Veteran's service dog not welcome at restaurant
HARTFORD, Conn. (CNN) -- A disabled veteran said she was not allowed to bring her service dog into a Hartford bar, even though she had his registration and paperwork.
Jackie Milhomme was planning on attending a 40th birthday party at Nate's Café and Lounge on Albany Avenue when the owner told her that her service dog Jesse could not be in the restaurant.
"I said yes he is. It's a federal law I can have him," she said. "He is a working service dog. His vest states as such. I tried to show the gentleman his papers and his ID and he brushed me off with that."
Milhomme said instead of fighting back, she chose to leave.
"I was very frustrated," she said. "I was very upset. I went out to the car and I sat there and cried for about 15 minutes."
Milhomme was in the Connecticut Army National Guard and served a tour in Iraq. She said she is still dealing with the after effects of serving.
For nearly a year, Milhomme has had Jesse by her side and he has helped her cope with the nightmares and flashbacks. She said he helps keep her calm in public.
According to the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act, any business that serves the public must also allow service animals to accompany a disabled person.
Some customers who were there said they saw the owner ask Milhomme not to bring the dog back inside. They said it was a misunderstanding.
The Federal Americans with Disabilities Department said Milhomme needs to make a formal written complaint. They said then they will investigate and make sure the establishment is in compliance.