A disabled veteran from Nine Mile Falls is fuming after he said he was turned away from a North Spokane Great Clips because he had a service dog.
Seth Cole said he walked into the Great Clips on Wellesley with his registered service dog. Cole said employees told him they do not allow animals.
The store said it was just a regrettable misunderstanding.
“She said, ‘Where are we going to put the dog when we do your hair? I said, she’ll just lay next to the chair, she won’t bother anybody,'” said Cole.
Seth Cole rarely goes anywhere without his federally-certified service dog, Sally. So he did not think twice when he took his dog with him to get a haircut at the Shadle-area Great Clips.
“She turned around and asked her manager, ‘Do we allow pets in here? Do we allow dogs in here?’ I said, ‘You better, she’s a service dog!’ Then she walked back up to the counter, and I said, ‘You’re really going to refuse me service because I have my service dog in here? And she looked up and says, ‘I’m sorry,'” said Cole.
Cole was furious. His dog Sally helps him manage seizures and PTSD. He took a grenade to the head in Iraq seven years ago. He said that even as he was losing his temper, Sally did her job.
“That’s why I backed out of there,” said Cole. “Because she was pushing against my leg. And I felt that.”
The franchise owner said he could not be more upset and disappointed by what happened. The owner said the stylist did not know it was a service dog.
“They got told. They saw a card. They saw the vest. There’s no question. They can’t say, we didn’t see anything, we’re sorry. That doesn’t cut it. That sounds like a cop-out to me,” said Cole.
Great Clips insists it does not discriminate against veterans, and the owner personally apologized to Cole.
The owner of the franchise said the company will use this as an opportunity to revisit employee training. But for Cole, the damage is already done.