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A disabled Army veteran, her husband, and her service dog were asked to leave a Florida restaurant when they couldn’t show “papers” that proved her service dog was real.
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, people with service dogs aren’t required to carry papers or show any type of registration. They aren’t even legally required to wear an identifying vest, though most do.
Shelly Rivera, along with her PTSD service dog, Recon, and her husband visited the Palace Italian Restaurant in Lakeland, Florida last week. As soon as they entered the restaurant a man rushed to meet them at the door and demanded, “where are your papers?”
“It was very upsetting,” said Shelly Rivera, who served 10 years in the Army. “He was very insistent. I needed the papers.”
Business owners are only allowed to ask two questions: “Is this a service dog?” And “What task is it trained to help you with?” There is no type of registration required.
Rivera has filed a complaint with the ADA and hopes that by telling her story, other business owners will educate themselves on the ADA regulations.