Veteran’s Service Dog Denied Entry Into Convenience Store

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FOX19.com-Cincinnati News, Weather

David Long just wanted to get a cup of coffee when his service dog Harry was denied entry into a convenience store in South Carolina. Now Long wants to bring awareness to the rights of service dogs and is considering legal action against Circle K convenience stores.

Long suffers from PTSD, he had a long military career that included being part of search and recovery at the Pentagon after the attacks on September 11th, 2001. He also served in Iraq where he almost lost his life to a mortar blast. His service dog Harry helps him deal with his PTSD. “He’s a comfort to me,” said Long, who often feels nervous in public. “He can sense the nervousness. He has a calming effect.”

On Monday Long and Harry went into the Circle K convenience store to get a cup of coffee. “The clerk noticed Harry, didn’t see his vest, and said, ‘You’re going to have to take your dog outside,’ said Long. “I said, ‘He is a certified service dog, it’s legal for him to be he in here, so that’s the way it’s gonna be,’ and she didn’t want to hear it. She said ‘Obviously you don’t look blind, so you have to take him outside.’” Long tried to explain to the clerk but she in turn called her manager and eventually the cops were called to the scene.

Cops sorted out the situation, and Long tried his best to stay calm. His PTSD training and Harry helped him from losing his cool completely. One of the deputies waited with Long while another talked to the convenience store clerk. He informed Long that they deal with this kind of situation all the time. Long is hoping by getting this story out more people will become better educated about service dogs and conflicts like this can be avoided. Long has filed a complaint with the Department of Justice and is considering other legal action as well.

12 thoughts on “Veteran’s Service Dog Denied Entry Into Convenience Store”

  1. As a disable person with a trained, authorized, service dog I always try to educate the “uneducated” that not all disabilities are visible. That does not make them less painful or burdensome for the person with the disability. Under Federal law I can be asked only if it is indeed a service dog, and if it is my service dog. That being said, I usually tell them what my disability is and what my service dog does to help me every day of my life. I am proud of my super canine citizen. She practically has her own fan club where I live. She is a welcome guest wherever we go. If I ever encounter a horse’s arse like this American hero did, then they can bloody go to hell. I will just call a police officer to the scene. Present my dog, documents, vet records (yes, I carry copies of all these when I am out in public…just in case) to the officer. Then, I will file charges against the business that denied me access. I am old, but I am mean as a snake!
    You have to stick up for what is yours and what is right in this life…

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  2. If ANYONE KNOWS HOW TO REACH DAVID LONG, PLEASE CONTACT ME OR HAVE HIM CONTACT ME.
    OUR NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOC. SPONSORED THE VESTS FOR HE CITY OF COLUMBIA POLICE K9’S & WE HOLD AN EVENT CALLED “DINING WITH DOGS” THAT WE WOULD LIKE TO INVITE HIM TO.
    WE PROVIDE THE MEAL FOR THE OFFICER OR WARRIOR AS WELL AS A DELIGHTFUL MEAL FOR THE K9’S FROM PUP CAKES.
    THE K9’S ARE SERVED A YAPATIZER, ENTREE & DOGZERT, THE HUMANS ORDER OFF THE MENU. WE WOULD LOVE TO HAVE DAVID & HIS K9 COMPANION JOIN US FOR DINNER AT MR FRIENDLY’S IN FIVE POINTS.

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