Two Veterans With Service Dogs Kicked Out Of Long John Silvers In Anniston Alabama



We were contacted tonight by two Veterans(USMC and USAF) who were highly upset by the way they were treated when they visited a Long John Silver’s tonight in Anniston, Alabama. The Veterans both have registered Service dogs, and both dogs were also wearing their vests.

This is Reagan, a service dog trained by New Horizons Service Dogs out of Orange City, Florida.




This is Ranger, a service dog in training by 1 Boy 4 Change:




According to the Veterans this is how the event unfolded:

“On Wednesday, September 04, 2013, I, Amanda Houser, and Holly Bolesky went to grab a bite to eat at my local Long John Silver’s (hereby referred to as LJS). We entered the establishment, waited in line behind another couple for approximately two or three minutes, and then approached the counter to order our dinner.

We ordered, and our receipt is stamped at 1900:00:29 pm, today’s date. We grabbed our drink cups and went to fill them, then sat down at a table to wait. After sitting at this table for approximately two to three minutes, the person we later learned was the Manager on Duty approached us and stated that we could not have dogs inside the restaurant.

I informed her that they were service dogs and that everything was okay. She said that “folks have allergies” and that she couldn’t allow dogs inside and that we would have to leave. At this point, another customer at the table next to us said that these were service dogs and that she couldn’t tell us to leave and that she had dog allergies, and they weren’t bothering her a bit. I stated that I could call the police and have them clear up the matter if she preferred.

At this point, the Manager walked away. (This is the same person who took our order.) About three to four minutes after this first encounter, another employee approached us and said that she had spoken to her manager and that he said we could not have dogs inside unless we were blind, and again told us that we would have to leave since we weren’t blind. We again told her that these were service dogs and that she could not make us leave. She stated that we “should just go on ahead and call the cops then”. At this point, I obliged.

My call to the Anniston Police Department was logged from Holly’s cell phone at 1911 pm. I informed the dispatcher of the situation and stated that they wanted me to call them, and I requested that APD send someone out. He said they would send an Officer. At 1922, I logged a call to Janet Carswell, CEO of 1 Boy 4 Change, Inc (the organization I’m certified through), and left a message for her to call me when she got the chance.

At roughly 1925, the officer with APD showed up and went to speak with the manager while Holly and I continued to eat. By approximately 1926, the Officer was speaking with me outside the front of the restaurant. At 1928 Janet returned my call, which Holly answered. The officer asked what happened, so I filled him in on the situation and asked that he take care of it.

He stated that he didn’t know the law as it pertained to this situation, and I called Holly outside as she has had her service dog longer than I had. Holly walks outside and we tell the story again. The first thing he asks is “What are your dogs for?” I state that they are for PTSD. He does not seem to understand why he was called, we inform him of the laws for the state of Alabama, with Janet on speakerphone.

She even goes as far as to tell him the title code for the state law that makes it a misdemeanor to interfere with a disabled person with a service dog in Alabama. The cops dismissed this information and kept talking. At this point, he calls the manager back out. She states that she is “scared of dogs” and Holly and I both inform her that this is not our problem, as they are service dogs, and protected by State and Federal law, in the same manner that a “walker, crutch, or wheelchair” would be covered. She states that she does not care and that she must “look out for other customers who have food allergies or are afraid of dogs”.

Again, we state that, were that the case, we would be happy to move to another table, but it is still not our problem. She also tried to say that “foreign people and other businesses have different rules about dogs and stuff”.  I assured her I have been every place imaginable with my dog and have never been kicked out. We reiterated that this is federal ADA law and is the same in every state.  She claims her manager told her to call 911, so she told the officer that she reported we did not have any weapons when she was on the phone with 911 dispatchers.

Holly and I were both incredulous. How did this even turn to a 911 type of call and involve weapons of any sort??? We got no answer. We asked her if a customer walked in with a prosthetic limb if they would be allowed to stay, she stated they would be. We then told her that Service Dogs are considered medical equipment. She rolled her eyes and stated that this is different.

After a few minutes of discussion with her getting more and more agitated by the second, she tells us that we should have informed the manager on duty that we were disabled and had service dogs with us. We repeated that she was the one that took our order! She claimed to have not seen the dogs…… after a few more minutes of back and forth, she stated that she “ain’t gonna stand out here and argue with them all night Officer, so can you just take care of this I’m going back inside for my other customers.”

The officer says that we are egging her on and blowing this out of proportion and that he doesn’t see what the problem is. He also stated we should keep paperwork with us to help alleviate problems in the future. We told him we had it with us right then and she never asked us for anything, and neither did the officers. We inform him that we will be filing charges tomorrow and will finish eating and be on our way. At this point, we return inside and finish our meal. I clean our table and throw away our trash and we leave.

We called the restaurant at 2047 pm to get the names of the manager and the other employee involved, but no one answered the phone. The Officer stated that he will file a report and that I can pick up a copy of it tomorrow, and that it will be in both mine and Holly’s names just in case. As soon as I get a copy of the report, I will update this incident report with the names of the employees and officers involved.

We are embarrassed by the way we were treated and humiliated that we had to stand in front of the restaurant on a very busy road with two patrol cars and two officers. I am horrified by the way we were spoken to and treated. This should never have happened, and I will work to ensure it never happens again.”


There seems to be a lack of knowledge lately on the part of Law Enforcement when it comes to Federal law concerning service animals.

According to the ADA:

Under the ADA, 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. For example, in a hospital it would be inappropriate to exclude a service animal from areas such as patient rooms, clinics, cafeterias, or examination rooms. However, it may be appropriate to exclude a service animal from operating rooms or burn units where the animal’s presence may compromise a sterile environment.

  • When it is not obvious what service an animal provides, only limited inquiries are allowed. Staff may ask two questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability, and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform. Staff cannot ask about the person’s disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.


  • Allergies and fear of dogs are not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to people using service animals. When a person who is allergic to dog dander and a person who uses a service animal must spend time in the same room or facility, for example, in a school classroom or at a homeless shelter, they both should be accommodated by assigning them, if possible, to different locations within the room or different rooms in the facility.


  • A person with a disability cannot be asked to remove his service animal from the premises unless: (1) the dog is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it or (2) the dog is not housebroken. When there is a legitimate reason to ask that a service animal be removed, staff must offer the person with the disability the opportunity to obtain goods or services without the animal’s presence.


  • Establishments that sell or prepare food must allow service animals in public areas even if state or local health codes prohibit animals on the premises.


And according to Alabama law concerning the ADA:

Section 21-7-5
Penalty for denial of or interference with enumerated rights.


Any person, firm or corporation, or the agent of any person, firm or corporation, who denies or interferes with admittance to or enjoyment of the public facilities enumerated in Sections 21-7-2 and 21-7-3 or otherwise interferes with the rights of a totally or partially blind or otherwise disabled person under Sections 21-7-2 through 21-7-4 shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.


So this is the second incident in which an officer was called and did not know the law as it pertains to registered Service dogs, and Long John Silvers also needs to educate their employee’s that a Service dog is not just for “Blind People”!

The Long John Silver’s in question is at 631 Quintard Ave, Anniston AL 36201, the Facebook page for the national chain is located here:Long John Silvers

I think education is the biggest issue as this is the second incident where an Officer of the Law was unaware of the ADA. I am hoping these incidents start to decline as attention is brought to it and training is implemented. As more and more of our troops come back from over seas, and more wounded than in any other war, more service animals will be around. And it must be embarrassing for these Veterans when they are called out like this in front of people.

If you do contact LJS, please keep it polite and professional, that always leads to the best outcome.


UPDATE: 20130905

We received contact from Long John Silver’s this morning via Email and they asked that we post this response:

I work with Long John Silver’s and to share with you some information relating to your blog post. First, Long John Silver’s values all of our veterans and active duty military. The company has clear policies for restaurants about service dogs and the fact that service dogs are allowed in restaurants.
Long John Silver’s restaurants are independently owned and operated. The owner of the Anniston unit has asked me if you have email addresses for the 2 veterans. He would like to contact them personally to apologize.
Owners statement:
“As the owner of the Anniston Long John Silver’s, I want to apologize to the veterans who visited my restaurant yesterday. One of our staff members was not fully aware of the important role that service dogs fill for veterans. We have talked with all of our team members at the restaurant and emphasized that service dogs fill a number of important roles for people. We have also emphasized the gratitude and respect we hold for all of our veterans.

We are making a donation to New Horizons Service Dogs of Orange City, Florida, to help support their important work. In addition, we invite the two veterans and their immediate families and service dogs back to Long John Silver’s to allow us to show our gratitude for their service.

Dr. Adel El-Sahn


Long John Silver’s, Anniston, Alabama”

We want to thank the Owner for his quick response, and he ensures us that his employee’s should have been aware of the law as it pertains to the ADA. And that he personally ensured that this point was made this morning. We are working on putting him in touch with the Veterans.


UPDATE: 20130905

The owner and the Veterans are making contact with each other as we speak, also the owner had this sign put up this morning.


We will update this story as we get more information.


What are your thoughts?
229 comments on “Two Veterans With Service Dogs Kicked Out Of Long John Silvers In Anniston Alabama
      • You are respondig to an article about discrimination against the disabled by blatantly degrading a whole group of disabled individuals. On what planet do you find it acceptable to use the word “retard” in any way, shape or form? Talk about disgusting and offensive.

      • Seems like a slur against mentally disabled people as a response to this article is the epitome of blindness and hypocrisy. You might lose your job for this comment.

        • Get a Grip!!! I would never call a mentally challenged/disabled person retarded. It is a slang name/word for someone that acts out of the norm. Why make a big deal of it. Jeesh!
          Maybe a better word for the incompetence should of been “idiots”.
          Boy—I hope that I didn’t “offend” anyone.
          I see that LJS is trying to get better informed but
          what about the police and their lack of knowledge??? No mention of that?

          • LeeLee, as a sometimes Idiot myself , I find no offense with your wording 😉

          • It does not matter if you would call some with an intellectual disability or not! The word is offensive in it’s definition. Also who determines what “the norm” is? Ignorance of words and their power is part of the problem in this country. I work with these wonderful individuals everyday and trust me no matter how severe their disability is they all know that word and it’s meaning. So when you tell everyone else to get a grip you need to get an education yourself and some sensitivity.

          • LeeLee, I agree with you completely!! There is way TOO much PC bull out there these days, many of us use words that at one time represented only certain things, people or ways. Get a Grip people, look at the issue’s at hand. I too applaud LJS and the Owner of this establishment!! I thank them for taking this approach, if the person had been summarily fired what would they have learned. As far as the Officers involved I would like to know myself what the City of Anniston is doing to rectify their Officers Ignorance of the Law, OOOW should I have said Ignorance? Did that Offend, sorry could not help myself…

          • I would Have to fully agree. A retard is not an individual with developmental or physical disabilities, a retard is someone who chooses to be retarded. I have worked with individuals with developmental dissabilities for 4 years and i can personally vouch for the fact that they are not “retarded”, they are infact beautiful people who i have come to consider my own family. I have met, worked with, and loved many individuals with developmental dissabilities who i consider to be more intelligent than a retard who drives his tractor into swimming pool for a case of beer.

        • That definition has not been used in several decades ANYWHERE. It is no longer even listed as a valid medical diagnosis in any of the coding manuals we in healthcare use, so don’t even go there… Your used of it I find highly insulting.

      • Why would there be any need for a law suit?? The manager on duty was misinformed. The restaurant owner fixed the problem, and provided the necessary training to ensure it doesn’t happen again in the future. Case closed.

          • That may be but if I were the veteran in the incident, I would not sue. The problem was corrected and the owner of the store apologized and made up for it.

        • Law suits are not just about money. When a suit is filed, it can facilitate a ripple effect within the service industry, or other locales as appropriate. Personally, I have a 150 pound Newfoundland (Service Dog) and yes I am a 100% disabled Vet, and I come and go with him as the need occurs. I have never had any issue in any restaurant, nor do I expect to. But the bottomline for this issue is clear. The manager was from all indications more afraid of the animals than she was concerned about the customers and their allergies. The officer(s) who responded should have been better trained, and should have as a minimum, cited the manager for violating the ADA. Until you have walked in another person’s shoes, you are unaware of how it makes you feel when you are stared at, or treated differently because you have a service animal. These two vets did the right thing in every manner. Should they seek to file suit, they would prevail, but again it is not always about money.

          • Well said David, I totally agree. I haven’t been especially trained in Law Enforcement, but even I know the respect accorded to service dogs and the legal aspect as well. I think something should be done about the Police dept to educate them.

          • I’m not a vet but I am disabled..and I also have a service dog. I choose a pit bull for my service dog I have had alot of problems taking her in public places..because of her breed

        • They stated that they had the paperwork on hand, and that was explained to the officer and the employee outside, and the fact was dismissed.

          If one is being told they are breaking a law, and the law is quoted (down to the code number), and there are papers available to verify this… anyone with any manner of common sense should pause to see if they are in the wrong before “dismissing” the information and continuing on the path they were on.

          Regardless a law was broken, and those offended have every right to sue those that broke it. Not the chain, or employees that did not have a confirmation… but the belligerent one was in the wrong.

          It is VERY commendable that the store owner and the corporation responded so quickly with an attempt to make peace. The way it sounds is that an employee had a fear of dogs and acted irrationally out of fear.

      • how sweet that they posted a sign and misspelled a few words in the process. makes southern people look and sound stupid. and I assure you, not all of us are mean and bad spellers.

      • It is essential that an employee be fired for not knowing every statute and simply acting on what she felt was right with the limited education that someone in that position normally has.

        She felt she was acting properly on behalf of the store in her care.

        Should we fire every fast food employee that gets an order wrong too?

        This, I am sure was a mistake. It was quickly rectified so that it will not happen again.

        Why exactly does someone need to be fired?

        I am a disabled Veteran. Everyone deserves a second chance.

        • It would be understandable if it came from a server or cook, but the Manager SHOULD know better. As a foreman for my company, it is my DUTY to know all applicable laws pertaining to our Employees, Customers and even those who are just standing around gawking.

        • While it’s true that not everyone knows, or even should know, every statue, this particular circumstance was beyond ridiculous. Anyone with any common sense knows that service dogs are allowed to stay with their owners at all times. Also, with the technology available today, it would have literally taken less than a minute to google what the laws are.

        • people are saying she shouldnt be fired it’s enough the store apologised ? have you ever been screamed at by an over bearing food server in a crowded restaurant made to feel like a criminal ? If we allow that they apologised after the fact everytime, store owners will workout they can simply ban all service dogs mass print apology letters and mail one every time it happens.

          If the offence is allowed to go unpunished we the people who served our countries, and left whole and healthy and came home severely disabled with the need of a service dog to lead a normal as possible life will never have that life because we will be barred from socialising by ignorance.
          As for the word retarded , you say its slang it is ok , 50 years ago so was nigger and people were treated as second class citizens even returning servicemen of color who layed their lives on the line for their countries returned home to be ignored and abused and in many cases killed because of the color of their skin. Retarded to the mentally challenged is as denegrating as nigger was to the people of color it puts them in a less than second class status they don’t deserve. The public loses respect when they are allowed to turn insults into jokes.
          I didnt fight for that to happen, I fought for a country where every american is equal irrelivant of health, color of skin or whom they worship ,love or choose to marry.

          • THREE HUNDRED NINETY NINE DOLLARS?!? Ummmmm……perhaps you should use decimals points where appropriate! And speaking of “glass houses” (we were, weren’t we?) Not only was PIECE and VETERANS spelled incorrectly, but so was your “ABSURD’! LOL…..sorry – not judging you – we all make typos – I make lots of them! Carry on…..typing 101 is not the subject under discussion here!

        • What as Veterans were we fighting for???


          I believe it was spelled correctly given the circumstances. I am sure that it was the intent. There are horrific spellers in the north, west, east too. None are better or worse than the other.

          • i would give them the benefit of the doubt and say that they spelled it peace on purpose, but given that military is spelled “miltary” and veterans is spelled “vetrans”, it really makes me unsure that it was on purpose. also the ampersand is backwards which really just adds to the fact that i dont think they did it on purpose.

    • Having a disabled Vet in our family and being disabled myself I think the employee needs to be fired not because not knowing the rules but for being totally rude about the whole thing. The officer needs a kick in the pants for not knowing or not asking his supervisor about the rules. And he should have stood up for the vets that stood up for him overseas. I am not from the South but I would have walked out of that restaurant hearing that employee talking to people in that manner.

    • My name is Les Landry, and I am in Canada.
      I have an organization called “Respect the Service Dog”. It is on Facebook, and I can tell you that Holly had on one of our T-shirts when this happened…
      Our mandate as a group is two fold. One is we try to raise funds so people can acquire Service Dogs, and our other purpose is to raise public awareness so not only our Vets in both countries, but for all people with Service Dogs…
      It is an up hill battle…
      Thank you very much…
      Les R Landry

    • bareburger did the same to me but worse yesterday I am a disabled australian navy veteran with belgian malinois service dog called zeus he is 2 years old and provided by the navy for my injuries below is the story

  1. Years ago, I was dating a 100% service connected woman with a service animal who was evicted from her apartment for having the dog. The JUDGE denied any knowledge of the Americans with Disabilities Act, ignored the copies of the relevant sections that I offered, and ruled against her.

    • The ADA deals with public places, not apartments. Fair housing laws deal with apartments. Your argument should have dealt with fair housing, not ADA regulations.

      • Sorry–the ADA law also applies to Service Animals in Public Housing–you MAY NOT be discriminated against, denied housing, evicted, etc for having a Service animal. This goes for Condos, apartments, single family dwellings, etc. Persons with a Service Animal MAY NOT be denied housing, NOR may they be charged additional pet rents, deposits, etc.They ARE NOT PETS. They are working animals that serve a need for the disabled or handicapped partner.

      • I beg to differ with that actually. The ADA also deals with housing and with proper documentation we are allowed to have service animals in our apartments and they usually do so without requiring a “Pet Deposit.” I have a “Therapy Cat” who helps reduce my constant anxiety and PTSD (Due to an abusive relationship). I live in AZ btw and I have never had any issue with any of the apartments I have ever been in.
        Blessed Be to our vets they are an amazing bunch of peeps )O(

  2. Seems fair enough anyone with a PTSD dog should be able to punch anyone harassing them in the face. At least if the cops will be called make it worth the time and blame the restaurant for taking your medication preventing the response.

      • Why would you laugh? This is not a laughing matter. This person has been through hell backward for you and me and when their rights were denied at a place like LJS’s that is just stupidity on LJS part and I hope they get sued for their disrespect of these HEROS and I will make sure that everyone I know will know about it. Just think I always like to eat there but NO MORE!!!

        • Mrline… really? conciouslyspeaking was saying that Jesse’s post made him laugh…. Not the main article above. reading comprehension…try it.

        • I’m sorry that post was funny….

          In fact if I was like these gentlemen and this situation happened I would actually thank Jesse for making me laugh… because if we cannot laugh we can not live…. If we cannot laugh at the absurdity of the situation then we cannot move on…

          On a final note: If we keep treating victims like victims they will stay victims…. We need to treat victims like normal people and give them a hand up over the crisis that made them a victim so they can move on with their lives

          • By “victim” I hope you aren’t referring to the veterans. They’re not victims for having PTSD from serving for our country. I also don’t believe that they were treated like, or this article is about them being victims. It’s more about them being denied the rights that they have earned through their service related difficulties.

          • Ashley Henson, It was an analogy I was using in response of the victim style statement that Myrline posted above about the joke Jesse posted…..

            talking about being sensitive/politically correct about these veteran’s situation is treating them like a victim… ” through hell backward for you and me” is such a statement IMHO..

            I’m a 2x terrorist bombing victim (once before the military and the other 3 years into my career, all before 1997, I just now retired), and I know what it is like to be treated like a victim, it is special treatment because the other party feels guilty and/or pity for what happened to me. I just wanted to be treated like was before the last bombing, not to be waited on hand and foot or just plain shunned because they think they have to walk eggshells around me. I just wanted to be treated normal. I see all the time with those with physical disabilities, people going out of their trying to help someone who doesn’t want help because deep down they feel pity for the disabled.

    • My mom was disabled so I learned the ADA law and would like to say. Yep the punch in the face made me laugh remove the dogs whoops I need my meds for my PTSD episode just couldn’t take the stress and no meds . Awe I’m sorry did I do that, is that why the managers on the floor ? He took my meds couldn’t help myself . Definitely makes it worth wasting an officers time for something ridiculous now he can earn his money.. Wait until your mom has to use a restroom in a National Park that has the blue sign on door and the only thing they did was put in handrails and call it handicapped . She had hell of a time getting off that low commode and out of that same narrow space the rest looked like

      • I understand that your mother is a disabled veteran, however, that give you no right to even begin to make jokes against veterans who have PTSD. Unless you personally have served or experienced PTSD, you need to calm down with the jokes. PTSD is a huge problem, and comments like these are part of the reason they don’t seek the treatment they need.

        • I’m a vet with a PTSD service dog, and that WAS funny. Lighten up- the intent is to point out the absurdity of denying these vets their rights. The joke was not aimed at making fun of vets or PTSD, not by a long shot. Good grief! If anything, it was an expression of empathy. Are you also offended on behalf of others for comments like “If only karma was like a pizza and you could order it for delivery in 30 minutes or less.”? Imagining this sort of absurd situation played out with the other side experiencing the injustice is a way of getting over it without lashing out.

  3. I admire you for the support you give to our service men and women. Thank you for helping to protect them and their rights. God bless you.

    • backlash ahoy! being close to the ocean I had LJS once stationed in Mo, but never here. I went to their FB page and said I wasn’t coming back….they don’t need to know I don’t anyhow.

      on a side note I wish people wouldn’t resort to name calling or threats, it doesn’t do what you think it does. state how you feel and youll be taken seriously.

  4. The Long John Silver’s store in question as well as the two employees involved and the officers that responded should be educated by means of a multi million dollar law suit. Nothing would educate them faster than the loss of money for being ignorant and embarrassing you in public. It is time that veterans with disabilities started being treated with the respect they not only deserve but the respect the most definitely earned.

    • Actually, the owner appeared to be unaware of what his manager had done until after the fact. I think the manager should lose her job, but let’s not punish a legitimate business owner who did his best to rectify the problem which his (now hopefully discharged) employee created.

    • And I suppose the coffee lady deserved a million dollars. I am a disabled veteran and often get more respect than I feel I should at times. It was my job. It was what I as a free person in America enlisted to do of my own free will knowing the consequences. I am disabled from my service although not through combat as some of my brothers and sisters are.

      If you want to sue someone then that is your right I suppose. But when you have a problem and it is immediately rectified and apologies given then why would you want to seek retribution outside of that?

      I am sure that suing never crossed these veterans minds.

      I would not have blamed the girl in the restaurant for her lack of knowledge, Neither schools nor businesses give you training on disabled people.

      I would however have filed a formal complaint against the police officers and their supervisors for not checking the law before completing their report on site.

  5. On the fence with this one, food chains and places open to the public should know the states laws regarding service animals very well, the police should have some understanding as well but they most certainly do not know every law. You shouldn’t be waiting to be asked for paperwork you should have it ready and hand it over to both the manager and the police with a reference to the law in huge print the minute they start questioning you, LJS hires minimum wage workers do you really think they know the law?

    • Gregory : Under the ADA law you are not required to have any ‘proof’ aka paperwork for your service dog it is often given as a courtesy to the establishment. it is even against the law to ask anything but those 2 questions mentioned in the above article.
      I for one do not expect most people to know the ADA law what I do expect is that when I quote it to them with accuracy for them to stop with the questioning.

      • there has been a rash of people out there ( look up “fake service dogs”) who are obtaining Phony service vests and papers to bring their “ordinary” dogs into places usually restricted to dogs..
        It would be useful if there was a simple, and Absolute means of identifying service dogs.. especially to catch the phonies, I recognize this is a huge logistics problem,,but in the face of those bad people, it needs to be addressed. I know of this personally because a friend of mine recently had her dog trained and certified as a THERAPY dog.
        If I had been involved in this situation, IN SPITE of the Law, I would have asked for some ID (dog’s) and that would have been it.
        the bad people are causing mistrust. and they need to be stopped!

        • Good idea. Should be simple enough. Each service animal could be given a unique number on a special tag given only to them. Make the tags inaccessible to the public. If this info was kept in a Database, maybe LE could verify the animal if necessary. However we definitely need to Educate LE and Business Owners on this issue. Our Veterans have been through enough!

        • Good Points. I do a tremendous amount of work with veterans and many with PTSD and I’ve struggled through it myself. But a couple of points on this, as I am on the fence with it. There are in fact many, many folks with fake service dogs and some are veterans. I’ve met veterans who do not have PTSD but claimed they did, and used the service dog as a crutch for special recognition.. stolen valor of a sort I would suppose. I questioned one such veteran on this, and her PTSD when questioned, she stated was from a bad breakup while she was in the service. Wow… really.

          Anyhow, another point is that restaurants don’t always have to comply with a veterans or ADA’s demand to allow the dog. For example, if the manager has a phobia or allergy to dogs, then it’s not reasonable to ask the manager to put their health (mental or physical) at risk.

          However, it would be a violation for the manager to refuse service to the veteran or disabled person. What they would have to do to still be within the law is to tell the veteran or disabled person “that they are welcome to eat and dine here, but because of the health risk to an employ that can not be relieved at the moment, the dog will have to wait outside” As long as the veteran or disabled person is offered the same service as everyone else without their dog, the law is still being complied with.

          It’s touchy and we have to make sure our veterans and persons with disabilities are not being discriminated against, but at the same time, we have to respect the disabilities of others in the establishment. One persons disabilities does not trump anothers. Common sense must prevail at some point.

          Lawsuits to punish someone for not getting your way is simply not the best message to send.

          • I agree with you James.

            You can make some people happy all of the time and all of the people happy some of the time but you cannot make everyone happy all of the time.

            Someones fear is no less important than some ones disability.

    • According law you can only be asked:
      Is this a service dog?
      What tasks is it trained to perform?

      You are not required to maintain paperwork although many willingly do and have printed cards with the law and a DoJ ADA hotline number on them.

      You are not required to disclose your medical history to a minimum wage worker to get a piece of fish. You are required by law to have OHSA information and everything else posted for your employees it is not unreasonable to ask for a page saying don’t fuck with service animals.

      It is also illegal and punishable by up to 30 days in jail (in most states) to interfere with a service animal performing its task.

      • Jesse, you expressed this better than I could have ever stated. And who the hell cares if someone is allergic to dogs? Keep your butt inside!

          • As an Emergency Room nurse I have to disagree with you Alan. If the allergy is severe enough medical treatment is needed. There are those whose allergies are so severe that even an Epi Pen is not effective and you can’t get those over the counter. If the reaction is a rash with itching then OTC medications may work but even then you take the risk of the reaction becoming an Anaphylactic reaction. Those reactions require hospitalization. As far as the allergy to dogs goes I think you have to use common sense on both sides of the issue. Is someone else going to be hurt by your actions or not? If there was truly someone in the restaurant that was that highly allergic I think the person with the dog would have to weigh their actions and ask themselves can I do without my dog for a few min. That is human kindness and in my experience most people have forgotten that these days.

    • Doesn’t matter, the officer should have known the law (its his damn job!) or at least called for a supervisor or to a shift lead. Police say ignorance of the law is no excuse, well now. His department is now gunna pay for HIS ignorance.

      And death by power point as well….

      • Herp a derp (what a strange handle!). While I disagree with many of the comments posted, you are absolutely correct in your “suggestion” that the LEO should have called his superior….sergeant, watch commander or whomever. Believe me, LEOs try to know ALL the laws, but with the politicians changing them constantly, that’s pretty tough. A HUGE WORD OF APPRECIATION to all of our Law Enforcements Officers and our VETERANS without whom, you wouldn’t live in a country where you could dine out at will…..with or without your service dog. And BTW, I don’t and won’t go to LJS because of different reasons. Neither would you if you read the most recent inspection report by our county health department…….GROSS! (I speak of course only of my local LJS….can’t judge those I’ve never been in).

    • No proof is needed. The dog is unfortunately proof enough that it is a service animal. I work in Hospitality and it would be a termination if I ever asked to see proof or asked anything other than if it is a service animal.

      • I would say it depends on the animal’s behaviour. see my other replies here. there have been cases of people obtaining fake vests ..if the dog acts like it’s been trained I would not have a problem.. otherwise I would question it. an Easily accessible database could be helpful (type in the dog’s #, get a response Yes dog is real, No dog is not registered, call police!).

        • There is no requirement for Registration for a Service dog! Many other people who are disabled are not able to afford to pay for the training for a service dog through an organization. They can cost upwards of $15,000 if not more! People on a fixed income can not afford that so Many train their own service dogs. But even with an owner trained service dog it should be well behaved in public, However the ADA states if the dog is acting out and is being a distraction or has been deemed to be Dangerous to other patrons such as snipping barking or biting at people the establishment can request the handlers remove the dog from the establishment.

    • IGNORANCE of the law does not excuse one from the law. Do you ask a blind person for their papers regarding their dogs? Do you ask a person in a wheelchair for their papers stating they need it as a medical device? Actually the Police had no business what the nature of her disability was. He did not need that bit of information to dole out a decision. You ought to look up how many airlines have been sued for this. Now they have been cautioned to keep their mouths shut!

      • I was just going to say that! Ignorance of the law does not excuse you and if it were any other situation, say DUI or something you would bet the officer would cite you anyway whether you knew what the legal limit was or not. So many people out there that are uninformed about PTSD and what service animals do that I think this issue SHOULD be addressed as much as safety in the workplace is. Maybe everyone should be required to go to a class about service animals and the ADA laws as part of the hiring process.

  6. I definitely support our veterans and will not frequent this L J S any longer. We, my wife, drives by it going to and from church, ocassionally have stopped in, but not any more. And will inform them of this.

    • Why do you want to boycott a restaurant that has and is trying to make this right? A misinformed employee made a mistake and was not unreasonable in her interpretation of what she thought was company policy. Employees of restaurants are taught health department rules. The owner has a very honest an sincere remedy. Why is this not acceptable to you? What’s next, boycott all restaurants that get one order a day wrong?

      • This owner has made NO contact with these 2 Veterans! He has only made a statement to the media and put a special on his billboard. All of this to protect his interest, not to make right what was done. I have personally been in contact with one of these Vets and have gotten the facts about this.

  7. This comment needs to be erased, and the user banned from this bored! You sir are a disgrace for your comment and due to your prejudice are showing the same ignorance as the LJS employees in the story. You dont deserve the right to post on a bored that is focused on restoring honor, not dishonoring yourself!

    • @ Your Normal Citizen. You are not a “Normal citizen” at all. Your ignorance actually overshadows the stupidity of the manager. Do grow up and educate yourself. That kind of attitude and thinking is sooooo 250 years ago. May the Lord Jesus help you!

      • how dare you use the Lord Jesus name while also commenting on how stupid a manager was you judgemental pos without even knowing that manager or having any idea what happened. You are truly the ignorant one here.

  8. I also posted it on Twitter so it could go viral there too! So LJS will just HAVE to deal with it. People leave their country, their families, and friends and everything that they love to go fight in wars. Then when they come home some are not the same as they were when they left. So many come home with scars that are not visible. It is not like these 2 American Veterans waltz up in the Long John Silvers with friggin Cujo. They were service dogs and the lack of education and just downright ignorance may cause some heads to roll but they will be able to recover and go on with their lives unlike the 2 veterans who were so disrespected. If they have service dogs then they are in some way limited. I just hate it happened to 2 American Veterans that gave themselves both mentally and physically only to be embarrassed over some greasy fish. My heart goes out to them and I thank you for your service to this country. As for the “Manager” if I dare call her that. Honey there is more to management than filtering grease and slapping fish on a plate.

  9. That was a very articulate posting of the incident and I understand due to the frustration and treatment, my experience has been “Less is More” when dealing with this issue. LJS and ALL Businesses that serve the public (food establishment or not) have the responsibility to know the law and train every employee accordingly. Unfortunately they don’t in many cases and when it comes to incidents like this… “Ignorance is NOT Bliss”.

    There are a few “Statements of Fact” that seem confusing to me. You mention one is “Registered” and that may be a local thing specific to your State but it’s NOT required under The Department of Justice amended regulations implementing title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – those took effect in 2011. Until then, service animals (most commonly Dogs) used for PTSD were considered “ESA” (Emotional Support Animals) and DID NOT enjoy the full benefits bestowed on “Medical Service Animals”. Many of us spoke up and out addressing this issue along with concerns related to BSL’s (Breed Specific Laws) and Service Dogs. There are Many Pitbulls working as Service Dogs – something that’s almost genetically bestowed on them (as opposed to the Public Opinion that they are all just Ticking Time Bombs of K-9 Killers). I’m very aware of these issues as I’m blessed with a Blue Nose Gotti Pitbull. (Aloha Lilly on Facebook) She endures tremendous ignorance and hatred weekly. The “they don’t have weapons” comment is just a mandated question any dispatcher will ask when taking a call regarding a “disturbance” – don’t let THAT bother you.

    There IS a Major problem with a growing number of people who buy a “Service Dog” vest online and say… Voila! This has really hurt the issue and I’d love to see some sort of “National Registry” and ID Cards but it hasn’t happened yet. As long as the Dog is very well mannered, obedient and obviously NOT aggressive to Anything or Anyone (ie. No Barking) then its pretty much a non-issue. My girl is 109lbs of Muscle – the biggest one being her Heart! We have been the victim of countless “little yappy dogs” in someones Purse or Stroller while at a mall or similar public place – some have even successfully bitten her. She doesn’t respond unless the other dog tries to bite ME – then it would be / has been “Game On”. Someone can only ask “if the animal IS a “Service Animal” and what “Service” classification it provides (not what they do) for example “Mobility” with mine or it could be PTSD (now) Seizure Alert, Hearing Impaired and many more. That’s where any necessity of conversation can end. NOW – if the Dog is barking, peeing or disrupting people that’s another issue, you could be asked to leave but most businesses don’t even want to go down THAT road due to the fact they’ll most likely lose any lawsuit involving an actual service dog. That’s a gamble most business owners aren’t willing to take.

    You can find out all you need to know here ( ) I’m posting all the additional info here because this is going to be a growing issue as the benefit of Service Dogs to our Wounded Warriors is quite frankly – Priceless, and the number of people having a dog is growing daily. I’ve been working in Social Services for over 24 years and I cannot Touch Lilly’s (my Dogs) Skill. She can do better work with a hurting, depressed or suicidal Veteran in 30 minutes than I or the VA can do in 8-12 Months!

    Three things or suggestions – First, if you want, this would probably turn into a pretty good Lawsuit. Second…. if you decide on going in that direction IMMEDIATELY Request / Demand a copy of their Security Video (this will be invaluable when showing the Dogs created no concerns – if they’re like mine they probably just crashed out on the cool tile floor) and Finally – Go to the Media! They LOVE Stories like this and you’ll probably end up with several Attorney’s willing to take your case on contingency. Keep in mind…. if you DO go to the Media, you will be helping educate a great many people at once… not just “complaining” about a certain establishment.

    I’m looking forward to your updates and don’t take this incident too personal, it comes with the territory of having a Four Legged Loveable Lifesaver.

    • Good and helpful reply, sir. I SO agree with your description of pitties; the bigotry toward them is just ridiculous. Earlier it was doberman dogs and before that German shepherds. Ridiculous. I hope these people do sue; something must be done to raise the awareness of this problem.

      I have no doubt that such an invasive situation could actually trigger an PTSD anxiety situation for a service member.

      • “consciouslyspeaking” posted an EXCELLENT and well researched reply…..Thank You! But Susi…….for you and the others that agree with you…. My God, we have ENOUGH (more than enough) frivolous law suits in our courtrooms. Make a blog, post it on Facebook and Twitter and email your friends, BUT a lawsuit, this DOES NOT MAKE! The number of litigious persons such as yourself, is overwhelming and ridiculous. If someone ticks you off……. SUE THEM!!!!!

  10. This is just so wrong.. It is terrible that some people are so ignorant now days. Yes these officers should know these laws…since they are supposed to aid and serve the public, & the employees of LJS as well as any other food service should know the laws also. It doesn’t take a genius to know that if a service dog comes into the building that they are supposed to treat them with utmost respect. Those service babies are better trained than the cops or employees. And people call them ‘just a dumb dog”… get real people! I worked in food service for over 16yrs, and I’ve seen some stupid situations before and have dealt with a lot of people but never with someone who just wanted to show how ignorant they could be. I hope that a lot of others read this article because it is very informative and maybe will help someone if they have to face this kind of situation in the future to not be so stupid. Thank you for posting the laws for service dogs. Another bad place is in airports,,,these dogs get kicked and screamed at by again ignorant people who just don’t care about others. Anyone reading ..if you see someone being cruel to a service dog and his companion, please take the time to butt in and make them stop. These men and dogs have most likely been the ones who have kept you safe at night, who have watched over your rights in war and peace, and believe me.. they have dealt with or are dealing with problems bigger than someone being allergic to dogs. Thanks to the lady who said that she was but it would be alright.. maybe she had the feelings of that could be my son with that dog… ya never know. I hope that Amanda, Holly, Ranger and Reagan are well compensated for their embarrassment and harassment from the “manager’ and employees and the cops as well. If you put on that uniform every day.. know what it means to be inside it. Don’t disgrace it. Oh and btw.. One of these could have been my daughter down the road at some point in time. My daughter’s name was Amanda and she was military also. Semper Fi

  11. As a Graduate of Univ of South Alabama, and a person who has visited that said establishments… I will not be visiting them any longer AND they will be receiving a written letter to both that restaurant and corporate informing them why. Since the manager is the corporate representative at the time of the incident… this was an illustration of poor training in Federal statues and respect for human dignity.

  12. I live 5 minutes from this LJS. I will enusure that I let them know I will be posting this all over FB and emailing every Veteran that I have email contact with in this area…..oh, did I mention I am active duty and stationed here? Game on.

  13. The complete ignorance of the officer who responded just goes to show that this issue needs to be addressed at MANY levels. Law Enforcement and food chains such as LJS aren’t being properly educated on the laws. They need to be and fast as this is an ongoing trend.

  14. I filed an online complaint with the company. This is what I was given….

    “Thank you for taking the time to contact us. Once again, we apologize for the problem you experienced and will promptly give your feedback to our restaurant manager to help us improve.

    Your comment number is: L189680

    Please come back soon so we may serve you again at Long John Silver’s.”

    If I get any response I will be sure to post it here!

  15. I stand By you, as a DAV with PTSD, who has yet to decide on weather to work towards getting a Service dog to help with the stress issues, I understand your feelings, and I have also observed folks with fake service dogs using them as extra charity bait when begging for “donations” and i have confronted them and gotten laughed at because no one can make them prove their status due to the ADA rules which they just love.. which pisses me off, if you need any back up give me a call, got your 6, ex paratroop here..I still take care of”my” troops..and that is anyone serving or who served…regardless…sharing this and making my notes too…

    • So Police Officers are suppose to be able to recite EVERY Federal, State and local law at anytime and if they can’t their useless? Look in the mirror and you will see ignorance…

      • No, an officer should not and can not know all state and federal laws. Even an attorney or judge won’t be that good. But the officer should have had the wherewithal to call the sergeant or lieutenant on shift and say, “hey, I have an issue regarding service dogs, etc.” and they would have hopefully provided insight to the responding officer(s).

    • I’m an 8 year veteran of the USMC and OEF/OIF veteran as well as a police officer now. So you think officers should know every single law? First of all, I’m only trained and authorized to enforce state and local ordinances. Secondly, if you think YOU can memorize every single law that has been passed, be my guest, you can start here:

    • I agree that they either should have known the laws/statues in this situation, or at least have been able to contact someone/look up the law within a few minutes. I also think that they handled the situation poorly, but in no way does any of that make them “ignorant.” While police officers are not military members, they are one of the few that protect the U.S and therefore deserve respect, just as these veterans did.

  16. Makes me embarrassed to admit that I live in Anniston, AL. Please don’t judge us all by the ignorance of a few.

    I’m surprised that this happened in this day and age. Shameful! I will repost this on my FB page.

    Thank you for serving our country. God bless you!

  17. I am a retired Navy man who also has 16 years as a Law Enforcement Officer under his belt who is also diagnosed with PTSD among several physical disabilities rating me at 90% disabled. Before you get all over the Police Officers remember they have many hours of training to learn about thousands of laws and how to enforce those laws. Those are normally city, county and state laws that deal with criminal offenses. Sometimes laws such as the one being talked about here they truly have no idea about. It does not make them stupid nor does it make them unfeeling or uncaring. Many of those LE officials are Vets themselves! So lighten up on them. PTSD dogs are relatively new and there could be a lot of confusion on how to deal with them. Even I am not fully on board with PTSD dogs as far as knowing the laws and circumstances one may obtain a service dog for PTSD. However since the laws cover these dogs and they fall under the disability laws then some education needs to be to there for managers and employees of these establishments.

    • And note there is a definite difference between a service dog and emotional support dog… Service dogs

      A service dog is a dog trained to do specific tasks for a person that he or she cannot do because of a disability. Service dogs can pick things up, guide a person with vision problems, or help someone who falls or loses balance easily. For example, a service dog can help a blind person walk down the street or get dangerous things out of the way when someone is having a seizure.

      Protecting someone, giving emotional support, or being a companion do not qualify a dog to be a service animal. To be a service dog, a dog must go through training. Usually the dog is trained to:
      ◾Do things that are different from natural dog behavior.
      ◾Do things that the handler (dog owner) cannot do because of a disability.
      ◾Learn to work with the new handler in ways that help manage the owner’s disability.

      Because the handler depends on the service dog’s help, service dogs are allowed to go to most public places the handler goes. This is the case even if it is somewhere pet dogs usually cannot go, like restaurants or on airplanes. But there are a few exceptions. For example, service dogs can be asked to leave if they are not behaving well.

      Emotional support dogs

      An emotional support animal is a pet that helps an owner with a mental disability. Emotional support dogs help owners feel better by giving friendship and love. These dogs are also called comfort dogs or support dogs.

      An emotional support dog does not need special training. Generally, a regular pet can be an emotional support dog if a mental health provider writes a letter saying that the owner has a mental health condition or disability and needs the dog’s help for his or her health or treatment.

      In most states, emotional support dogs do not have special permission to go to all public places like service dogs do. But, emotional support dogs are sometimes allowed special consideration. For example, the owner may be able to get permission to have an emotional support pet in a house or apartment that does not normally allow dogs. Or, the owner may be able to get permission to fly on a plane together with the dog.

      To get special permissions, the dog owner needs to show the mental health provider’s letter to the landlord or airline. Sometimes, the landlord or airline will also want to see information about the mental health provider, such as a copy of their professional license.

        • I would strongly recommend that you read what that link leads to yourself. It says verbatim what the previous poster said and doesn’t confirm what you said. whether you are right or not.

        • Here’s what the link says (Which you provided)
          Emotional support dogs

          An emotional support animal is a pet that helps an owner with a mental disability. Emotional support dogs help owners feel better by giving friendship and love. These dogs are also called comfort dogs or support dogs.

          An emotional support dog does not need special training. Generally, a regular pet can be an emotional support dog if a mental health provider writes a letter saying that the owner has a mental health condition or disability and needs the dog’s help for his or her health or treatment.

          In most states, emotional support dogs do not have special permission to go to all public places like service dogs do. But, emotional support dogs are sometimes allowed special consideration. For example, the owner may be able to get permission to have an emotional support pet in a house or apartment that does not normally allow dogs. Or, the owner may be able to get permission to fly on a plane together with the dog.

          To get special permissions, the dog owner needs to show the mental health provider’s letter to the landlord or airline. Sometimes, the landlord or airline will also want to see information about the mental health provider, such as a copy of their professional license.

      • Many people are exploiting the confusion between Service Dog and Emotional support dog or therapy dogs, only SERVICE animals are covered by the Disabilities act and must be permitted in public places that sell food. thank you for posting the distinction between the two

        • the PTSD dogs are service dogs! It just may not be apparent to everyone what that task is. The specific tasks a psychiatric service dogs does depend on the needs of the person the dog assists. They remind about medications, help counteract or disrupt compulsive behavior, they are trained to provide a buffer in crowded places and often can detect when anxiety is occuring and can do tasks to keep the person in the “here and now” The assumption that if you can’t see the task they are performing right now then they can’t be called service dogs is so dumb. I know after working with the public for many years that people abuse this and call their “pets” service dogs but in this case, those dogs were well trained (behaved well) and seemed to been labeled properly. Businesses need to educate themselves better and stop making assumptions.

  18. Stupid People, even dummer LEO! Sounds like it is time for the dogs and their people to hold a protest outside of the L J S’s, that is if people really care!

  19. I agree with the restaurant. Its a restaurant, not a dog pound or anything else where dogs should be allowed. They could have fleas, ticks, folks could be allergic to pet dander. The restaurant is absolutely right and the soldiers should know better and quit being baby ass whiners. I spent my time in myself and the simple fact is you have to respect the rules of the place. Shame on them for acting like sniveling kids, you shame the uniform.

    • Thank GOD you are no longer in the Service. With your decision making “skills”, that makes for a better Service without you in it. What an appalling attitude to have towards your fellow Veterans. Shame? Look in the mirror, sir. There is where you SHOULD see it.

    • Then I suppose you would tell the person in a wheelchair to suck it up, buttercup–get your ass up and walk, because someone has a rubber allergy to the wheels? Or the blind person to just overcome and learn to see because someone has an allergy to the dust their cane pushes around?? Or the person with crutches to toss them aside and just freaking GO, already, because someone else is afraid they might be struck by one of them? YES, to deny access to a service animal is the EXACT same thing!
      You are basically condemning persons with a Service Animal to never eat out, go to a public place, shop for groceries (or anything else) and they have to suck it up and learn to live with nothing. Yeah–whose the ignorant one shaming the uniform?

      To my brothers and sisters in arms and to ALL disabled persons who have a LIFE living with Service Animals–
      Semper Fi

    • Mr. Charles Smith, I don’t know what military service you served in, but from this retired CW3 and 100% disabled Vet, with a very large service dog, you need to first realize the benefit my dog, and other service dogs provide. But more importantly, you are obviously greatly out of sync with those you served with. You dishonor your brothers and sisters who have served, suffered, and died, and you dishonor your country with your comments. And I assure you that this old Warrant has walked in your boots, and in places your boots have never and will never tread!!

      • Nr Charles Smith and others like him are why there are laws put on the book for ADA and why it was created , Talk about discrimination against those with disabilities he is a part of the cause . Do hope he never gets disabled to the point he needs a service dog for assistance , hope he can’t get one maybe he’d learn why there are dogs like it

  20. People are not intelligent when it comes to medical needs, and rights. I am a type 1 Diabetic, and I run into problems with my rights constantly.Once I threaten a lawsuit they back down. I have considered getting a service dog to help detect my lows, but I haven’t wanted to deal with the issue’s you are dealing with. Good Job standing up for your rights, hope it works out for you.

  21. Please update us on the results; particularly if you were able to get any form of accurate paperwork from the police and what if anything the incompetent officer’s actions lead to. If you’re not sure about a law, and it’s your JOB to know .. that speaks more about them as a person and their department than almost anything I can think of

  22. All efforts should be made to fire that manager and all customers that eat at this facility need to boycott it until that manager is terminated. I strongly encourage this action and for the police officer, well it’s Anniston Alabama.

    • Why the manager???? She needs to reprimanded for not controlling her employee, because it was the employee that was the one that blew this up in a big pile of turd and she deserves to be fired not only for what she did but the possible consequences for the owner and LJS with lawsuits and criminal court.

      The owner reached out immediately to the veterans involved and showed he has corrected his employees and offered to apologize face to face like a man. That is how you fix a problem and make everyone happy.

  23. While this situation is appalling, and LJS was definitely in Error, I would like to say that there has been a big increase of people obtaining FAKE service dog papers/vests for their dogs, just so they can take them anywhere the owner wishes. ( look up fake service dog). In spite of the law stating establishment owners CANNOT ask for a special identification card, it might be a good thing to have, or at the very least, a means of providing absolute proof the dog is a service dog ( some kind of national database researchable on line?). that way the fakers can be caught ( and severely punished!).
    Personally, I welcome service animals. I wish you the best in getting justice for the way you were treated at LJS.

    • Chuck, you have made this comment on several occassions. Just a short suggestion. When in doubt, err on the side of the service dog. Certainly, there are fakes, but my Newfoundland is my buddy, my protector, strong enough to get me up when I fall, and I would not trade him for all the Labs in the world. He is not just a well trained and expensive service dog, he is my door opener, picker upper, pillow if I want to rest on him. I can’t begin to describe what Bear does for me, and what I would do for him. My greatest issue is people cannot read. “Please DO NOT PET” Service dog at work. He goes in and lays at my feet and does not move for any reason.

  24. The Biggest loophole here that is being exploited(other than pure ignorance) is people getting certificates for their dog as ‘therapy” dogs after a class, a review and forking over the money to pay for their certificate then exploiting the ignorance of business owners by dragging their cute fluffly “friend” around town socially. a therapy dog is NOT a service dog and is NOT required entrance into places that serve or sell food( people knowingly doing this should be fined or prosecuted IMO) a service dog is never encouraged to socialize or be petted by other, in fact the partner of a service dog will go to great lengths to discourage any public interaction of the animal and other patrons, Licensed service dogs are required to be re-evaluated at regular intervals and have further training to reinforce specific behaviors pertaining to their service(therapy dogs are not) too manypeople are dragging their “therapy” dogs around in public making it hard for those that have the right to be there with their service dogs. many business owners are fed up and frustrated with trying to tell the difference anymore especially since the official harnesses are so easily counterfeited and sold online a food establishment can be fined for allowing therapy dogs and other “pets” into their establishment for healthcode violation, , they have to juggle with all sorts of people insisting that because they have a certificate that their dog is allowed in(even when they are not) makes it really tough for those that need their service dog for assistance.

  25. I had enough trouble getting through the airport as a handicapped adult without a service animal in East Podunk Wyoming. The “TSA” agent insisted I remove my leg brace, while I insisted even more emphatically that I was NOT going to. All of these incidents are training issues. And one final heads up: bored=not interested. BOARD=the space one posts on on Facebook.

  26. I fully support the support dogs for Veterans with PTSD as a member of a Veterans organization, I do feel that in some ways they can be abused. Taking a sevice or support dog to a meeting or a resturant where there are people who have allergys to them is also a major problem for the person with the Allergies, I could become unable to get my breath, so what if i am unable to breath. I do believe that the Veteran should be able to keep the support dog in his home and with him or her. In a resturant or a meeting the comfort should be coming from the others in the room and not from a support dog. I do not fully understand what support the support dog is helping bybeing with the Veteran. love of family and friends who understand the what they have been through should help in some ways, but I still understand that the support and love of a dog during trials my be helpful, but I don’t understand why they need to take them to meetings and resturants, seems to me that this is a distraction from the meetings and my be harmful to others in the meeting or the resturtant. Maybe if there was more information out there on what the support dogs do, we could all understand the what they do and how they assist the Veteran. Veterans are my Heros and I am thankful for what they have done to preserve our freedoms. But there are people out there who are living in hell that someone else is creating or have had events in there life that were very tramatic. Can you image going in a resturant where every on had a dog with them. I believe that PTSD is a major problem with our Veterans, but I also belive that others my suffer who have never served in the Military.

    • Service dogs can provide security and relief of anxiety that Veterans may not be able to get from family members and friends. Also, many Veterans, due to their PTSD, have pushed away those who love them and all they have left is their service dog. As one veteran described it, “it was the only living thing he could talk to open and honestly because he saw zero judgement in the dog’s eyes.” Anxiety and hyper-vigilance can pop up ANYWHERE, regardless of what is or isn’t going around them, making it extremely important for them to have their service dogs 24/7 in order to prepare for it. The equivalent would be having food or pet allergies and being told that you can’t carry an Epi Pen with you everywhere you go because someone may consider it a dangerous/hazardous substance. You never know when you might need your Epi Pen so you carry it just in case. Service dogs are for whenever, wherever the veteran may need them. Yes, PTSD isn’t limited to just military veterans; however, this case deals specifically with veterans with PTSD. From my limited experience with my husband’s PTSD from Iraq and my friend’s PTSD from childhood abuse, she doesn’t have the hypervigilance and paranoia that he experiences. Her abuser had a face and was personally known to her – his “abuser” was faceless, hidden behind bullets and explosions. I’m not saying one form of PTSD is better or worse than the other. But I know my husband would be a lot worse off if he didn’t have a dog who is loving, understanding, and always there for him.

    • Charlottejones62,

      Please take the time to educate yourself on Service Dogs. They are NOT for “Comfort”! You are definitely confusing Emotional Support Dogs with PTSD Service Dogs, they ARE NOT the same thing!

  27. Being from the Anniston area, I can say I’m not surprise, but please don’t associate the actions of one idiot with the rest of the people there. There are some good people back home, but definitely lots of dummies.

  28. Call jackoff jesse & al shithead & they will be down here to help ya’ll, but only if your black… I was planning on eating at that place soon, but looks like Captain D’s will get my business…

  29. That particular LJS is in an area between two military bases, in a town where many people are either military or civilians working on military bases. I’m floored at the ignorance and the disrespect. It’s bad enough coming from management of the restaurant, but a cop handling the situation so badly is pathetic. If ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking the law for a civilian, then ignorance of the law should be no excuse for not upholding the law for an officer. Good grief.

  30. The two veterans should sue. The manager was made aware and still did not care. She stated that it was her fear of dogs that provoked her to ask the veterans to leave after giving excuses. She was informed many times and stated she did not care.

    • the owner is offering a olive branch to fix the problem so what need is there for a lawsuit other getting money out the owner and or his insurance. Yes the owner since he is legally responsible for his employees.

      If i was the owner i would have fired the second girl then warned the manager the next time a subordinate goes out of line with a customer she would be fired as well.

      It was the second female employee not the manager that exasperated the situation not the manager since she only had the first and only conversation with the veterans about the dogs. The second employee was the one that argued and talked to the cops outside.

      In the end what need is there for a lawsuit if both parties are happy with the outcome of the resolution????

      • Both parties are NOT happy. This owner made a statement to the Media, NOT these Vets. I have personally been in contact with one of the Vets, so I have the facts. This owner is just trying to avoid the backlash of is uneducated employees! If he was truly sorry for his employees actions, he would have contacted these Vets PERSONALLY!!

  31. I’m sure that many people feel that service dogs should be limited to those compensating for physical disabilities, sensing seizures, etc. They understandably assume that, if the definition were to be extended to dogs that make owners “feel better”, everyone could bring their dogs into restaurants.

  32. The issue here is a single store. It does not reflect the WHOLE LJS chain. The owner of the store has come forward and made all the right moves to apologize for this and to educate his workers. Personally, just as I detest political correctness BS, I also get pretty upset over the “Sue them into the ground!” mentality. Had the store owner not addressed this incident, or had he backed up his ignorant employees, THEN I would say suing is justified. Undoubtedly though, many people will still say to sue them.

    IMHO, the punishment has been fulfilled in that you/we Veterans have done a LOT to educate people about Service Animals in this one incident. That, in and of itself, should be the reward for having to go through this incident.

    I’m all about using the courts to get the right thing done. However, the owner of the store has DONE the right thing and addressed this situation. I would encourage people to not be bitter about it and continue insulting the store or the employees. If it happens in the same store again, then by all means, drop the lawsuit bomb on them and teach a lesson the owner will not be able to afford to forget.

    For now though, if I were one of the two Veterans involved, I would accept the apology with good grace and call it done. Lord knows I’ve done my share of stupid stuff. I do not live in a glass house, that is for sure.

    • This owner made a statement to the Media, NOT these Vets. I have personally been in contact with one of the Vets, so I have the facts. This owner is just trying to avoid the backlash of is uneducated employees! If he was truly sorry for his employees actions, he would have contacted these Vets PERSONALLY!!

    • That cry was at the time this story hit the web yesterday, and rightfully so if the store did nothing to correct this wrong.

      As of right now with the updates I say that there is no need for a lawsuit ans long as the owner and the two veterans are happy with the results of the face to face and corrective actions of the owner.

      • This owner made a statement to the Media, NOT these Vets. I have personally been in contact with one of the Vets, so I have the facts. This owner is just trying to avoid the backlash of is uneducated employees! If he was truly sorry for his employees actions, he would have contacted these Vets PERSONALLY!!

  33. I expect nothing less from a place that hires employees that don’t know the difference between 2 piece and 2 peace. Great sign LJS!

  34. This is crazy i work at the red lobster right down the road which is a family sit down restaurant and we have never told anyone they had to leave because of service dogs we always allowed them to come in and sit the dogs have never been a problem normally they lay down underneath the tables and just wait while there owners eat i can’t believe I’m sitting here reading this

  35. Why in the hell. Do you have service dog if you or not blind?? That’s crazy just wanting to wine and Ty I was in the military for years and went to war too and I don’t have to have service animals

    • Well then count yourself lucky because there are a lot of people who have scars you can’t see from their time in service. And another thing….learn to spell! It is whine not wine.

    • You Chris be thankful you don’t need a service dog you just showed how ignorant you are and as ignorant as the LJS people . Thank you for your military service , but maybe your mental state was not affected as these vets were , Your combat time and what you saw may have been a lot different then what they had happen to them . Maybe before you opened your mouth to talk about a subject you knew nothing about research it first before showing your ignorance

        • Chris wrote that he “went to war too”, which would seem to indicate combat time. The bigger point, however, is this: in a volunteer military, service is service. There is no distinction to be made between combat and non-combat service, CONUS or OCONUS, or anything else, because those decisions aren’t left to the individual. If, for whatever reason, the Army doesn’t give a particular soldier orders for a combat zone, are you suggesting that their service is somehow lessened in value?

    • Chris,

      You are sorely uneducated in the JOB, and yes, it is a JOB of a Service Dog. Please take a couple of moments and step out of the cave you have been living in and PROPERLY RESEARCH Service Dogs and all the jobs they do! People like YOU are the reason Vets like these and others who have Service Dogs have so many problems!!

  36. While the employee was out of line and yes, disrespectful and stupid..the law enforcement officer as well (“blowing this out of proportion”) It appears the restaurant owner and LJS did the right thing and quickly- STILL our vets should not have to endure this- Service Animal training needs to be part of orientation just like sexual harassment

    • Agreed, but let’s keep in mind that all of us tend to forget information if we don’t use it on a regular basis. That’s why I’m inclined to cut folks slack for the occasional mistake.

      Now, if a franchise operation like LJS really wanted to get out in front of this issue…well, most of these parent corporations use “mystery shoppers” to check out their franchisees–nothing like a spot inspection, eh?–so why not hire a few such “mystery shoppers” with service animals?

  37. There are some states and local areas that are requiring documentation of Service dogs due to the therapy dogs issue. the certification just states the dog is a service dog and does not list the reason for the dog. the whole therapy dog and fake vest has made this a huge issue.

    As for the allergies issue I actually did witness at BWI an airline have to consult with policy regarding who has priority for a flight. A person with severe dog allergies and a person with a service dog for PTSD were both on my flight. The dog was needed for calming/emotional issues not for the physical issues ( remembering meds or balance). The woman with the allergies was allowed to fly on the flight, the person with the dog was given the options of having the dog go in the hold and be brought up first thing upon landing or getting a different flight. The manager did ask what the animal was for and the person did have paperwork for the dog since it was flying. Priority was the person with allergies since the service dog was not needed during the flight for safety such as with a seeing eye dog, seizures or diabetes..

    While the whole issue with the vets was handled incorrectly I think it will start happening more and more often as the whole “therapy” vs “service” dog issue is debated. You have people who are not noticeably disabled going into places with animals and people are starting to question why they have the animal. Before long there will be a major lawsuit and there will have to be some judicial decisions made and I am not sure if everyone will be happy with the results.

  38. the manager on duty should be looking for another job in a different field, not dealing with the public. the person that put the letters on the sign should learn to spell “piece”.

  39. I was apalled at this ignorance of people, We have had many family members in our family with PTSD, and my son included, I know what the dog I got for him has done for him in terms of his social anxiety….It is all of our jobs to educate people on these service dogs, why should they even care as long as they are mannerly animals…

  40. If you want a target to vent your wrath on, how about the site that I see regularly on Facebook, that tells you how to scam and get your dog “registered” as a service dog so you can take it anywhere. If that isn’t a slap in the face to anyone who legitimately needs a service dog, I don’t know what is. It also can create the feeling that any given service dog is not legitimate, and lead someone to ask questions that they aren’t allowed to ask, but might need to.

  41. So much “sniping” going on here, I feel the need to put on kevlar helmet and body armor, and go to my foxhole!!!!!!!! It was not any one pf the people posting here that dissed the two vets. Why are we going after each other?

  42. Ok, as far as the the update is concerned… I commend the owner for doing what he’s doing. This is certainly a way of righting a wrong. But I have to say this one thing… It’s a crying shame the billboards don’t have spell check on them. “Miltary”? “Vetrans”? “Peace” (as is 2-piece fish)? lol! Oh well… at least they’re trying. 🙂

  43. Seriously?

    WHAT service did a dog(s) provide to you that you could not go to any restaurant without that service?

    I have been diagnosed with PTSD and others… and I have never needed a dog to go with me to a restaurant… especially if i had a friend with me.

    I think this is just a bunch of hoopla for nothing.

    • WOW, your ignorance amazing!! Just because your PTSD isn’t as severe, DOES NOT negate these Vets PTSD. Please try to educate yourself before making UNEDUCATED responses to subjects you apparently know nothing about!

      Each person is an individual and does and will not respond the same way in a situation.

      Be thankful that your condition is not as severe and try to be understanding of those that are suffering more than yourself!

  44. I never cease to be amazed at the stupidity of people. I had a small service dog after a bad car accident, brain injury and seizures for two years. My dog was trained, perfectly mannered and allowed me to leave my home alone after two years of sitting home. I was amazed at the stupidity of the people I encountered and their refusal to be educated, even though I had all of my paperwork, the law showing that they had NO CHOICE and my dog wore her service vest. Wal-mart was the worst but I never backed down. Once I complained to Wal-marts home office, including a copy of the law, they trained their people and I never had any other problems, but it took two months to get straight. I even went to war with the health department for taking her in one particular restaurant. Finally, we were welcome everywhere we went. There is NO EXCUSE for making a disabled person, who feels self-conscious enough, go through this humiliation and to attack one of our injured veterans is criminal. The LAW could care less if you’re allergic or afraid. For maybe the first time in your life, it’s not about you and it is Federal Law. If you’re still unhappy, call your congressman. For myself, I could care less if you’re uncomfortable. I’m sick of your ignorant, selfish attitude.

    • Why is your disability any different than someone.with a severe allergy to dogs or cats? Its not! That doesnt mean you can disrespect them by saying you do not care how they feel. Isn’t this the same reason you posted on here bc you felt like ppl with service dogs are being disrespected? Shame!

  45. to Amanda and Holly, i’m so sorry this was your experience in my hometown. we’re not all eejits, as you could tell from the way the other customer attempted to intervene on your behalf. I would really like to see y’all take on the apd over this; there is absolutely NO REASON that a police officer should not know the law or denigrate anyone like he did–especially when the eejit refused to read the paperwork. again, I am sorry. and while it is preaching to the choir, I shared this story with 1,527 epws (extreme puppy watchers) who are HUGE fans of Warrior Canine Connection. we hate seeing “our” pups and their warriors treated with anything less than complete respect, compassion and kindness and we try to educate when we can.

    ladies, I thank you both for your service. ear fwubbles to your four-legged warriors.

  46. I hate how people tell one sided stories. I was there when this happened and the lady was very rude and obnoxious. She cursed the manager out and everything. Im sure had she showed the papers stating what her service dogs were for none of this would have happened. Lies people tell for attention.

    • Learn the law. ADA does not require the handler of a Service dog to “show papers stating what her Service Dog were for”. Despite your ignorance, the establishment was in the wrong. Learn the law. That is what this whole issue is about. Educating the folks who are not aware of the ADA law concerning Service Animals.

      • Thank you for sharing this side of the story…I thought the whole thing a bit “odd”. I don’t understand the headline to this article, since it sounds like they weren’t actually “kicked out”…it appears they ate their meal and left…and I even thought it odd that veterans would raise a ruckus and draw attention to their “mistreatment” over such. Inform the public yes…but it sounds like they really meant to do more. And yes…I HAVE loved ones in the service…my son just returned from Afghanistan. I wonder though – HOW, pray tell, would one know that a service dog truly IS a service dog without papers?!? I saw a little old lady in an OfficeMax store in the same town last week with a “homemade” service dog vest on a little fru fru yappy dog riding IN her cart…the manager just shook his head and ignored her. Good grief, you CAN order the vests online, buy them in second hand stores and have them custom made. Just because a dog WEARS a service dog vest doesn’t mean it TRULY is a service dog. I have a friend who is a manager in a nearby Wal Mart who oftentimes encounters the same shopper with a “service rat”…he says it’s for “therapy…I’m pretty sure it doesn’t wear a vest. They just talk to him when he comes in and warns him not to lose control of his rat in the store…yeah…a rat!

  47. My friend’s totally blind daughter was refused service in a Waffle House, in McComb MS. She had her service dog and the dummies in the restaurant told her she could not have her dog in the restaurant. The restaurant apologized and furnished meals for the Family. I can’t believe restaurant employees are that stupid. They did not file charges on the manager.

  48. It’s a shame that this incident occurred, and I’m glad to see both LJS corporate folks and the owner of the particular restaurant in question taking quick corrective action.

    At some point, the 0-to-60-in-2.1-seconds protest/picket/boycott/LAWSUIT BS has to stop. Consider that the top 10 fast food chains account for more than NINETY THOUSAND locations across the US. (LJS, with only about 1200 locations, is not among the top 10.) If each of those has 20 employees, we’re talking about almost 2 MILLION employees. So, 1 out of 2 million employees screwed up in this case. I guess that all the folks calling for a lawsuit never make a mistake, and are never incorrect or inaccurate in their knowledge of the law. We, as a people, are going WAY overboard in our zeal to punish others. Sometimes it’s perfectly acceptable to say, “yeah, you dropped the ball, but you’re making up for it – thanks” AND LET IT END. The automatic outrage is getting ridiculous.

    Before anyone brings out the verbal long knives – I’m a veteran and son of a WWII/Korea/Vietnam career soldier. This case isn’t specific to veterans, but rather service animals and the ADA; when it comes to the manufactured/automatic outrage, I could make an identical comment about any number of issues.

    • Yes the Freedom Rider Bus was burned on Alabama 202 just west of Anniston. When I saw it it was still smoking, I was just a kid at the time.

  49. Service dogs for PTSD are invaluable. They’ve even been known to have prevented blackouts by their calm loyalty and affection. They pull the veteran out of black holes of depression and negative behavior caused by PTSD. However, it wasn’t the employee’s fault that LJS failed to educate its staff on service dogs. She was trying to enforce what she knew as the rules at the time. Now she knows. I would hope she doesn’t get fired and I would also hope she apologizes to the veterans. I would recommend that the police department educate its officers on the law as well…

  50. Ok, having read most all the comments here, alot of you people are missing the point totally, your all about saving the pine cones instead of the Forest. Forget the penny annie bull crap and concentrate on the true issue’s….Jeeshhhh….

  51. The manager in question was listed as “manager on duty” which was probably not the location’s head manager. We have to realize we are only being given some information, but not every detail.
    The Vets involved were treated badly but have never demanded money, blood or terminating employees. The company on both franchise owner and corporate level have responded appropriately to this situation in a positive apologetic manner.

    If the employee(s) involved have a good track record, the they should allowed to learn from their mistake and continue to be employed productive members of society.
    If the employee(s) involved are slackers w/disciplinary write-ups on file, then I have faith that this will probably be their 3rd strike and they WILL be fired.

    What is a shame….. is going to the Anniston Police department webpage and facebook page and seeing no response at all from their team. I even emailed them early yesterday with no reply.
    I emailed LJS and received 2 replies from them. Kudos to LJS on their follow-up to a very bad sitution

  52. I am sending 631 Quintard Ave, Anniston AL 36201 a gallon filled bucket of APE/MONKEY shit I don’t have dog shit but my buddy works at a local zoo so it will have to do, it has a note inside that reads from service animals all over the world hopefully that will smooth things over.

    • Mr Woodsman, That is very disgusting and disrespectful to the employees that were not involved!!!!! And besides two wrongs do not make a right!! Grow up!!

  53. I’m shocked and I can’t believe people are still not aware of laws about service dogs. I feel very sorry for what happened to you!

    • Well “DD,” a veteran is someone regardless of age who has joined and served in the military services (this includes the Coast Guard) and has been honorably discharged. Not very complicated, so I hope this clears things up for you.

  54. So apparently the lady with the training dogs has caused some problems recently with the dogs. A lady by the name of Elizabeth McCabe and her daughter was in Publix in Oxford, al two weeks ago and the dog Ranger bit Mrs McCabes daughter whos name is Rebecca Tiner. The lady then fled with her dog. A complaint was filed at the Publix about this incident. Mrs McCabe can be reached at 256-237-2140 to confirm this story. Maybe a lot of people jumped to conclusions that shouldn’t have been jumped to. BYE

    • Wow! Kind of blows my mind that no one has commented on this post yet. So everyone wants to trash talk the manager because she asked the ladys to leave. The manager stated that she is afraid of dogs and she also has dog allergies. These are “disabilities” of her own so do one person’s disabilities overide another’s? No!! If anyone didn’t realize… this same dog, ranger, was in publix two weeks prior to the incident at LJS; and bit a little girl ?? What!? I thought your dog was trained! Oh yes…its in training…..hmmmm maybe you shouldnt bring him in public places until he is fully trained! Especially if you are going to flee the scene when someone gets bit!

  55. I just want to say I think this has gotten a little off topic in the comments. At any rate, I had a service dog for 9 years and was met with a few challenges. I have PTSD but never served in the military. To make the situation even more of an issue my service dog was a Rotti and people were frightened by his appearance only. These animals are well behaved and well trained, although become a member of your family they are not the usual family pet. I don’t think people realize their are disabilities and issues with individuals who are none military but still are very private. Those of us suffering with PTSD rely on these dogs to function in society and it keeps us from depending on other people being with us whenever we leave our home. My service dog was intentionally killed by an ignorant person who ran their car off the side of the road into our yard to hit him while he was being allowed outside with my husband who was feeding the animals on our farm. Being provoked and centered out in this way in public adds to the distress and discomfort those people already face. Every day task can be a challenge. I hope this article has helped to educate people and I am glad these two ladies stood their ground. For many of us we probably would’ve just taken our things and left to avoid a conflict and not returned to the establishment leaving those who were offensive, very uneducated to the situation. I am also impressed that the establishment owner is making an effort to educate his staff and this will hopefully not occur again.

    • Jenny Lynn: I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved Rotti. That was a really cruel thing for a person to do who does not understand the Rottweiler breed or the importance of service dogs. My Rotti was not a service dog but as someone who suffers from Bipolar disorder, he helped me to prevent mood swings. He passed away in 2005 after a brief illness and I still miss him. He was loyal and protective of me and I look forward to seeing him again.

  56. Let’s see! Join the military at 18, go to a foreign country to serve the USA and are impaired is someway. I do believe this makes you a discharged veteran. What rock have you been under?

  57. It is sad that I should be explaining this. A person joins the military at 18, trains and goes overseas to serve. Is somehow medically discharged. This makes them a disabled veteran. What rock have you been under?

  58. As an attorney with low vision and a guide dog user, I have a similar incident of being excluded from a public accommodation with my service dog, Chloe. If anyone wishes to pursue their legal rights in these situations, please contact me at

    This incident occurred on August 31, 2013, at Nana Funks in Birmingham, AL. I was refused entry with Chloe, even after the explanation of the law and after the employee consulted with the manager. I felt embarrassed and humiliated in front of friends and others who witnessed the incident. I am currently awaiting a response from the owners.

  59. Funny how they were the same ladies who dog bit a child in Publix a few weeks ago, and they ran. Why haven’t they spoke on this incident??? They would of never got caught if it wasn’t for them posting this 🙂 . Smart choice, their lies caught up with them quick.

    • Ok, genius…If Ranger OR Reagan bit anyone, you can feel free to email me the IRREFUTABLE proof and I will pay you $100 for your trouble. Hell, I will meet you on the steps of the Anniston Police Department, call these two women liars to their face, and scream unmentionable things at them until they cry…and I will do it in public.

      Here is the catch:

      Irrefutable proof shall be brought to me at the place mentioned above. It must be either video or still shot photographs with date and timestamps…DATE…AND…TIMESTAMPS. Also, this evidence must be validated by a credible source, you can choose the source…Any news agency, law enforcement agency, FBI, or accredited video/photo analyst.

      If you can’t do that…STFU, KICK ROCKS, AND PACK SAND.


  60. I agree. They should have done something because they did break the law. them not doing anything is telling others that they can break the law and get away with it. they need to make and example of them. I have disablitys and I would not want to be treated like that and the other party not getting into trouble for it

  61. thats all nice about the $3.99;but these two vets&their service dogs shoud
    Be given atleast one free meal if not all vets&sign should read “all service
    Dogs are welcomed here”. What is law enforcement doing? R they not
    Supposed to “protect&serve”,esp protect those who cant protect themselfs
    (Anymore) such as disabled ppl? Isnt “law enforcement” part of the job of
    Law enforcement agents&officers? How can they enforce the law if they
    Dont know the law. Working for target my1st day we were thought about
    Service dogs. The sign at ljs could also offer a public appology to these two
    Vets or offer a special day to honor them like the walmart in ca did after
    Refusing a service dog in training,very least they should offer them a free
    Meal&sign should welcome all service animals.

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