Couple ‘treated like criminals’ by restaurant for having epilepsy assistance dog

Brogan Evans tried to explain the law to the restaurant but they didn’t want to hear it (Picture: Liverpool Echo)

A young young couple were left feeling ‘humiliated’ on their wedding anniversary after being kicked out by a restaurant for having an assistance dog.

Brogan Evans and her partner Sam planned a romantic night at the Thornton Hall Hotel and Spa in the Wirral, Merseyside, to celebrate one year of wedded bliss.

But a dampener was put on their evening at a nearby restaurant in Heswall whethey were asked to leave because of her assistance dog Waldsley.

Brogan, 24, tried to explain they were breaking the law but staff were having none of it.

The youth worker said: ‘We walked into the restaurant with Waldsley and the owner came straight over and was saying we couldn’t come in, couldn’t have a dog in the restaurant and that we would have to leave.

The youth worker says she was ‘treated like a criminal’ by the restaurant owners (Picture: Liverpool Echo)

‘I tried to explain to him that Waldsley was an assistance dog so by law he has full public access rights.

‘But he wasn’t listening and was starting to get angry. He tried escorting us out of the restaurant.’

When another member of staff came over Brogan’s wife Sam, 30, tried to show them Waldsley’s yellow handbook which outlines the law on assistance dogs.

She was told they would look at it outside the restaurant, which the couple did not want to name.

But as soon as they walked out of he door the owners just walked back inside.

Brogan says she has been refused entry into places because of Waldsley before but has often been let in after explaining the law.

She says Waldsley helps her shower, cook and go out by herself (Picture: Liverpool Echo)

Guide and assistance dog owners have important rights under the Equality Act 2010.

It says people with disabilities have the same right to services at shops, banks, hotels, libraries, pubs, taxis and restaurants as everyone else.

The act also makes it illegal for assistance dog owners to be refused access to a taxi or minicabs unless drivers are medically exempt.

Brogan added: ‘Waldsley is an epilepsy assistance dog, he is on seizure alert.

‘Sometimes when I get into taxis they try to say they don’t carry dogs but when I explain they usually understand and are happy to take us.

‘But this was different, he didn’t want to listen and to be honest we were shunted out like criminals.

‘It was humiliating and I was so upset when I got back into the car but we didn’t want it to ruin our night.’

Brogan got Waldsley a year ago to help her regained her independence after being left unable to shower alone, cook or leave the house by herself due to her epilepsy.

She said being refused made her exactly the same as before – ‘like she shouldn’t leave the house’.

Brogan says the owner got angry and ushered them out of the restaurant (Picture: Liverpool Echo)

Brogan decided to speak out to raise awareness of how important dogs like Waldsley are.

She added: ‘Anyone with an assistance dog will be happy to explain the legislation or laws around them if business owners want to ask.

‘Waldsley does not pose any issues to the hygiene of a restaurant and he doesn’t approach other people so customers who have phobias don’t need to worry about him coming near them.

‘He stays in his own zone and most people wouldn’t know he was there, but he is essential to me.

‘I just want more people to accept them so that I can continue to remain independent.’


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