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Wetherspoons 'kicks out' disabled woman for bringing in assistance dog

A disabled woman claims she was told to leave a Wetherspoon’s pub – because her dog was not welcome.

Louise Harris had been enjoying a meal at The Reginald Mitchell with five friends and her service dog Bella.

The sandy-coloured cockapoo completes various tasks for her, such as opening doors and helping her owner get dressed.

Louise, a wheelchair user with multiple sclerosis has never previously had problems taking her hard-working pup into restaurants or bars.

But the 40-year-old was dismayed when she claims she was ‘kicked out’ the Reginald Mitchell pub in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.

She had visited the Wetherspoons site at around 7pm on Monday, January 16 and had already started to eat her ‘food and unlimited tea’ offer.

Louise, from Newcastle-under-Lyme, claims she provided proof of Bella’s credentials as an assistance dog, but got nowhere.

She told StokeonTrentLive: ‘The manager came up to me and he said “your dog isn’t allowed in here, I’d like you to leave, your dog isn’t an assistance dog”.

‘I showed him my paperwork. I had my hidden disability lanyard on, you can’t see I’ve got one when I’m sitting down, so it’s got my ID and a photograph which says what disabilities I’ve got.

‘Assistance dogs have to have their registered paperwork which I had on me. They have to have their coats on to prove she’s an assistance dog and not any old dog, so it’s visible.’

But Louise says the manager wasn’t interested in her paperwork.

‘I kept it calm, I don’t like any confrontation,’ she added. ‘I came out and cried. I was so upset and hurt. I felt like a second-class citizen.

‘I have a disability, she’s there for my disability. I use crutches and a wheelchair. She can undo my shoe laces, take my socks off, she’s going to learn how to open doors and press buttons.’

Wetherspoon introduced the ban on dogs on September 10, 2018 but does allow assistance dogs.

Spokesman Eddie Gershon said: ‘Wetherspoon operates a “No-dog” policy in all of its pubs with the exception of assistance dogs.

‘We are dealing directly with Ms Harris to understand and address her concerns.’

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