Family says 10-year-old girl’s service dog not allowed in Colorado business

Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 6:25 AM MDT
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FOUNTAIN, Colo. (KKTV) - A family says they weren’t allowed to bring a service dog into a Colorado business and they’re upset over it. That business owner tells 11 News he didn’t deny service to the family, he just doesn’t allow the service dog into his restaurant.

The family says their service dog is for their 10-year-old daughter who has seizures. The dog can sense them an hour before they happen, so the dog goes everywhere with Payton. So when Payton couldn’t bring the dog into this local business, we got a call.

The owner of Colorado Sno-Balls, a snow cone shop, didn’t want to talk on camera, but tells us the family still got their snow cones, they just had to have them outside. Payton Doughty says she and her family went to the business in Fountain with her service dog blue earlier this week.

“The manager or whatever just came to us and said he can’t have a service dog in the building,” Payton explained. “I was embarrassed as heck.”

Payton says the owner told her his business was quote, “a sterile environment,” so the dogs were not allowed inside. The owner shared the same claim with 11 News.

We reached out to the El Paso County Health Department and according to the Colorado Retail Food Rules and Regulations, service animals are permitted in retail food establishments that are open to customers. 11 News also talked to the Rocky Mountain ADA Center. They say ADA rules state, ”establishments that sell or prepare food must generally allow service animals in public areas even if state or local health codes prohibit animals on the premises.”

The business owner wouldn’t talk on camera about what happened with Payton, but did give 11 News a statement, saying:

Payton’s mom tells us they plan to file a complaint with the ADA. The business owner did tell 11 News he reached out to the health department about service dogs and the rules.

As of now, we have no information that he’s changed his policy.

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