‘Really Ignorant’: NJ Wawa Allegedly Calls Police on Military Vet Over Service Dog
A New Jersey military veteran says he goes everywhere with his medical dog, Copenhagen.
“At this point, I have so much confidence in him. I would find it impossible to get along without him,” thirty-three-year old Patrick Stark, who received an honorable discharge in 2000, explained.
He has suffered seizures for the last three years after sustaining a brain injury during a Seattle, Washington mugging, and says the dog has saved his life multiple times by alerting him that the seizures were coming and enabling him to avoid them.
But two weeks ago, Stark visited a local Wawa in New Jersey, where he moved a few months ago, and said the employees started questioning him about the dog, eventually even calling the police on him.
“Rarely do I get emotional at all, but this was a really sad experience for me,” Stark said outside his Vine Street home in Millville Tuesday.
“They were saying there’s nothing wrong with you…Get out of our store…He’s not a seeing eye dog…Really ignorant things,” he continued.
Watch CBS’ interview with Stark, below:
Stark says he was embarrassed by the whole matter, but offered to show the shift manager a service dog identification tag that Copenhagen always wears, and even medical papers regarding his seizures. Still, he says, the manager asked him to leave and the police were called.
Wawa’s has released an apology to Mr. Stark, explaining: “…qualified service dogs are permitted in all Wawa stores. Because we are a food establishment we have to comply with strict Board of Health regulations which do not permit pets in our stores, but of course qualified service animals are permitted and welcome.”
Stark, however, remains less than satisfied, and is reportedly considering legal action.
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