(PCM) One would think by now that most retail locations and business would know the difference between someones pet and a legitimate service animal. More and more cases are receiving headlines due to the retail industries ignorance when to comes to the rules that apply to service animals in their establishments.
Coffee chain, Starbucks, has now found itself in some hot water after an employee of the coffee retailer humiliated a military veteran and his service dog. Iraq War vet Yancy Baer and his dog Beans were visiting the Starbucks for a meeting about the service dog’s training when Baer says he was repeatedly questioned about why he even needed his dog in the first place.
The dog is a crucial part of Baer’s life, as he is able to open and close drawers, turn lights off and on, and even retrieve Baer’s wallet should it happen to fall on the ground. Baer was paired with his service dog, Beans, after he lost most of his leg to bone cancer several years ago.
The Starbucks employee repeatedly told Baer that no animals were allowed in the establishment, and when Baer attempted to explain that Beans was a service dog, the employee then questioned Baer as to why he even needed a service dog in the first place if he wasn’t blind.
In the light of the incident and the controversy, Starbucks has issued the following statement:
‘Starbucks always welcomes service animals to our stores. We have spoken with this customer to apologize for his experience, and we hope to have the opportunity to serve him again”
Baer claims that he doesn’t have any hard feelings against the coffee retailer, however he has no plans to visit the establishment again the future.
Starbucks is hoping to use the incident as part of employee training programs and explain that you may not be able to outright see someones disability, so you can never be completely sure just why the service animal is needed.
Definitely time for that sensitivity training, and let’s hope that employee has learned their lesson.