Blind man told to leave cafe because of dog

by Mark James on June 16, 2011

Andrew Lee, of Princess Court in Trumpington of Cambridge, entered the Tudor Rose cafe last May with a friend and Vinnie, his guide dog, to get a cooked breakfast but when they walked in a waitress immediately asked them to leave.

Mr Lee stated:

“I went into the café in Mill Road with a friend last Wednesday. The waitress came up and said you can’t have any dogs in here.”

He tried to talk to the cafe manager but they still maintained that he must leave.

To avoid confrontation, the three left however Mr Lee still remains upset about what happened, adding:

“I was really offended. We hadn’t been there before. Normally we go to the Salvation Army but it was closed. We only wanted a cooketd breakfast.”

vinnie the guide dogMr Lee became blind because of an eye condition called retinitis pigmentosa, which he has suffered with as a teenager, meaning he had to be registered blind by 25.

He used to have a white stick to aid his walking however, as his sight got worse, to avoid a feeling of isolation he got his guide dog Vinnie.

Guide Dogs for the Blind Association campaign manager, David Cowdrey, said:

“Guide dog owners, such as Mr Lee, and other assistance dog owners rely on their dogs for mobility and independence.”

“This is recognised in the Equality Act 2010, which requires restaurants and other service providers not to discriminate against disabled people – including those with guide or assistance dogs – in how they provide their service.”

“However we regularly receive complaints that guide dog owners have been refused access with their dogs, which can be very distressing.”

Osman Dogor was head waiter at the cafe. He defended his actions by saying:

“The staff members are scared of dogs and I have allergies to dogs. I came to him and told him we can’t have dogs in the café because I’m allergic to them.”

“I just politely told him to leave, it may be against the law, I don’t know. I didn’t say that I didn’t need his custom because I care about all of my customers.”

“He is welcome to sit near the door and leave the dog outside.”

6 Comments »

  1. Ignorance and allergies are no excuse– Medical equipment is medical equipment– so what if it breathes? for every time someone has told me that theywere allergic to my Service dog, I tell tell them about my long list of allergies– including to their hair products, perfumes, etc– If I cant use my Service dog, they cannot use their personal care products!

    Comment by Terry W — June 16, 2011 @ 6:41 pm

  2. What do I THINK? about this story on the blind man denied access with his guide dog? I would love to have a personal chat with this Mr. Dogor who obvisously needs some serious education about assistance animals. Someday, god forbid, he should be in a disability state himself and require a Service or Guide dog, he would CERTAINLY have a change of heart. With all of the attention this story has caused, I can only hope that the establishment is ashamed and will NEVER allow access denail of a Service Animal happen again. Yes, I am angry.

    Comment by Denise and Zac — June 18, 2011 @ 12:16 pm

  3. I live in the United States and read about the blind man who was refused access because of his guide dog. Immediately upon arrival he was told that he can’t bring the dog in. Someone in charge told the man that he is allergic to dogs and he could sit at a table by the door, and tie up the dog outside. I AM OUTRAGED!!!!! Then he said that he didn’t know if what he did was legal or not. I AM APPALLED! How these people can live with themselves and sleep at night is beyond me. How sad and rude of these idiots. I am a Service Dog user, so I know what I am talking about. Even IF what they did was legal, it is MORALLY wrong. Do they tell people in wheelchairs that the wheelchair must stay outside??? I hope that this establishment gets a hefty fine for refusing the dog’s access. I hope that they get what the deserve, fine or not. Let the local people know what they did, and see if business goes down because of it. I hope so. Unless Tudor contacts the man with an apology, best seat in the house and a free meal. With of course, the dog being welcome to come in.

    Comment by Denise and Zac — June 20, 2011 @ 2:10 pm

  4. oh yeah… p.s.
    Does someone at Tudor Cafe have the guts to keep me informed as to what action they have done to corret this HORRIBLE error?

    Zac, by the way, is my own Service Dog.

    Comment by Denise and Zac — June 20, 2011 @ 2:16 pm

  5. as someone partnered with a service dog i can’t begin to describe how offended i was by the head waiters comments. would you tell somone who was in a wheel chair that they had to sit by the door and that their wheelchair had to leave it outside? Allergies are not a good enough reason to deny a service dog and it’s partner access to the world, just like everyone else

    Comment by Wendy — June 21, 2011 @ 12:42 am

  6. This should be put on tweeter and customers told to avoid the restaurant by people who stay around the region. Then see the response. Normally, people only take action when it hurts the pocket.

    Comment by Thiru — June 28, 2011 @ 5:59 am

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