Ask Restaurant in Minnesota to be Held Accountable for Refusing Service to Vet with His Dog

  • by: SUE LEE
  • target: Management and Staff of Iven's Restaurant in Brainerd, Minn.

Please sign and share this petition in support of this veteran from the service who was asked leave an area restaurant in Minnesota because of his therapy dog. The man who has PTSD was totally humiliated and hopes to raise awareness to other people and businesses before more people are affected in the same manner. This seems to be a constant and common issue nationwide and businesses need to realize that it is actually illegal for restaurants to ask someone to prove their dog is a service dog under the Americans With Disabilities Act!

In Brainerd, Minnesota, Paul Connolly, a Navy veteran was turned away from a local restaurant in his area because he was not allowed to bring his service dog, Cooper into the facility. The vet stated that "It's been a miserable 10 days. It felt awful to be turned away ." A spokesperson for the restaurant, Iven's states that this was just a matter of miscommunication, saying "I don't understand how this has escalated the way it has.   We certainly would never knowingly offend any guest."

Mr. Connolly suffers with PTSD and has continual nightmares, panic attacks and depression. It was through the Veterans Administration that he learned of service dogs for veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Patriot Assistance Dogs (PAD) provides dogs and training at no cost to the veteran. The veteran has to be under the care of a mental health provider with a recommendation that a certified psychiatric assistance dog, Cooper to be part of the treatment. This animal is not just a pet; he reminds Mr. Connolly take his medications, wakes him during night terrors and calms him during panic attacks. The man never leaves his home comfortably without having Cooper by his side.

Mr. Connolly and his wife were meeting friends at Iven's on the Bay north of Brainerd.   After initially preparing to seat the Connolly's, waiting for six others to join them, the Connolly's said staff members came back and asked them if they could prove their dog was a service dog. The Connolly's said they offered to provide an ID with the law covering service dogs but before they could get it out, the staff member left and later came back saying they would have to go outside because someone in the restaurant was allergic to dogs. This man's rights were violated because it is actually illegal for restaurants to ask someone to prove their dog is a service dog under the Americans With Disabilities Act!

The Connolly's said it raised their understanding of discrimination and how that must feel for people with disabilities or those who are judged by the color of their skin.   "Service dogs do not have to wear vests," Nancy Connolly said. "It was devastating for us to feel discrimination. I really did feel it that night." Please sign and share this petition in support of this veteran from the service who was asked leave an area restaurant in Minnesota because of his therapy dog. The man who has PTSD was totally humiliated and hopes to raise awareness to other people and businesses before more people are affected in the same manner. This seems to be a constant and common issue nationwide and businesses need to realize that it is actually illegal for restaurants to ask someone to prove their dog is a service dog under the Americans With Disabilities Act!

Management and Staff of Iven's Restaurant in Brainerd, Minn. - It is unfortunate that there was a miscommunication involving Mr. Connolly and his service dog Cooper. Your restaurant was wrong in turning him away and not meeting his needs. The man was reluctant to go out in the first place due to his illness from the service and his worst fear became a reality when you refused to serve him because of his dog. He deserves more than just an apology; compensate him for his distress and realize that that it is actually illegal for restaurants to ask someone to prove their dog is a service dog under the Americans With Disabilities Act! All members of our staff need to be educated on this law and serving those with therapy dogs.

Sign Petition

privacy policy

By signing, you accept Care2's terms of service.

Having problems signing this? Let us know.