Man with service dog turned away from Montreal Tim Hortons
Published Monday, August 6, 2018 9:57AM EDT
A Tim Hortons employee has been fired after a customer with a service dog was refused service at one of the chain’s locations in Montreal.
Craig Read, who says he was refused service at a Tim Hortons near his home about a month ago, recorded video of an argument between himself and one of the restaurant’s employees.
“I’m not allowed in? Says who?” he asked in the video.
“My owner,” the employee replied.
Another video shows Read and the employee arguing again outside the restaurant.
Read says the argument was over Joey, the service dog he has had for four years, to help him with depression, anxiety and other symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
“If I kind of space out, he’ll bark or nudge me … to remind me to come back,” he told CTV Montreal.
Read says he left the property after police officers confirmed that Joey is a service dog. He says he wanted to meet with the Tim Hortons district manager but was instead offered a gift card, which he refused.
A spokesperson for Tim Hortons said the employee who denied Read service has been fired. The company will be reaching out to Read over what it called “completely unacceptable” behaviour.
“Our policy very clearly states that we always welcome guests with service animals,” the spokesperson said.
Service dogs are allowed in any Canadian establishments which serve customers. The Asista Foundation, which provided Read with his dog, says Quebec’s laws on the issue are somewhat vague, which can create confusion.
“We’re asking Quebec to actually make the law more specific, to draft legislation explaining what these service dogs do,” said foundation spokesperson John Agonicolaitis.
Read says he hopes sharing his story will help other people understand the importance and prevalence of service dogs.
With a report from CTV Montreal’s Angela MacKenzie