Saturday, January 5, 2013

Salvation Army access issue

Service Dog For Charlene

I visited the Salvation Army store (in my local area of Statesville, NC) with my Service Dog [ in training]. The manager of the store told me to leave the store. I was told that I could not have a dog in the store. I respectfully replied that my dog is not a pet, that she is a Service Dog - and in training. The woman then told me that she did not care for dogs and that I needed to leave. I told her that the Americans with Disabilities act of 1990 gives my service dog and I the right to be in a store just like anyone else. She then told me that she was allergic to dogs and that I had to go. I was also accompanied by my daughter (who was very pregnant at the time - due to be induced in 6 days) as well as my two older grandchildren ages 11 & 9. We were next in line at the counter and I told the lady that I would be glad to leave as soon as my purchase was completed. She snatched my items up from my hand and started to ring them up. I mentioned that they had the dots on them for half price off (which is a regular Wednesday promotion on clothes) and was told that I was not a senior citizen and did not qualify for the half off. I was stunned, this was clearly a retaliation to me trying to educate the lady in a very nice way on the ADA law governing service animals. I was so upset, my daughter was outraged and the grandchildren were just bewildered. This is supposed to be an agency that helps people - Who would have thought that they would be the ones discriminating... I for one will NEVER set foot inside another Salvation Army Store again. I hope that the corporate office takes this to heart and actually teaches their employees about Service Animals and "How best to handle situations with people with disabilities" An apology would be nice.

You can follow the story on Charlene's facebook page.