Veteran Advises Importance of Service Dog after Restaurant Turn Him Away
HARLINGEN – A Rio Grande Valley veteran who went to war is now fighting to educate.
Marine Veteran David Floyd, his son and service dog, Bella, were turned away from a Harlingen restaurant.
Floyd says Bella is always next to him.
"When she has the vest on, she knows she's working. She follows me wherever I go,” he says.
Floyd says his service includes two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan aboard a ship.
"She helps a lot with my PTSD and when I get around big groups of people. I get bothered, uncomfortable,” he explains.
He says he never expected he, his son and Bella would be turned away from a Valley fast-food restaurant employee.
"She said, ‘Sir, your dog is not allowed to come in here. I'm sorry, but you're going to have to leave.’ I explained to her that this is a service dog,” he tells us.
Floyd says he left the eatery but wants other businesses to know service dogs are allowed in public places.
"So, that's why I would like to get this out there. Just so this doesn't happen again,” he says.
The American with Disabilities Act states Floyd can have Bella in an airplane or public places, even if the business has a no-pet policy.
The handler can only be asked to leave if the animal is out of control.
- Is the animal required because of a disability?
- What work or task has the animal been trained to perform?
"Having the dog there, someone to look down and pet someone next to you. She always stays next to me like this. It helps out,” says Floyd.
He wants others to know service dogs are part of a family and they should be welcomed in public places.
Texas state law says if someone denies access to a person with a service dog, they could face a fine of up to $300 and 30 hours of community service.
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