Veteran says she was kicked out of Utah bar because of her service dog

Posted at 9:58 PM, Oct 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-21 00:05:43-04

WEST JORDAN, Utah -- A military veteran is looking for change after a local bar kicked her out because of her service dog.

Annalisa Hope of West Jordan says she's embarrassed and disappointed at how she was treated and the lack of education the managers had of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Hope said it happened at Bout Time Pub and Grub in West Jordan.

“He's my battle buddy," Hope said of her service dog, Hawk Eye-- or Hawk for short. "You know in the military you have the term battle buddy, someone who is always there for you; sorry, it’s going to make me cry, because you can tell him anything and they're always there for you, just unconditional love."

After serving years in the military as a medic in Iraq, Hope needs her battle buddy Hawk.

“He’s like the extra eyes in the back of my head,” Hope said.

Hawk helps Hope cope with PTSD and anxiety.

“Because of what happened in the service, I don't like people to stand at my back or when I'm in a large crowd,” she said.

Large crowds like you find in bars like Bout Time.

“It's a loud environment, things can happen suddenly, people cheering can sometimes upset me,” Hope said.

So when Hope went to Bout Time in West Jordan, Hawk was by her side.

“We actually got as far as going into the door,” Hope said.

But she says they were kicked out because of Hawk.

“It's frustrating because we just wanted to go in have a good time,” Hope said.

Hope said manager after manager told her Hawk could not go in and asked for paperwork or an ID for Hawk, neither of which exists for service dogs.

“What it sounds like is this business is saying flatly we don't allow service animals at all,” said Nate Crippes of the Attorney Disability Law Center.

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, service animals are not required to have vests, certifications or an ID, and they can’t be required to have such items by businesses.

How do you tell if a dog, like Hawk, is a service animal? Two simple questions.

  1. Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
  2. What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?

Those are qualifications Hawk has.

“One of my signals is to tell him 'Six', so he'll face backwards facing my six,” Hope said.

Bout Time is investigating and called the event unfortunate. In a statement they said:

"The experience from last evening, though unfortunate, is a great opportunity to further the conversation about how service dog owners, trainers, food service establishments, pet owners, government entities and the general public can work together to accommodate each other. Bout Time Pub & Grub has a long history of providing great service and support to our women and men in uniform, veterans and persons with disabilities. We always strive to comply with federal, state and local laws regarding ADA compliance. We have reached out to our guest and although I haven’t yet received a response, I look forward to having a dialogue that will bring some positivity to the conversation." - Tim Ryan, Bout Time Pub & Grub

Friday night, Hope spoke with Tim and they agreed to have her come educate his staff about ADA laws.