HUMBLE, Texas – A teen said he was denied service at a local donut shop when he tried to bring his service dog inside.
Kyle Leisinger, a 17-year-old high school senior, is also a diabetic. His service dog is trained to alert him during a medical emergency.
“She's a diabetic alert dog, so basically, if my blood sugar goes higher or low she can detect that,” said Leisinger.
Leisinger said workers at Bakery Donuts in Humble ordered him, and his dog, to leave when he stopped by the store last week to pick up a kolache.
“As soon as I step foot in, they started screaming at me from the counter you all need to get the dog out,” Leisinger said. “Get out, get out!”
Leisinger said Scout was wearing her service vest. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, even if a business has a ‘no-pet policy’ in most cases they have to accommodate a service dog.
Leisinger said he returned the next day with a buddy to give the shop some paperwork about the law and explain it.
“They kind of threw the rules in the sink and said we don't allow dogs,” Leisinger said.
“There wasn't much for us to do after that so we left as well,” said Jacob Witkowski, Leisinger’s friend.
An interpreter for the shop said it was a misunderstanding.
“The owner didn't recognize the service dog,” said the interpreter who only wanted to give his first name, David.
David also said that the people who work there are Cambodian.
“They don't know how to read all the English words and the kid was speaking too fast,” said David. “They don't understand fully.”
David said the workers had safety training and they were told they were not supposed to have pets around.
Kyle’s grandfather is diabetic and said there's a bigger lesson here.
“The message for the business is to be reasonable,” said James Leisinger.
As for the business, they offered an apology.
“We do apologize for any misunderstanding to the kids,” David said. “We welcome him to come back.”
Kyle said he and Scout will not be back, but hopes their message gets a warmer welcome.
“Just to raise awareness with that so it doesn't happen to people in my situation,” Leisinger said.
To learn more about the Americans with Disabilities Act, click here.