Disabled Vet And His Service Dog Kicked Out Of Gun Store

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When a disabled veteran walked into a gun store in Athens, Georgia with his service dog he was not only asked to leave but then banned from the store after a confrontation with the store owner.

Russ Murray was serving in Afghanistan when his Humvee was blown up by an explosive. He suffered both back and brain injuries from the incident. His post-traumatic stress disorder is so severe that he used to be afraid to leave his home. Then Ellie, a service dog, came into his life. For the past year she has been by his side.

When Murray went into Clyde’s Armory over the weekend the owner, Andrew Clyde, told him that Ellie was disturbing his security dog Kit and that Ellie was not allowed in the store. Murray was escorted out by employees when he tried to refuse to leave. “I was just extremely hurt,” said Murray. “I have this animal to help me when I’m out and it is really disturbing that a business would do that when she’s there to help me go into public.”

Clyde maintains that under the Americans With Disabilities Act, a business owner can ask a customer with a service dog to leave if the dog is being disruptive. Clyde insisted he couldn’t allow Kit to be distracted by another dog to the point she would not be able to do her job.

Murray’s attorney, John Beasley says Clyde should’ve made accommodations and could have brought merchandise outside the store to show a customer. “The issue is whether or not he was accommodated for a service dog and clearly he wasn’t, and that’s a violation of the law,” said Beasley.

Murray hopes his story will make other businesses to be aware of the law and welcome him and Ellie into their businesses.

26 thoughts on “Disabled Vet And His Service Dog Kicked Out Of Gun Store”

  1. Former VA employee here: There are many vets who claim their pet dog as a “service dog” and have no legitimate identification or documentation of any type of training. Comes up in medical centers all the time. I’m sympathetic and a dog lover, but it causes problems all the time, mainly with patients who fear dogs. My guess is the Veteran may have been looking for an argument or may be more sick than he admits, and a gun store seemed like an exotic location to pick a fight. Probably much ado about nothing…

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    • You really think an attorney would take the case if Murray’s dog wasn’t a legitimate service dog? Don’t make assumptions about a situation you know nothing about.

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    • FYI you can train your own service animal the only true identification as a service animal is a filing with the county of where you dog is lisenced there is a special tag for a service dog you apply for with your dogs tags and lisence. the rest is just either places who train or national registry for you to attach your dog to regaurdless there are guidelines they are expected to be able to pass to make it as service but some are fit others are not anyplace rather it be a gun shop mcdonalds drs offices ect it doesnt matter people have to be tolorent of a service animal as do others have to be tolerant of people and there obvious stupidity your accepted so accept others with there service animal stop discrimination

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      • By federal law and American disabilities act, there is no requirements for certification, no official registry, if there is, etc…

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    • i don’t know how it is in the states, but in canada, there is no “legitimate documentation” required for a service dog beyond a doctor’s note stating the dog is required.

      business owners may ask how the dog assists and offer alternatives – ie, if the dog mainly picks up objects if dropped or retrieves objects from shelves too low for the person to bend over to get, then the shopkeeper may *offer* someone to accompany in lieu of the dog but if the person refuses, that’s it.

      the business owner cannot ask “what’s wrong with you?” or anything else.

      oh – and there is NO “official” service dog licensing from the government (not even from the american govt). there’s a couple of organizations that certify service dogs but, by and large, they only certify their own dogs that they train (and charge a packet for) – if you’ve trained your own dog, you’re out of luck with them unless you’re fortunate enough to find one of their trainers who will take your dog through the paces and see if it meets criteria.

      the canadian tire near my house: they have a “no pets” sign up but they have a different approach – they automatically assume any dog in the store is a service or assistance dog and if the dog acts up, they tell the owner the dog has to leave. saves time, money, energy, and irritation all around that way.

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    • Usually mucha do about nothing in these situations. Everybody wants to pile behind the “wronged?” party. I see it as both being wrong. The vet didn’t know how to properly handle the situation and went crying to the News and attorney BEFORE attempting to work it out with the store owner, who was wrong in his actions but I believe misinformed about the law. Some areas are not black and white in the laws. If service dog handlers were truly informed about ADA laws MOST of this would never happen. I’m going on 13 years with a service dog and can honestly say I’ve never come upon a situation that I couldn’t diffuse politely on the spot. Screaming to the News is only giving the rest of us a hard time. Read the ADA Laws, educate shop owners and yourself FIRST. I’ve noted that those that scream the most usually have fake service dogs.

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    • Educate yrself on ADA Federal laws, no certification or documentation of proof needed, my service animal is certified by certified animal trainer, though you cannot be asked to carry or prove certification, ie… Ada fed laws, can only ask what function does said service animal perform, and if it is a service animal…..wearing a vest is one way of id’ing service which is a courtesy, ie….identification, patch visibly saying a service animal, until laws are changed unfortunately easy to access and purchase vest and patches, but if caught hefty fines if done illegally. My service animal provides many services, will allow,my to know mthis, she offers support bodily, reminder to take medicine, provides assistance I. Blocking from back and front when anyone too close, alerts and end of aisle when others are coming or if aisle is clear to cross, medical support and alert dog also….sits on command, does not interact with others or animals when they are close and trained to other unpredictable situations,as to not react, interacts to various situations with no reaction, always in continual training and will never stop for positive reinforcement. Only difference for service dog in training and service dog,,,,service dog once deemed fully trained has right to go anywhere public is served, but on Texas, service dog in training now allowed same rights, has to be animal trainer and or device handler deemed to train service animal and does not have to be allowed access as fully serviced animal trainer…IE ADA federal law which will always trump state, city laws and health codes, violation of fed. Law if not adhered to…..exceptions are …federal buildings, military posts which have their own rules….AIRLINES….etcera etcetera

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      • *******cannot ask anyone their disability – privacy laws, law varies state to state i.e. in Texas service dog in training is not allowed same right as service dog, Only animals that are allowed in public places is with handler, trainer, and public servant, i.e. police officer in performance of duty. This in U.S. education and advocation can be assisted by disabled person if situation or indvidual allowed, in this case first thing stated was owner did not listen or have knowledge of ADA laws…if service animal does provides or injury risk then can be legally asked to leave, but has to be allowed in again and if issues with example allergies, both parties have to be provided ……..research but then if you were trained properly or self educate you would know this!

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        • FOR ALL…THERE IS NO OFFICIAL IE, threenorns, stated correctly regarding information on his posting…i.e. official registry, if in your city, or county ,,, uninforcible by AMERICAN DISABILITIES ACT and federal law, certification by animal trainer only courtesy if service handler i.e. disabled individual, et cetera…self trained by individual is also allowed….

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  2. I don’t rush to judgement on anything I don’t know the complete story on, and none of us know this complete story unless we were actually there when it happened. It could be as simple as this news story tries to make it sound, but I have doubts. Everyone wants to judge this store owner as “anti-veteran” when maybe he’s just against rude, disruptive people in his store, whoever they are. Was the vet rude and disruptive? I’m not saying he was, I’m saying none of us really know. You don’t get banned from a business without a pretty good reason in most cases and being a disabled vet does not automatically give someone a license to be a dick.

    Reply

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