Video: Couple Is Kicked Out of Restaurant Because of Their Service Dogs


A police officer escorts Dr. Richard Davis from a restaurant in Clearwater Beach, Florida.
Photo via firstcoastnews.com

As regular readers know, we have been vociferous in our support of people with service dogs being treated fairly in public places, such as restaurants. But here’s a story that suggests we might need some kinds of standards for identifying what is and isn’t a service dog. A couple in Florida, Lior Shar and Dr. Richard Davis, claims that they were kicked out of a restaurant because of their two service animals, which they say are alert dogs for their disabilities. Sounds like an open-and-shut case, right?

Here’s the problem: The “service dogs” in question are two Morkies, who apparently travel in a baby stroller. (You can see them in the video news report linked below.) They may very well be alert dogs, but who among us would think that, just seeing them on the street? It seems that restaurant managers and such are being put in a tough position in which they feel they are being taken advantage of by folks claiming that their dogs are service animals—something that we know happens pretty frequently.

The worker says on the 911 call, “They are saying that their dogs are service dogs, but I don’t think that they are. Now they’re cussing and acting irate in front of other guests.”

I have no idea whether or not the claims of Ms. Shar and Dr. Davis are true; there’s no evidence either way presented in this news story. If these are service dogs, of course they have every right to be in that restaurant. But should there be any onus placed on the owners of the service animals to present them as such? Or should restaurants and other businesses err on the side of not mistreating actual service dogs and just accept that some folks will lie?

What do you think?

Click here for the full story.

5 thoughts on “Video: Couple Is Kicked Out of Restaurant Because of Their Service Dogs”

  1. As someone who is a volunteer puppy raiser, for a service dog organization, I’m really skeptical of their service dog claim. Generally with dogs trained to alert, they’ll need to be in contact with their owner in order to alert them (touching, licking etc..). You don’t want a service dog to bark as an alert, as that would be extremely disruptive to where ever they are, so having the in a stroller makes it problematic for them to alert without being disruptive.

    So there are a lot of holes in this story that do need to be filled, before I would say that they are legitly service dogs …

    Especially with TWO of them.

    Its suspicious!

  2. We all have to license our dogs. Why not have a method for licencing a service dog? Along with a usual saddle the dog has a tag ID’ing it as service animal.

  3. I am a wheelchair user and my service dog is a highly trained dog from Canine Companions for Independence. A true service dog should be easy to recognize, since their training sets them apart, Unfortunately, the owners of these dogs in the story began to cuss and cause a disturbance when confronted, This behavior and the fact that their dogs were not obviously put forth as “service dogs”, makes it much harder on legitimate service dog teams when we go into businesses. I feel the law should change and allow a business owner to request credentials. My dog is so highly trained, I am proud to show off her certifications.

  4. Sharing what I’ve posted in a few places. I REALLY hope this can be resolved in a way that benefits the most people!!

    Has the couple that “claim” their dogs were BOTH Service Dogs (actually – I see they referred to them as “Alert Dogs”) said what EXACTLY do THEY NEED an “Alert Dog” for – especially 2 “Alert Dogs” (were there JUST 2 dogs as a story I’m looking at now show 3 of them in a picture – https://wtsp.com/picture-gallery/news/local/2014/08/18/couple-service-dogs-kicked-out-of-restaurant/14258555 & the other restaurant goers do NOT seem happy with them?). The fact that the reasons they would have 2 “Service Dogs” & they not explain why in the article makes me REALLY question what’s REALLY going on here (I’ve not seen an explanation in the 8 articles I’ve read so far).

    I for one have NUMEROUS QUESTIONS as I KNOW that things are NOT always as they’re being presented:

    • If an animal is not a Service Dog, can’t the restaurant get in trouble to have animals inside?

    • In the law it says that the Service Dog can NOT be disruptive. Were these dogs being disruptive? Was this couple by chance feeding their dogs people food IN the restaurant (especially out of their baby carriage)??

    I’d never heard the phrase “Alert Dog” so I looked it up ( https://AlertServiceDogs.com ) & it seems these dogs are for diabetics & are specifically trained to react to the chemical change produced by blood sugar highs and lows to help give the diabetic peace of mind. So are BOTH of these owners of the dogs Diabetic? & why couldn’t one dog monitor BOTH people (I called 2 companies that train these dogs & they both said that one dog COULD monitor both people).
    • I’m curious – were this couple eating healthy – not foods to trigger their diabetes?

    I don’t care that the law says they don’t need to explain why they need a Service Dog, but they’ve created some UNANSWERED questions & if they’re making charges that is beyond their little embarrassment – that could potentially harming a business – so I feel that THEY SHOULD be accountable & provide PROOF that they are telling the truth just as much – law or no law.

    • Why are we not seeing interviews with people that were there aas in the picture I saw at https://wtsp.com/picture-gallery/news/local/2014/08/18/couple-service-dogs-kicked-out-of-restaurant/14258555 – pictures 3 & 4 – the other patrons did NOT seem happy as they’re looking at the DOGS.

    I ask questions because especially in this day & age, there are many fools that like to harass & sue &/or try to extort money from people or they’re just so wounded that they want others to suffer as they do.

    I TRULY hope this is not the case of this couple (does anyone know if they have a pattern of threatening to sue people for not doing things the way THEY want things go be done?).

    I’d just like FACTS & DETAILS to help prevent whatever happened from happening again!!

    If they do HONESTLY need these TWO “Support Dogs” to help them get around in life & this happened – I think if this was NOT about getting•extorting $$ – why wouldn’t they agree/be happy if the restaurant did serious Sensitivity Training & they (this couple) got some articles out to help educate the public that “Support or Service Dogs” are not just for people that are blind.

    If it is true that they TRULY DO NEED TWO Support Dogs – BUT – they’re suing because they’re embarrassed – well – GROW FRICKING UP & just EXPLAIN to the person WHY you NEED a Support Dog (2 at that). COMMUNICATIONS is IMPORTANT in life & just saying you need it for 2 little dogs (am I correct that they were in a baby carriage???????) is NOT good clear communications.

    Are they the type(s) that are just SOOOO emotionally attached to their dogs (because THEY [the human] are desperately needing to be loved) that they don’t want to be separated from them?

    There are LOTS of restaurants around that have Alfresco•outdoor dining & LOTS more space than what they restaurant seems to have INSIDE. As a matter of fact, there seemed to be a lot of space in front (based on one of the above mentioned pictures).

    They could have qualifications for an Emotional Support Dog – but I’ve seen LOTS of people ABUSE that title.

    I’m currently living in Costa Rica (before I was in Florida) & I can’t tell you how MANY people CLAIM their dog(s) is a Service Dog – in part because it’s a cheaper way to fly them there in the cabin with them.

    Someone I know brings her 2 little dogs with her whereEVER she goes & I can tell you, MANY people are NOT comfortable with it as she rarely asks permission before bringing them in – even into parties at people’s homes & I’ve seen them create situation – like the child that wants to walk them & does but doesn’t know HOW to walk a dog goes like a bull in a china store with them through the house – knocking things over & making people feel REALLY uncomfortable. Heck, SHE OFTEN takes them off the leash – again – withOUT permission (& with that said, MANY people say it’s ok because they don’t want confrontation – when they do not mean it), or they bark & bark if she leaves them in the car (under a tree, cool outside, windows down & water). Or at restaurants she’ll tie them up near her table – but then waiters have to walk around the pets or their leashes if they get up to walk. Not everyone is comfortable with dogs as MANY people have been bitten or for whatever their reason is. The bottom line is SHE is dependent on these dogs to give her love & affection – but surely not to the degree of anything seriously wrong like they help her beat Panic Attacks or something. She’s just thinking of HER needs

    FYI – I LOVE LOVE LOVE pets & actually do Pet Sitting professionally – so my comments have NOTHING to do with not being a pet lover. QUITE the opposite – as the pets I watch get 2-10 massages a day, get to sleep with me & receive LOTS of positive praise & more. My whole intention is to help the pets feel secure while the parents are away so they have less trauma & they’re happier when the owners return (pets, like children, pick up on the energy of their parents & act accordingly).

    I DO feel that there should be some sort of license/OFFICIAL Tags for “Service Dogs” that they MUST meet some sort of LEGAL criteria since – like Handicapped Placards for cars – there ARE those that abuse the system.

    Again – this couple might TRULY need BOTH the Service Dogs to help them – I sure hope they do if they’re trying to bring harm to this restaurant.

    It sounds like the restaurant is doing THEIR PART to rectify this situation (I read somewhere they’re going to do some sort of Sensitivity Training for their employees) – I just hope the couple making these threats look DEEP INSIDE to see what THEIR ULTERIOR MOTIVES are here!!

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