Vet and Service Dog Get Apology from Restaurant

Maj. Diggs Brown and his service dog get apology from Chicago restaurant that refused to them service.

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Major Diggs Brown, a retired Army veteran and former city council member in Colorado wanted to eat breakfast at Chicago’s Cochon Volant recently.  Upon arrival, he and his therapy dog Arthur Baker Black were told that there is no way he’d be allowed into the restaurant with his dog, and was turned away.

Even though Maj. Brown needs Arthur to help manage issues and symptoms he suffers through having post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, Cochon Volant was not having it.  According to him, this forced he and his dog to look elsewhere for food.

“I have no animosity toward this restaurant,” Maj. Brown said.  “It’s just a fact of life that a lot of people are not aware of the ADA laws and how they pertain to service dogs or service animals.”

After an outcry on social media websites against the restaurant, Cochon Volant has issued two public apologies to Maj. Brown and Arthur.  One made Saturday morning, and another on Sunday.  They were posted to the restaurant’s Facebook page, and in an effort to make things right, the restaurant decided to make a donation to Puppies Behind Bars.

Despite the efforts of the restaurant, many people on Facebook didn’t exactly have the kindest of sentiments towards Cochon Volant.  The restaurant’s general manager, Josh Schatan said that they have been in contact with Maj. Brown, and the situation has been rectified.

“Yesterday’s circumstance was not a true representation of our company policy and we have begun immediate internal review of protocol, training of staff and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) regulations to ensure this will never happen again,” said Schatan.

This hasn’t totally soured Maj. Brown’s opinion of every business in Chicago.  The Hyatt Centric hotel that they were staying at was very accommodating to Arthur.  They had even brought Arthur his own bed, bowls and treats.

Unfortunately, these situations are cropping up more often all over the United States.  Some chalk it up to a lack of knowledge as to the rules and regulations surrounding dogs and the ADA, others are convinced it’s nothing more than a discriminatory thing.  However, many people are being denied service at many places, and in today’s day and age, not knowing the laws is a poor excuse.  Most especially when things like Google and the internet are available to most Americans on command.


46 thoughts on “Vet and Service Dog Get Apology from Restaurant

    1. WOW, must be pretty lonely up there on your pedestal. For the rest of us humans that sometimes make mistakes, it’s nice to see the restaurant apologized (twice) and has been in contact with Maj. Brown.

  1. I agree that the law is in favor of service dogs & every establishment indeed should abide by the law, though in this article it also specifies “therapy” dog…Service dogs are entitled to go where ever with their human, therapy dogs are not & do not have the same rules/laws…

  2. In your article, as shown in the statement above this article, you refer to Maj. Diggs Brown dog as a ‘therapy dog’….therapy dogs are NOT the same a service dogs and DO NOT have the same public access rights as service dogs. The general public gets misleading information such as this and think that therapy dogs have the same rights, or that therapy and service dogs are one in the same. I would hope that in the effort to write an article for the public to read and retain information from, that you would want that information to be true. Maj. Diggs Brown and his dog, I am sure would appreciate the rightful title that they have earned as a working service dog team. (Absolutely no offense to therapy dogs and their handlers)

  3. Why do we have laws prohibiting dogs in restaurants and bars, anyway? We should be at least as civilized as most Europeans and let the business owners make decisions for themselves. Freedom is, after all, what us veterans thought we were protecting.

    1. Typically the restrictions on animals in food service locations comes from city or county health department regulations and the desire to over regulate pretty much everything in our lives.

      The ADA has been in effect for 25 years now, there is really no excuse for business owners/managers not knowing the aspects of the law that impacts their type of business. My wife is a disability advocate and I am in architecture so we are well versed in the implementation of the ADA. It is just amazing that so many business people seem to have no clue about it.

      Here is the website:

  4. Hmmmm. It seems to me that any business would be wise to make sure it’s employees are well-trained regarding anti-discrimination laws. Saves a lot of time and money on lawsuits, not to mention bad publicity. Poor management, to say the least.

  5. So it says therapy dog in a sentence, when clearly the dog is a “service dog”! I’m sure, Stephanie, you have made mistakes. Why raise your blood pressure over something minor?

  6. Some people would and have lied and say their dog is Service or Therapy just to allow them entry. How would a hostess in a restaurant differentiate? If the dog is not wearing a “vest”?

  7. Sad thing is, you can go online and get an animal listed as a therapy pet. There was an article in which as reporter got a pig ‘certified’ and he took it on a flight for free. Real situations like that hurt the true therapy animals.

  8. Trained Dogs should be welcome because they dont pee and poop everywhere, I hate to see that, in the stores that allow you to bring your pets and even have the clean up stuff there for you to use and still you let the dog of any size potty and walk away, just so upsetting this should not be, ok off my pedestal now but it does upset me to see this happening even at the dog shows. Teach your dog for goodness sake. PLEASE 🙂

  9. well maybe the rules should be changed… a lot of service men and women have now emotional therapy dogs to keeps them calm and safe… things change, the world is a lot different now then maybe when these rights were set….. just saying!!!!

    1. No Christopher, not all PTSD dogs are service dogs. Some are “emotional support animals” and do not qualify for full access rights the way SD’s are.

  10. Author Fred, if you’re going to write an article about service dogs, don’t refer to them as therapy dogs. That is a totally different title, for totally different “jobs” and therapy dogs are NOT allowed public access. Service dogs are covered under the ADA. Therapy dogs are not. Please edit your article accordingly so that you don’t further misconceptions about the difference between the two.

  11. Wow, they apologized, big deal. They only did that to make their restaurant look good. I don’t live anywhere near there…but if I did, I would definitely boycott them.

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