LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A Hathaway woman with medical alert service dogs claims she was discriminated against when she was denied service at a Lake Charles restaurant.
"There's no place in our United States that we should not be allowed to go. Anyone should not be allowed to go no matter who they are," said Brenda Parsley.
Parsley said it happened at Panda Super Buffet on La. 14 in Lake Charles. She said the restaurant owner was adamant she couldn't stay inside the restaurant with her two diabetic alert service dogs Peanut and Beethoven, even after police were called.
"The owner said I couldn't stay in because of my dogs" Parsley said. "I told them that they were service dogs and she said she didn't care."
7 News checked and Parsley is registered in the national service dog registry. Parsley carries her dog's information cards, though she said she shouldn't have to present it when out in public.
"Any store or business is supposed to ask you two questions; Are you disabled and is that your service dog," Parsley explained. "When you answer yes to both they're supposed to let you in."
Laws under the Americans with Disabilities Act go a step further, regulating that "state and local governments, businesses and nonprofit organizations that serve the public generally must allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas of the facility where the public is normally allowed to go."
"It's ignorance, it's ignorance of the law and it's ignorance of people's well being," Parsley said.
Parsley said she has contacted an attorney, but more than a potential lawsuit, she hopes others will become more mindful of those with disabilities.
"Service animals should not be discriminated against going anywhere" Parsley said.