You would think that public establishments would’ve gotten the memo by now when it comes to service animals, but it appears that while they may have received it, Chuck E Cheese just does not care.
Earlier this week a lady from Regina planned on going for a nice dinner with her husband and kids but when she showed up at a Chuck E Cheese location with her guide dog Rick, she was turned away because; you guessed it, her dog.
Ashley Nemeth relies on Rick, a handsome yellow lab to guide her, as her vision is severely limited but it was because of the presence of her faithful companion that she was denied entry to the restaurant.
“It’s anger; it’s frustration; it’s hurt. I think the worst part of the situation is that my kids were standing there with me,” Nemeth said.
“Rick is my guide dog, I’m blind. He is my eyes, he’s just the same as if I was to have a white cane or a wheelchair,” she said.
In a statement emailed to CBC, a spokesman for the company claims that they are aware of the issue and are in the process of re-training their staff accordingly.
the statement reads: “Service animals are always welcome in our establishment, and we expect our employees to accommodate guests with service animals.”
This, is obviously not the case at all, as if it was then there would not be a story here. The statement continues: “We’re in the process of re-training our employees on our policy to ensure service animals are properly permitted entrance in the future.”
Nemeth, who has filed a human rights complaint against the company says that she tried to educate the staff at the restaurant, but they refused to listen to her.
“I was surprised by the lack of understanding or willing to learn, and to understand, but I wasn’t surprised by the situation.”
She says that although her experience was very poor, she is bringing this to the attention of the public so that the next person in her situation will not face the same barrier she did.
“If I can speak up, and I can educate, then the next person behind me isn’t going to have to feel the same way I did.”
Sarah Is a researcher and law student at York University (TORONTO). She has worked as the Director of the Graduate Lawyering Program. After school Sarah worked for an American law firms in Moscow, Russia for three years. She graduated from Columbia Law School, Columbia School of International and Public Affairs and Harvard College. she research interest is in human rights and health law, with a particular focus on the law and policy of vaccination.