An Ohio man says he was turned away from a cafe because his service dog looked too fluffy. The owner of the popular North Market Cafe in Columbus claims that her Fourth District eatery is pet friendly and doesn’t discriminate against customers with dogs or employees who have pets.
A blind man was turned away from a cafe because his guide dog was “too fluffy” and the owner of the cafe said he would not allow him to enter with his dog.
Stephen Vallance was essentially barred from the Star Cafe in Sidcup. (Photo courtesy of SWNS)
A café has justified its choice to turn away a blind man with learning problems because his guide dog is “too huge and fluffy.”
Stephen Vallance, 44, his mother Ann, and his Alsatian-Labrador cross, Wills – who is neither huge nor fluffy – were repeatedly turned away from the Star Cafe in Sidcup, south-east London.
Despite regulations prohibiting companies from discriminating against guide dog owners, he was advised to either wait outdoors in the cold or leave.
On a previous visit with Stephen’s final guide dog, Linton, a black Labrador who died two years ago, Ann alleges they were turned away from the same café.
Despite being accompanied by a guide dog trainer, they were refused away on their second visit with Wills, wanting to enjoy breakfast.
Despite the fact that neither sort of dog is very large, the café said there was not enough space for the three of them.
‘He [the café owner] is an arrogant pig,’ Stephen Vallance stated. I believe he has an attitude issue. I believe he dislikes dogs, but it is unjust to blind people.
‘What he’s saying is complete nonsense; we’ve gone to various cafés, bars, and businesses. Wills is a typical dog size.’
Wills, according to the café owners, would deter customers from eating their breakfast. (Photo courtesy of Guide Dogs/SWNS)
‘Wills is still in training, but he functions as Stephen’s eyes,’ Ann noted. We didn’t enter the building, but a client who was standing outside advised us to sit outside.
‘However, why should we — there is no reason.’ Stephen underwent a kidney transplant a few years ago, therefore he is more sensitive to the cold than others. This should never have occurred in the first place.’
‘You know, I’ve known them [Ann and Stephen] for years,’ a café representative stated. The guide dog is too big and fluffy.
‘The coffee shop patrons don’t like it, therefore we lose business.’ She showed up with the enormous dog the other day, but there was no space.
‘She doesn’t get it — she simply assumes that because they have a guide dog, they can walk anywhere they want and sit wherever they want, but that isn’t the case.
Wills is a new member of Stephen’s family who is currently undergoing training (Photo: Guide Dogs / SWNS).
‘We have tables and chairs outdoors, which she does not want.’ That is why I will not allow them in again.’
The cafe’s ‘illegal’ acts were described as ‘awful’ and ‘very disappointing’ by the charity Guide Dogs UK.
‘It’s simply wrong that Stephen and his mother Ann were placed in this situation,’ Clive Wood, lead regional policy and campaigns manager at Guide Dogs, said.
‘It’s stunning that entry was denied despite Stephen and Ann’s explanation that Wills was a working guide dog.’
The café owner, according to Stephen, is a “arrogant pig” who just does not like dogs. (Photo courtesy of SWNS/Guide Dogs)
‘All blind and partly sighted persons ought to be able to live their lives as they choose, feeling confident, autonomous, and supported in their daily lives.’
‘It is against the law for a company or service to reject access to a client with a guide dog, yet it occurs far too often.’
‘According to our data, three-quarters of guide dog owners have faced access denials, which is a clear form of discrimination.’
According to previous surveys, roughly 72 percent of guide dog owners think it has a detrimental impact on their ability to socialize.
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