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Disabled woman 'kicked out' of Wetherspoons for bringing assistance dog

Anish Vij

Published 
| Last updated 

Disabled woman 'kicked out' of Wetherspoons for bringing assistance dog

Featured Image Credit: BPM Media

A disabled woman claimed that she was 'kicked out' of a Wetherspoon's pub for having an assistance dog.

Louise Harris, who uses a wheelchair, lives with multiple sclerosis and suffers with a lack of mobility.

The 40-year-old was dining at The Reginald Mitchell on Monday (16 January) with five friends and her cockapoo Bella, who helps her with everyday tasks.

However, at around 7pm, the manager of the Parliament Row pub allegedly approached her about Bella being in the pub.

A disabled woman claims she was 'kicked out' of a Wetherspoon's pub for having an assistance dog. Credit: BPM Media
A disabled woman claims she was 'kicked out' of a Wetherspoon's pub for having an assistance dog. Credit: BPM Media

Louise claimed that the manager told her no dogs were allowed, despite her providing proof of Bella's credentials.

She told StokeonTrentLive: "The manager came up to me and he said ‘your dog isn’t allowed in here, I’d like you to leave, your dog isn’t an assistance dog’.

"I showed him my paperwork. I had my hidden disability lanyard on, you can’t see I've got one when I’m sitting down, so it’s got my ID and a photograph which says what disabilities I've got.

"Assistance dogs have to have their registered paperwork which I had on me.

"They have to have their coats on to prove she’s an assistance dog and not any old dog, so it’s visible."

However, Louise said that the manager allegedly wasn't interested in her paperwork.

She continued: "I kept it calm, I don't like any confrontation. I came out and cried. I was so upset and hurt. I felt like a second-class citizen.

"I have a disability, she’s there for my disability. I use crutches and a wheelchair. She can undo my shoe laces, take my socks off, she’s going to learn how to open doors and press buttons.

"I went to the bus station, I waited until I stopped crying. I didn't want anybody else to know what was going on. I try to fit in as best as I can, I am disabled but I try to be as able as I can.

“It makes you feel like you don’t want to leave the house, it makes you feel discriminated against, and you lose the confidence to go out. It’s shocking they make people feel like this."

Louise claimed that the manager told her no dogs were allowed despite her providing proof of Bella's credentials. Credit: Jon D / Alamy Stock Photo
Louise claimed that the manager told her no dogs were allowed despite her providing proof of Bella's credentials. Credit: Jon D / Alamy Stock Photo

Spokesman Eddie Gershon gave a statement to Tyla: “Wetherspoon operates a ‘No-dog’ policy in all of its pubs with the exception of assistance dogs. We are dealing directly with Ms Harris to understand and address her concerns.”

Wetherspoon's policy, which was unveiled in 2018, states that only assistance dogs are allowed.

Their policy reads: "We do not permit dogs or other animals in our pubs, hotels or in external areas which belong to, or are managed by, us. This includes beer gardens, car parks and outside pavement areas.

"We realise that this may seem quite strict, but our pubs are busy, with families and children present, and we serve a lot of food. Even well-trained dogs can sometimes behave unpredictably.

"We do welcome assistance dogs. If possible, it would be helpful to our staff if your assistance dog were to wear a recognisable leash/collar or harness and if you could bring suitable documentation with you (although not mandatory requirements)."

Topics: News

Anish Vij
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