Vet Claims He, Service Dog Were Ask To Leave Restaurant - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

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Vet Claims He, Service Dog Were Ask To Leave Restaurant

Posted: Updated:
BURLINGTON, N.J. -

38-year-old disabled Army Veteran Jeff Hall doesn't go anywhere without his dog Cooper. The canine helps him deal with the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder he developed during a peacekeeping mission in the Bosnian Conflict 16 years ago.

On Monday, Veteran's Day, Hall says his dad took him to lunch at Rino's Pizzeria, on Route 130 in Burlington. They ordered a pizza and sat down to eat when the owner called his dad away from the table and allegedly said his pet couldn't be in the restaurant.

Hall says the owner seemed concerned about health department rules governing animals in a restaurant.

Hall says the owner seemed unaware of the protections granted to people using Service Dogs when he asked them to leave the restaurant, which is a federal offense.

The Department of Justice ADA website says as of March 2011, dogs used to calm persons with PTSD during an anxiety attack, qualify as service animals, and service animals are allowed to accompany people with disabilities in all areas where members of the public are allowed to go.

The restaurant has yet to comment on the incident, but they are taking a beating from commenters on its Facebook page.

Hall says he doesn't know what his next step will be. A lawyer specializing in disability cases told FOX 29 that private businesses can be sued to force them to change practices regarding access given to service dogs, but they cannot be sued for financial compensation.

Hall, his dad and his dog ultimately packed up their remaining pizza and left the restaurant.

Now, Rino's Pizzeria is taking a beating from folks posting on the restaurant's Facebook page.

We've now learned the attorney for Rino Massa is expected to make a statement on the incident Thursday afternoon.

UPDATE: Restaurant Owner Says Vet Was Not Asked To Leave 

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