For the third time in as many weeks, a disabled veteran has been kicked out of a Houston-area establishment for trying to enter (legally) with a service dog. Aryeh Ohayon served with the U.S. special forces in Afghanistan and relies on a service dog to cope with his post-traumatic stress disorder. When he and his dog, Bandit, were denied entry to a local restaurant, Ohayon called Houston police in hopes that an officer would vouch for his rights. On the contrary, the officer who arrived at the scene not only failed to speak with restaurant management, but also asserted that Ohayon was in the wrong.
"The officer said to me, ‘You're not blind, you don't need a dog,'" Ohayon told the Houston Chronicle. "It's frustrating and a let down. We put our lives on the line, we want to be treated like normal people."
Earlier this month, two other veterans experienced similar discrimination, when each was illegally questioned about his disability then denied entry to a Houston establishment, on the grounds that neither was blind. Managers' assumptions in both cases were that these disabled people did not need the assistance of their support dogs.