Legal rights of people depending upon Service Dogs and the uniqueness of Service Dogs
•Legal rights of people depending upon Service Dogs access to all public facilities, with no discrimination of treatment, etc which is established to preserve their the dignity, freedom, and rights.
•Thousands of dollars in fines for not only the individual people breaking the ADA law, but also thousands for the company they represent
•Service Dogs come in all sizes and breeds - Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, American Pit Bull Terriers , etc. -- Many people only think they are for blind people, but they are also used for medical alerts, balance dogs, hearing dogs, etc) might mention there are monkeys and miniature horses that are used as Service Animals as well
3.Increasing public fear is fed by ignorance and prejudice – The American Pit Bull Terrier bad image overshadows the positive long history of this amazing breed and great value to society
•There are American Pit Bull Terriers providing valuable services today - Search & Rescue (Recovery of the 2003 Shuttle Astronaut Remains), Drug Detection (Largest drug bust found by a American Pit Bull Terrier), Service Dogs and Therapy Dogs, etc.
•Amazing pets - Petey from Our Gang, Theodore Roosevelt, Helen Keller, Michael J. Foxx, etc. Millions now happy owners
•Sad Realities - prejudice similar to Racial Profiling, Breed Specific Legislation (BSL), shrinking rights of owners & dogs (banned from different cities, home insurance coverage, etc) and its NOT solving the problem which comes down to Responsible Ownership!
We are looking for media coverage to:
Background of incident
On the evening of February 8th, I was shopping at the Huntington Beach Walmart with my Service Dog (Chloe) and daughter for approx 1/2 hour. Chloe was extremely well behaved. The Customer Service Manager approached us and asked us to leave because “there are children in the store and we can't have a vicious breed in here.” I was stunned and went over Chloe's training, that she was an Ambassador for her breed, and emphasized what she was asking me to do was illegal according to 1990 American Disability Act 1990. The Walmart Customer Service Manager said that she represented the Store Manager's position as well, and she still did not feel comfortable with the dog in the store and asked us to leave. I again emphasized what she was asking was illegal and to carefully consider what she was asking me. She again asked if we could go, and then when I pressed her for it in writing, she said to finish my shopping quickly and not to linger. I told her I wanted to talk to the Store Manager and followed her upfront. After checking out, I asked her when he was coming - she said he look for us and is now busy. She confirmed it was his decision also and they just got off the phone. I said I would wait and to call him again, she said it would be a while and to go because “it won't matter.”
I left and called our OC HUGS Service Dog president. and then called the Store Manager with her conferenced in. I first confirmed his position that he wanted us to go because of our Service Dog's breed and he said and elaborated his prejudice opinions, stating they were an 'unstable and vicious' breed and banned from different cities. He said he was aware of the Service Dogs and their rights, but he had never seen a Pitbull Service Dog in his 20 years. He also emphasized that it was our responsibility to educate the public and we shared that is what are trying to do starting with him. He was closed minded in his opinions, rude and insensitive, and finally apologized when pressed for one. The incident is still on record and should have never happened.
What has been done so far:
HOW YOU CAN HELP
1.1) Go to the send Corporate Walmart online feedback and scroll to the form on the bottom: http://walmartstores.com/GlobalWMStoresWeb/navigate.do?catg=221
Some key points - (Stacey's is a great letter!) - BTW, I got a call from a man with polio that had a Pitbull Service Dog for 15 years and he received the same treatment from another Walmart.
- How upset you are on Walmart's ILLEGAL treatment
- What it means to you as a shopper (whether you will continue to shop or not)
- What you want from them - training for their employees, respectful treatment of Service Dogs, and public apology and support
2) Share with us your thoughts and positive and negative experiences so we can compile for the media as well - firstname.lastname@example.org
3) Forward this to your newsgroups, media, and other supporters --- again, we are trying to:
Help preserve the dignity, freedom, and rights of people depending upon Service Dogs by educating Businesses and the Public on their American with Disabilities Act (ADA) 1990 legal rights and the uniqueness of Service Dogs
2.Help remove ignorance and prejudice of the American Pit Bull Terrier by the positive promotion of their value and merits
4) Thank the ABC Channel 7 news for the positive coverage and support of the Disables Rights and the positive image of Pitbulls (Shown on 5pm News 2/12/07) http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=stationinfo&id=1642694
Appreciate your support on helping us get balanced news coverage! Please feel free to contact me at 562-895-1328, email@example.com. Please view Chloe’s website at: www.freewebs.com/chloethepitbull to find out more about this special dog and the American Pit Bull Terrier plight. Let’s stop the ignorance and prejudice!