Dianne Wertz drove five hours from her Tennessee home to Raleigh, North Carolina, to watch her son leave for military training. She went to City Studios Hotel where she was reportedly denied a room because of her service dog, Gabby.
"She proceeded to tell me 'Oh you can't stay here because we don't allow pets,'" Wertz told WNCN. She showed the hotel employee Gabby’s service dog credentials, but the staff member wouldn’t change her mind.
Wertz is a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder. "I shouldn't have to be treated like a second-class citizen because I have a service dog," Wertz said.
Holly Stiles, a lawyer with Disability Rights North Carolina, said hotels are required to accommodate service animals. "The Americans With Disabilities Act says that if somebody has a service animal, public accommodations like hotels, have to accommodate their needs as a person with a disability,” she said.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, service animals can be comforting for people who have PTSD by offering the owner companionship.
Wertz has since returned to Tennessee, but she may contact a lawyer about her treatment. City Studios has not commented on the incident.
Image: Screen Capture via WNCN