Thursday, December 24, 2015

Marine Veteran PTSD Service Dog Not Allowed in Gym

Column: Michigan gym owner shuts door on service dog
Lansing State Journal
Judy Putnam
December 24, 2015

Johnnie Trout’s daughter, Samara, 11, who was at the gym with him, pointed out a gym member with a prosthetic leg. She asked if he was going to be required to remove his leg.
Johnnie Trout and his service dog, Raven, were refused entrance to a Holt gym. (Photo: File photo)
The owner of a Holt gym expressed regret Tuesday that a veteran was refused entrance to her facility because he brought his German shepherd, a trained service dog, along for his workout.

With a new state law about to go into effect that makes it a misdemeanor to refuse access to service animals — and a federal law on the books for a quarter-century — it shows we have a long way to go to educate businesses about the animals.

Johnnie Trout, a Marine gunnery sergeant from Holt, said he was refused entrance Monday to the New Life Fitness gym in Holt with his dog, Raven. Trout got his dog in August to help with symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Raven was trained by the Florida-based Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs. She's one of just five in Michigan given to veterans with service-related disabilities by the Guardian Angels.
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