Saturday, August 28, 2010

Disabled Veteran Kicked Out of Grocery Store For Having Service Dog

Click to read original story from NBC 4 Columbus
Joe Lucas is a veteran of the United States Marines Corp. He suffers from a medical disability that causes seizures.

Because Lucas' seizures can happen at any time, he has Harley.

Harley is a certified service dog. He has been trained to warn Lucas before a seizure happens and to help him recover.

Harley is supposed to go everywhere Lucas goes.

There was a problem at the Chillicothe Sack and Save when Lucas tried to do some shopping and was told to leave the grocery. He said he was told to get the dog out of the store.

"I said, 'This is a service dog. It's for disabilities. It's allowed by the Federal Disability Act to be in these kinds of places.' And she said, 'No, they are not,' " Lucas said.

Lucas said he tried to explain but the manager would not listen and eventually called the police.

"It made me feel like a criminal, and then everybody in that store saw me confronted by the police department when I came out of the store. So as far as they know, I am a criminal," explained Lucas.

Lucas explained the situation to officers, showed his identification and was allowed to leave without incident.

Lucas and Harley have gone to other area stores without any problems.

NBC 4 asked the manager at the Sack and Save what its store policy was regarding service animals. The manager said she was not sure and the store still is checking with company headquarters.


JMC Ministries Response

Written By: Jeremy Caverley

As a veteran of the US Coast Guard, and the fact that Chillicothe, OH is home to a VA Medical Facility I personally use. Stories like these are some what common. From the homeless on the streets, to food pantries, asking for help at the Salvation Army, and the many who proudly wear their service hats displaying medals or tours of duty.
It saddens me to see this kind of treatment. This must be stopped. Until more awareness comes and people learn that veterans deserve respect, I will continue to fight. I will not give up, until all veterans not only get their respect, but the help they need to endure on.

God bless all of those who served.

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