saves Kids  story with video  Jul. 29

Aberdeen City Attorney Resigning At End Of August  Jul. 29

Storm Lake Nursing Home Fined After Woman's Fall  Jul. 29

Liberians In US Worry About Ebola Outbreak  Jul. 29

KDLT News Archive
     

Keller Williams To Acquire HJN

KDLT News has confirmed that Keller Williams is set to ...

Charges Were Coming Before Benda's Death

South Dakota's attorney general says he was ready ...

Steps Outlined For Disaster Recovery In Lincoln, Union Counties

Residents of Lincoln and Union ...

The Falls: Golf Course Announces Opening  story with video  Jul. 29

Showcase Your Talent At The Denny Sanford PREMIER Center  Jul. 29

"Hot Seat" Saves Kids  story with video  Jul. 29

Watertown PD Arrest 3 For Burglary  Jul. 29

3 Reporters Subpoenaed In 'Pink Slime' Lawsuit  Jul. 29

KDLT News Archive
     

Schoolers win 2nd straight title  story with video

The boys 17-under Dakota Schoolers boys basketball team won another big tournament in ...

Pitching will be key in State "A" Legion Baseball  story with video

The state "A" Legion baseball tournament starts Wednesday in Huron and ...

Madison wins State "B" Legion title  story with video

It's been quite a year for Madison sports. The football team almost went unbeaten, ...

Madison and Tabor advance to "B" Championship  story with video  Jul. 28

Hejna jumps into college football at SDSU  story with video  Jul. 28

Vikings Sign Rudolph To Extension  story with video  Jul. 27

Birds Blow Chance For Sweep  story with video  Jul. 27

Madison Rolls Past Groton At Legion State B  story with video  Jul. 27

KDLT Sports Stories
     
Back To Top