Society

Supermarket Allegedly Doesn't Allow Blind Student's Guide Dog Inside

| by Lisa Fogarty

A blind student in London was reportedly denied service at a Tesco supermarket when she was prohibited from bringing her service dog inside of the shop.

Maya Makri, who attends London’s Central School of Speech and Drama, says she and a friend were grocery shopping at a Tesco near Swiss Cottage on Monday when a cashier at the checkout line told her “pets are not allowed,” reports London Evening Standard.

Makri, 39, says her black Labrador James wears a high-viz guide-dog jacket. She says two other cashiers chimed in and told her there were “no exceptions” to the rule and that she could pay for her groceries this time, but was not allowed to return to the store with her dog.

“I pointed out that that this was no pet, but a guide dog,” Makri said. “This should have been immediately obvious from the dog’s high-viz harness and fluorescent guide dog label on the lead. I repeatedly said that I was registered blind and that this was a trained assistance dog, to no avail.”

Makri says other Tesco customers came to her defense, but that the employees were adamant about the rules. She says she left the store in tears.

The woman is using this opportunity to bring light to the many other challenges she says she has faced in London as a result of her disability. She says restaurants have not allowed her inside with James and that she had a problem joining her local gym.

Her claims coincide with a report released last year by Guide Dogs charity, which states that people with service dogs are reporting an increase in the number of businesses that are giving them a hard time or denying them access because of their animals.

A Tesco spokesman had the following to say: “This clearly should never have happened and we will contact Ms. Makri directly to apologize. We do allow guide dogs in stores and have reminded colleagues of that. We also offer customers with guide dogs help with their shopping, if they would like assistance.”

Source: London Evening Standard

Photo Credit: josh/Flickr