A Texas woman says she has filed complaints with the Department of Justice (DOJ) after she was allegedly denied service at two Houston nail salons because of her service dog.
Robyn Slusky brings her service dog, Deuce, everywhere she goes to help her manage her anxiety disorder and PTSD, ABC 13 reports.
She said that when she tried to bring Deuce into Q Nails & Spa and then Nail Bar & Spa, however, she was denied service at both businesses.
“She was just, like, you can’t have your dog in here,” Slusky told ABC 13 about her experience at Q Nails. “You have to leave. We don’t allow pets of any kind.”
Slusky said she explained to the businesses that Deuce is a trained service dog and that, under the Americans With Disabilities Act, they are required to allow him inside. The dog was wearing a clearly-marked harness, she added, and her mother even went home to get the doctor’s note stating that the dog is a medical necessity.
The situation caused Slusky to experience exactly the type of anxiety that Deuce is there to help her with.
“My heart was beating so fast,” she said. “I couldn’t breathe. My hands were shaking. My whole body was shaking.”
Slusky called the police, who told her this was a federal issue. A manager at Q Nails then got involved, but Slusky said it was too late. She left and went to Nail Bar, where she experienced the same treatment.
“Disabilities are invisible sometimes, and ignorance isn’t an excuse for the way that they treated me,” Slusky said.
Q Nails manager Tim Trinh told ABC 13 that some of the customers that day were afraid of Deuce.
“You never know what a dog is going to do,” he said. “I got to protect our customers.”
Slusky got a similar response at Nail Bar and left a negative review on their Facebook page.
“Never again will I visit this salon,” she wrote on the business’ page on Nov. 8. “I will not support any business who discriminates against people with disabilities.”
She hopes she will hear back soon about the complaints she filed with the DOJ.