Blind Woman Told To Remove Guide Dog From Pub
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
November 21, 2005
WIRRAL, ENGLAND--A blind woman was ordered last week to remove her guide dog from a pub because the landlord felt it was in the way and she didn't need it, anyway.
According to the Liverpool Daily Post, Dorothy Knight, 28, was having a drink with her sighted friend in the Coach and Horses on Tuesday night, when the landlord came in and told her guide dog, Yogi, would have to leave. Even though Yogi was sitting quietly at Knight's feet, pub operator Barrie Mitchell said the dog was taking up too much room.
"I didn't feel I was being discriminatory," explained Mitchell. "The woman was with a bloke, who could see perfectly well, and there was no reason for the dog to be in the pub."
"It didn't look like a guide dog as it had no harness or collar on it, and I wasn't convinced that it was . . . I've been in this business for 21 years and I've nothing against dogs, and guide dogs have been in here before."
Knight said she told Mitchell that she needed the dog with her, especially if she needed to use the pub's restroom.
"My partner said a guide dog could not be refused as it was against the Disability Discrimination Act, but the landlord insisted it would have to leave because it was only a small pub and there might be people who don't like dogs," Knight said.
The Disability Rights Commission has told Knight to send a letter to the landlord. If she does not get a satisfactory response in 14 days, the DRC will intervene on her behalf.
"This is illegal and it's stupidity," said Richard McLinden, access officer for the Liverpool Association of Disabled People.
"If it was a wheelchair user would they have asked her to take that outside? The dog is her eyes as the wheelchair is someone's legs."
"Blind customer's guide dog ordered out of pub" (Liverpool Daily Post)