FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- A woman is claiming that she faces issues from local hotels because of her service dog.
She asked to remain anonymous and said she was given a hard time and was charged extra money.
One of those hotels was the Ranch-O-tel motel in Rogers. 5NEWS reached out to Ranch-O-tel and they said they have one dog room and it was not currently available. The dog room also carries an extra charge of $25 a week. This is not permitted under ADA guidelines.
“Service dogs and in the state of Arkansas, soldier dogs in training have public access rights and quite frankly that means they can go anywhere and everywhere that a person can go,” Angie Pratt said.
Pratt is the founder and executive director of Soldier on Service Dogs. She said business owners only have the right to ask people with a service dog two questions.
Is that a service dog? And what two things does their service dog do for them?
She said a lot of people just don’t know the law and there is a problem with people trying to pass off their pets as service dogs.
“Why would somebody be worried about one of our fully trained service dogs coming into one of their facilities…they wouldn’t be. They’ve been burnt by the folks who show up and say oh yes this is a service dog when it is a pet,” Pratt said.
Dog trainer Cody Hinkle said they try to make sure their service dogs aren’t visible as much when they are out in public. He said when you see a service dog you do not need to approach them right away.
“Try and ignore it as much as possible. Just try and act like it’s anyone else out in public. The fact that the person has a service dog should show them that they are probably not comfortable out in public. So to try and help them out in any way they can by just leaving them alone,” Hinkle said.
There is a fine to businesses that do not allow a service dog on their premises and any dog misbehaving can be denied access. ADA guidelines do not require the dogs to wear a harness or anything identifying them as a service dog.