Saturday, February 18, 2006

Service Dog Discrimination in Michigan

And an actual misdemeanor prosecution. See this article. Some excerpts:

A disabled man who requires the assistance of a certified service dog called police after he was blocked from picking up his pain medication at a Rite Aid drug store because of the animal.

David A. Feldman, 48, of Southfield, who was paralyzed from the chest down in a 1999 car accident and uses a power chair, says he was told by the store manager that no dogs were allowed because there is food in the store.

But, under Michigan law and the Americans with Disabilities Act, a person with a disability who uses a certified service dog cannot be denied access to a place of public accommodation unless it puts someone else in an immediate life-and-death situation, said Michael Sapp, Paws With a Cause spokesman.

* * *

The manager, a 31-year-old Southfield man, faces charges for refusing an accommodation to a person with a disability led by a service animal, said Deborah Carley, chief deputy Oakland County prosecutor. The misdemeanor charge is punishable by up to 90 days behind bars and a $500 fine.

A Rite Aid spokeswoman said their policy is to be in full compliance with the ADA.


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