ROCK HILL, S.C. -- Lacy the black lab goes everywhere with Brianna Murray. As a student at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, Brianna takes Lacy, or rather Lacy helps take Brianna, to all classes, to all buildings and to all restaurants, except on Monday at the Happy Garden Chinese Buffet when they weren t allowed.
Brianna says, And they were like, do you have a license for her? And I replied, No, I don t need one and you can see she is well groomed and clean.
According to the Americans with Disabilities law of 1990, a service animal is not a pet and no pet policies do not apply. It also states that you are breaking the law if you refuse to admit any other type of service animal on the basis of local health department regulations. So it shouldn t have been a problem, but it was.
And so I said I d be happy to have the police come and explain it and they said okay, Brianna told us.
I went and talked with Yue Fang, the woman who told me she was the owner and manager of Happy Garden, on Thursday. I said If it s a service dog, and she quickly replied I need to call the health department. I said, No. Ms. Fang looked at me quizzically and said No?
During our interview, it became apparent that Ms. Fang still today thought it was okay to ask someone for papers to prove the animal is a service animal. She told me she feels this way because she has food in the open and worries about cleanliness, despite the Americans with Disabilities law.
I said to Ms. Fang If you own a business, you have to know what that is. Do you know that now? Ms. Fang replied, No, maybe I need to go find out.
Brianna later told me, It s easy to look up, easy to understand and if you own a business, it s important that you know these laws.
Now back to Monday. Brianna says she stood her ground and did wait for the police to arrive and Ms. Fang did eventually relent and say she could stay, but Brianna and Lacy didn t stay, they just wanted to prove that they could.
Here is a link to the Americans with Disabilities law of 1990.