Dogs & Laws

Mom Misses Her Son’s Wedding When Church Refuses to Allow Service Dog

A Michigan mother is devastated over missing the most important day in her son’s life when church officials refused to allow her to enter alongside her service dog.

Michigan mom, Mary Douglas is blaming the Quincy church where her son’s wedding was held for causing her to miss the big day.

Douglas, who relies on her service dog, Stella, after a traumatic incident in Quincy led to PTSD, said going to the same city where the trauma occurred would not have been possible without Stella by her side.

Pastor Robert Montgomery said the church has had a ‘no-animals’ policy in place for months and believes Douglas still could have been there for her son.

Just last week, a Georgia woman was sent to the back pew of her church because of her service dog, bringing to light the fact that churches are exempt from the ADA laws that grant service dogs access anywhere their handler goes.

However, because the church was hosting a wedding, Douglas says it’s considered a public event and that ADA laws become applicable. She’s filed a civil rights complaint with the state’s Department of Civil Rights pursuant to the Michigan Persons with Disabilities Act.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Sage

    Jul 24, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    Why wasn't this cleared BEFORE THE WEDDING? It could have been held elsewhere, and with different, more understanding clergy…

  2. Sandra

    Jul 24, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    These churches need to up date their policies to include service
    Dogs

  3. Nuria C. Rodriguez

    Jul 24, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    So, churches don't pay taxes as well as allowed to not follow government laws? Interesting.

  4. Chris

    Jul 19, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    He states the rule is there due to "allergies and people afraid of dogs"…

    https://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm
    Allergies and fear of dogs are not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to people using service animals. When a person who is allergic to dog dander and a person who uses a service animal must spend time in the same room or facility, for example, in a school classroom or at a homeless shelter, they both should be accommodated by assigning them, if possible, to different locations within the room or different rooms in the facility.

    • cheech

      Aug 2, 2017 at 6:32 am

      Correct. The law is clear. The church is in violation of the law. Who the "hell" does this man think he is, to dictate violation of law, as policy?

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