Veteran says service dog was denied inside pizza parlor

A veteran says he was walking into a popular pizza parlor and was told he couldn't have his service dog inside.

HOUSTON, Texas (KHOU) -- A veteran says he was walking into a Houston pizza parlor earlier this week and was told he couldn't have his service dog inside.

"I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for Pancake,” said Justin Masters, a veteran.

Pancake is a service dog, trained to help Masters fight P.T.S.D.

"I survived 7 I.E.D. attacks, I almost lost my life November 21, 2006, I have a purple heart," he said.

However, when he walked into Fuzzy's Pizza in Houston and "the lady immediately started telling me I can't have a pit bull in her restaurant,” said Masters.

"His anger was justified, but it could have been handled better, on both parts,” said Hugh Russell, who works for Fuzzy’s.

Russell told us it was his boss who didn't realize it was a service dog. Although even he admits, remembering Pancake's vest.

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"I think people are pretty unaware of the service dog laws and I now know you can't ask people for their service dog ID,” said Russell.

He apologized to Masters, but says they were turned off by the veteran's response.

"That's why I have a service dog, I am a very angry person at a lot of things, this is the reason why he is next to me,” said Masters.

It's the invisible wounds of war, Masters hopes more people will remember you can't always see.

"We're not just trying to take our dog everywhere with us, this is not a dog, this is a tool, this is a legitimate lifesaver for me,” he said.

The American Disability Act says you can only ask two questions when it comes to service dogs: Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability and what work has the dog been trained to perform?

There's several things the law says you specifically cannot ask about such as the person's disability, medical documentation, a special ID and you cannot ask the dog to demonstrate its ability.

For more information on the laws, click here.


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