Restaurant boots veteran due to service dog
By Elizabeth Dinan
Posted Mar. 20, 2016
Ex-Army Ranger says it's an opportunity for education
Former Army Ranger Brian Zagata, who served three tours in Iraq, is seen with his service dog Franklin. Zagata, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, was denied service at a Portsmouth restaurant because restaurant staff were unaware of federal law. Courtesy photoA war veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder, Brian Zagata was asked to leave Portsmouth's Domo Japanese Restaurant because his service dog, Franklin, wasn't welcome.
"This is a good opportunity to let people know that service dogs are allowed public access," he said. "I think the education piece is really important."
Zagata said he served as an Army Ranger and was deployed to Iraq three times. When he returned home, he said, he struggled with service-related stresses and took up yoga, meditation and, through Operation Delta Dog, was paired with Franklin, a mixed-breed rescue dog.
Zagata said on March 5 he and his girlfriend went to Domo on State Street for dinner with her parents when the manager and a bartender both told them Franklin was not allowed in the restaurant. Zagata said he produced a card with information about federal law pertaining to service dogs, but it was returned to him by restaurant staff who said again Franklin wasn't welcome inside.
Zagata said he told the bartender it's "against the law" to deny access to service dogs and was told, "I don't care."
"So we left," he said.
Domo manager Michelle Zheng said last week that she remembers the incident and wasn't aware of the federal law pertaining to service dogs when Zagata and Franklin were told to leave. She said Zagata and his party were angry and didn't give her enough time to call the health department, or her lawyer, to verify the law. "I did not have any time because they were so mad," she said.
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Sunday, March 20, 2016
Veteran-Army Ranger Forced To Leave Restaurant Over Service Dog
Every disabled American needs to be upset about these stories since they also mean anyone with a service dog is not being allowed in!