Service dog denied entrance at Virginia restaurant

POQUOSON, Va. (WRIC) — A Virginia woman said a restaurant owner recently refused to allow her service dog to enter the business.

Susan Nelson said she has an ongoing balance issue that sometimes causes her to fall down, requiring help getting back up. Her German Sheppard Cali is trained to help her in such situations.

However, during a recent trip to Mama Mia’s Pizzeria in Poquoson, the business’s owner refused to let Cali inside.

Nelson told 8News affiliate WVEC the dog has been in the restaurant in the past.

“A lot of people jump to, don’t mess with the police, go get a lawyer and sue him,” Nelson said. “I’m not sure the gentleman knew what the law was. Why would I want to do that?”

The restaurant’s owner said he didn’t know the law that service animals are required to be allowed in public places.

He now says service dogs are welcome at the restaurant in the future.

He also offered Nelson a free meal in apology.

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