CBC news, Saturday, November 20, 2010
A Brandon, Man., woman says a security guard at a local shopping centre gave her son a hard time over his service dog.
“On the bottom – on both sides – it says she’s a hearing dog,” Joanne Wilkinson told CBC News, pointing out a bright red harness that shows the
animal is a service dog and not a pet.
Wilkinson said the mall guard failed to notice the markings and demanded her nine-year-old son take the dog away during an encounter on Tuesday.
“It just bothers me when that type of ignorance is permitted when he is in authority,” Wilkinson said of the episode.
She said the guard seemed to believe her son did not need assistance because he is not blind. Wilkinson explained her son has Down syndrome and a hearing impairment.
The guard eventually relented and allowed the animal in the mall. Wilkinson, however, said the encounter should never have happened.
“I’m frustrated with the security firm for not having given [the guard] better etiquette training,” she said. “I think for the most part people are
aware, but there are those minor few that just need simple education.”
A manager of the shopping centre told CBC News all service dogs are allowed in the mall.
Wilkinson was also recently involved in a dispute with local school authorities over having the service dog with her son in class.