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service dogs

ZLI
Galiano Island...
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99 posts
416 reviews
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service dogs

I have a disability and am assisted by a dog. On a recent trip to Port Angeles, two restaurants (Bella Italia and Jasmine) refused to allow the dog. We were told we would have to tie her up outside as guide or service dogs were not permitted. We did this, but at Bella Italia, they seated us but then completely ignored us. They were so rude we had to leave - me nearly in tears because I felt my disability was the reason we were treated so badly. Went to Jasmine where we were told no service dogs allowed, only in grocery stores. At least they served us after I left my dog outside. At Jasmine, the place where I left her was safe and I could see her and the server was nice and apologetic about the owner's rule. Have any other disabled travellers experienced such blatant discrimination? We could have gone to a drive through, but how is it fair that disabled people can't eat in nice restaurants in Washington. Is this just a Port Angeles by-law or a state wide issue? I travelled in Mexico, California and Oregon without difficulties like this

Seattle, Wa
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4,711 posts
39 reviews
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1. Re: service dogs

That's illegal. I won't speculate on why you ran into this in two places in the same town, but here is the law:

www.hum.wa.gov/FAQ/FAQServiceAnimal.html

There is a different section on that website about filing a complaint.

Edited: 1:12 pm, May 21, 2014
ZLI
Galiano Island...
Level Contributor
99 posts
416 reviews
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2. Re: service dogs

Wow - thank you. I am surprised. These places seemed so adament. I was getting depressed about the refusals (other places also just said "No dogs"), and hungry so went along with the demands to leave the dog outside. I won't complain to the HR commission, but I have contacted the Local Chamber of Commerce who have speedily told me they will do some education on the topic of disability and access. I am rather new to the service dog world.

Poulsbo, Washington
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
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9,706 posts
8 reviews
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3. Re: service dogs

Sorry that happened. I will contact them both and ask for an explanation.

Vancouver, Canada
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26,999 posts
60 reviews
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4. Re: service dogs

Its a shame that as a disabled person, you also have to take on the role of educator. I can appreciate that if the restauranteur doesn't understand the difference between a pet and a service dog, they are just concerned that they will lose their license if they let a dog inside. Hopefully they can be reassured that a service dog is not a pet, and as such, they are not breaking any health regulations by allowing the dog inside the restaurant. Good for you for contacting the Chamber of Commerce, that's a great channel to let them know about the problems you encountered.

Edited: 1:52 pm, May 21, 2014
Port Angeles, WA
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
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9,704 posts
18 reviews
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5. Re: service dogs

I am sorry this happened, and I'm not the only one.

I called the folks at Jasmine and spoke to one of the senior staffers. He knew all about the service dog fiasco and was very apologetic and embarrassed. What happened was this: the senior staff was off duty, and an inadequately trained, uninformed junior hire handled the OP's request to enter with a service dog. The junior hire's refusal was wrong; Jasmine knows it, and they are so very sorry that this happened at their restaurant. Obviously, it will never happen again.

I will talk to the owner of Bella, whom I have known for years.

This sad and harsh behavior is not at all characteristic of Port Angeles, a big-hearted town, that, for all its problems, steps up immediately when anyone, tourist or local, needs help. I suspect the Chamber people are mortified.

ZLI
Galiano Island...
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99 posts
416 reviews
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6. Re: service dogs

Thank you for all your kind words and assistance. I know what was done was done out of lack of knowledge, not malice. I only want to assure this doesn't keep happening. Your assistance in this is appreciated more than I can express.

7. Re: service dogs

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