While traveling through the area Sunday afternoon, I was admitted to D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital in Brewton to undergo an emergency appendectomy. My wife drove up that evening from Louisiana with her service dog in training. My wife is disabled but does not require a service dog herself. She is raising the animal for a registered organization that raises service dogs and gives them free of charge to special needs people.
Upon my wife trying to check into the Brewton Inn, the front desk person was unsure of granting my wife access with the dog, so he contacted the manager by telephone for direction. The manager stated that since the dog is in training, the dog "is not really a service animal" and access would not be granted. The manager also illegally refused to accept the dog's credentials citing the need for more paperwork. The manager made no assist my wife or accommodate the special needs situation as specified by Alabama state law. In fact, the laws classifies this denial of service as a misdemeanor crime. We've never encountered such poor concern by hotel personnel. The desk person was himself embarrassed.
Alabama State Code Title 21, Chapter 7-4 specifically grants persons training a service animal the same rights and privileges as a person with a disability. I am beyond livid for Ramada refusing my handicapped wife access to the hotel in the middle of the night (near midnight) and leaving her the only option of a rundown, filthy, filthy Quality Inn while I'm in the hospital away from home undergoing an emergency appendectomy. While the incident would be sufficiently heinous but only inconvenient during normalcy, the impropriety is all the worse during a medical crisis. If another hotel of sufficient quality had been available for my disabled wife, I would be less aggrieved. Instead, she was required to seek refuge in a rat trap hotel where she wouldn't sleep on the unwashed bed coverings nor walk on the floor without shoes much less shower.
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