Although 34-year-old U.S. Army veteran Jason White put his life on the line for years to protect Americans, the customer service he received at the Best Western in Bonita Springs, Florida revealed no appreciation for his service. He was arrested following the hotel’s eviction of his new service dog Camo. How shameful!
Carol Borden, with Guardian Angela Medical Service Dogs, which provided the dog to White, said House Bill 71, sponsored by Rep. Jimmie Smith, covers issues like this.
Camo was originally trained in a program specifically for veterans with post traumatic stress disorder at St. Matthew’s House in Naples and transferred to the Whites on Feb. 13. An official passing of the leash is planned in the fall, Jason White said.
The Wyoming, Mi., veteran received a traumatic brain injury and spinal wounds with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan in 2012 when an 200-pound improvised explosive device detonated near a vehicle he was in. He has been on anxiety medication, he said, and has been helped greatly by Camo.
Problems began, White said, after his wife signed for the room and he brought Camo in later and saw nobody at the front desk. Within 2 minutes of entering their room the dog ate something off the floor, White said, and started vomiting, frothing at the mouth and having hallucinations.
When White went to the front desk to seek help, he said manager Vinit “Vinnie” Patel, became irate about the dog and asked the family to leave.
The veteran said he called the sheriff’s office and wound up being arrested instead.
He was charged with battery and destruction of property, the sheriff’s report said, after he kicked and cracked a television and shoved the hotel manager, Vinnie Patel.
Borden said the hotel’s reaction violates the ADA and a complaint would be filed. Borden said what happened to White at the hotel was a “travesty” for an American hero.
The Whites said they are willing to use this incident to educate the public about service dogs. “If nothing else we are hoping to bring education and awareness to this area,” Danielle White said.
Added Borden: “This is something we are teaching all the time. A service dog is not considered a pet.”
He was eventually able to find hospitality at a Holiday Inn Express in Fort Myers that gladly accepted the service dog with policies that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Do you agree that this type of treatment of our veterans is outrageous? Please leave us a comment and tell us what you think.