Veteran with Service Dog Turned Away!

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by Robin Davis

Hi Everyone, My name is Robin Davis.  I am a disabled USAF Veteran of the Gulf War era. I use the assistance of a service dog due to my service connected disabilities. I’m writing to ask for a little bit of your time to help with something that is very important to me, my family, Military Veterans and the thousands of people who depend on service animals. 

On February 28th, I attempted to visit the Boat, Sport and Travel Show at the Indiana State Fairgrounds with my service dog, Doc.  I was immediately turned away at the Pepsi Coliseum door and was told that no dogs were allowed in the building.  I explained to the gentleman at the door that my dog was a service dog thus the reason for the bright red vest with the patches clearly designating Doc as a service animal. I also explained to him that I was a USAF Veteran. 

     

docvest_400


Right: picture of Doc wearing the exact vest that he wore at the show.


Again, he waived me away. 
I went to another door, and with a little more persistence on my part, I got through.  Later, during the show, an employee of the boat show asked me and Doc to leave because they were getting complaints from people about "competition dogs" being in the aisles and that they had made many announcements warning people and their dogs.
  
I explained that Doc was not a pet or a competition dog, he was a service dog doing his job.  I again pointed out the service dog vest and patches. 
I even went as far as to explain what Doc does for me and why I have him. 
Shortly after that, a second employee told me to leave for the same reasons.
I went to the show office to make sure that they understood the Federal Law that protects service animals and their handlers.  I was yelled at by one of the office staff and asked to leave. 
I  had no choice but to leave the show.  
The story was aired on WTHR here in Indianapolis.  http://www.wthr.com/Global/story.asp?s=9934644
I talked with Mark Kaley of Renfro but he never called back as he promised. 
   
What I’m asking of everyone is to write an e-mail or letter to Renfro Productions expressing your anger about how they handled this situation.  Please forward this to everyone in your address book as well.  The only way to make a difference in situations like this is to make our voices heard.  This was a slap in the face to everyone who uses a service dog and to Veterans as well. 
If you don’t care, don’t write it.  If you don’t have the time, I understand, but this is the most effective way to let businesses know that service animals are a tremendous asset and are protected under Federal Law (and state law) through The Americans with Disabilities Act. 
If it happened to me and Doc, it probably has and will again happen to someone else. 
Thank You,                                                                   
Robin Davis                                                                   http://www.renfroproductions.com/contact.htm
USAF 1990-1993                                                          
PROUD Disabled Veteran
Email: [email protected]                                              
                                                                                   
Renfro Productions & Management, Inc.
6405 Dr. MLK Jr. Blvd. 
Anderson, IN 46013
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