A Starbucks in Houston, Texas, won’t allow an Iraq war veteran to bring in his service dog. The veteran is an amputee.
KHOU11.com reports (via LibertyUnyielding) that while serving in Iraq in 2009, Yancy Baer learned he had bone cancer after undergoing treatment for a leg injury. His left leg from the knee down had to be amputated.
A high point came about 14 weeks ago when he met his new best friend, Verbena, a physical service dog that had come to him through a national organization called Canine Companions for Independence (CCFI).
But a low point came when Baer traveled to Houston from San Antonio to share his experience on behalf of CCFI. He had arranged to meet his contact at a Stabucks. But before he could enter the store, he was confronted by an employee who told him the store had a no-dogs policy.
When Baer explained that Verbena was his service dog, the employee countered, “You’re not blind.”
Baer was wearing pants at the time.
But Baer says he harbors no hard feelings or ill toward Starbucks and that if he had been wearing shorts, the Starbucks staffer wouldn’t have made such a fuss: “People with disabilities, you can’t always see those disabilities. You never know what a service dog is for.”
Starbucks corporate spokeswoman Laurel Harper released the following statement to KHOU:
Starbucks always welcomes service animals to our stores, and this customer’s experience is not consistent with the welcoming and friendly environment we strive to create for everyone. We have spoken with this customer to apologize for his experience, and we hope to have the opportunity to serve him again. We have also spoken with our store partner about this situation and used this as a coaching opportunity for the future.
H/t FOTM’s CSM
- “How’s that new policy working for Starbucks?,” Dec. 22, 2013.
- “Starbucks No Gun Policy Response,” Sept. 21, 2013.
- “Time to dump Starbucks?,” April 6, 2013.
- “Group calls to boycott Starbucks over gun policy,” Jan. 28, 2012.