Marine veteran Ryan Foster says he was asked to leave a convenience store because of his service dog. He wants businesses to know that not all wounds are visible.
“Discrimination shouldn’t happen and it definitely shouldn’t happen to somebody who served the country. Not just me but anyone who has served the country,” Foster said to KDAF Kansas.
He is a regular customer at this gas station and stopped in to buy a soda.
“I went over to cash out and once I cashed out one of the ladies behind the cash registered asked me to leave very aggressively. When I asked why, she said it was because of my dog,” he said.
Foster has faced a number of health issues over the last five years including multiple heart attacks, a stroke, and a seizure, according to the news source. His service dog Beauty never leaves his side.
“She can tell the chemical change in my body and alert me that something is about to happen. If it does happen, and I’m incapacitated, she will go out to and find the nearest human she can find and alert them,” Foster said.
Foster tried explaining that service dogs were backed by federal law, but it didn’t seem to matter to the clerk.
“She told me that I’m not blind or deaf that I don’t need a service dog,” Foster said.
Foster called the local authorities, Lenexa Police, who weren’t much help either.
“I was very insistent in ‘you are wrong about this’ the Civil Rights Act of 1964 says you can’t discriminate against anybody for any reason. [The officer] turned to me and said ‘it’s a private establishment, they can do what they want’ and he left,” Foster said.
“Instead of the establishments just automatically saying you’re not allowed in or you don’t have access, they can ask ‘what does your dog do for you? What tasks do they perform?’” Owens said.
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