Aryeh Ohayon and his dog Bandit
A veteran who has a trained and licensed service dog was recently denied service in a Houston, TX restaurant. That could be just a bit of confusion on the part of the restaurant as to the law. So the disabled Army and Navy veteran, who served his country for 26 years, did what he thought he should do to rectify the situation. He called the police.
Sadly they came. Why sadly? Because they didn't know the law in their state. According to The Raw Story:
Last year, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed a bill that made it a misdemeanor to refuse entry to service dogs, irrespective of the disability of their owners.
So this seems quite clear. The vet, Aryeh Ohayon, was within his rights to be served and his being accompanied by a service dog should not have been cause for his embarrassing and unceremonious removal.
But the police officer wasn't the only one ignorant in Houston that day.
Houston Police claim that the officer who responded to the call contacted the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and was told that Thai Spice Buffet II was allowed to bar the door to Ohayon because it is a private establishment.
Ah, the old, "private establishment" excuse. That and the right to religious practices are the two catch phrases hate groups use to discriminate. Fortunately with Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's veto of a discriminatory bill yesterday, a signal went out loud and clear that being a private establishment doesn't exempt you from discrimination laws.
Kudos to Governor Brewer (R - Arizona). Also kudos to Gov. Rick Perry (R - Texas) for signing the bill which would allow the military veteran or anyone else with a service dog to enter and be served in any establishment.
But a big "Boo," "hiss" and "up yours" to the Houston police and the Harris County DA's office for not knowing the law they're sworn to uphold. They should at the very least apologize to this brave man who served us all in the military for over a quarter of a century.
Oh, and if you think this is an isolated event, Raw Story adds this:
This is but the latest in a string of refusals to allow service dogs to accompany veterans with mental disabilities like depression or PTSD. Last August, police in New Jersey kicked Jared Goering and his service dog, Gator, off the boardwalk, mockingly asking him if “all veterans get service dogs.”
Later that month, a Massachusetts establishment kicked James Glaser and his dog, Jack, out, claiming that his reason for having him wasn’t “legitimate.”
More on the KHOU-TV website.