A Saskatchewan woman says she was kicked out of a Chuck E. Cheese location in Regina because she uses a service dog.
Ashley Nemeth, who is blind, visited Chuck E. Cheese on Monday night with her husband and two sons as a reward for her kids’ good behavior.
“We were going to let them play some games and just have a little bit of fun but that didn’t happen,” Nemeth said.
Instead, according to Nemeth, a manager asked her to leave, citing a strict “no pets” policy.
“He called his manager and his manager actually gave him the same response, which I was surprised by,” she said. “I thought somebody has to know that this isn’t right.
Nemeth relies on her service dog, Rick, to help her with everyday tasks. She says she has never been turned away from anywhere before.
She recorded video of the alleged incident and posted it to Facebook. In it, a man can be heard saying “this store doesn’t allow any pets.” The video has since been viewed more than 37,000 times.
In a statement to CTV Regina, a Chuck E. Cheese spokesperson said service animals are “always welcome” and “we expect our employees to accommodate guests with service animals.”
“We’re in the process of re-training our employees on our policy to ensure service animals are properly permitted entrance in the future,” the spokesperson added.
Nemeth says she has taken her complaint to the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission.
She says she wants a written apology from both people involved in the incident. She also wants Canadians to understand the barriers that people with disabilities face.
“I think I just want people to know that there is discrimination happening every day all over Regina and all over Saskatchewan and Canada,” she said. “And the more people that know about it, the more people that we educate about it, the less this will happen.”
With files from CTV Regina