For nearly two years, a four-legged friend has followed 20-year-old Taylor Gipson of north Fulton County everywhere he goes. Whether he’s in classes at Kennesaw State University or at a restaurant with his family, Gipson’s British lab, Bear, is also there…
Because of his Type 1 diabetes, Gipson’s blood sugar levels can rise or drop quickly, and as a teenager, he had seizures during the night. His service dog is trained to alert him when his blood sugar is dropping or rising, Gipson says. And Bear sometimes is an even better indicator than his owner’s blood sugar meter…
Because Bear is a trained service dog, he is allowed to accompany Gipson just about everywhere he goes, according to the Americans with Disabilities Act. Gipson didn’t think twice about taking Bear into a Popeyes restaurant on Windy Hill Road last Saturday.
“I was having a low blood sugar, so I ordered my food and was drinking sweet tea,” Gipson said.
That’s when the restaurant manager told him he’d had to leave and called police. “You can’t have a dog in the store,” Gipson said the manager told him. He tried to explain that Bear is a service dog, but it didn’t help, he said.
A Cobb County police officer also arrived at the restaurant and told Gipson the restaurant was private property, so Bear would have to leave, Gipson said. Gipson said he tried to show the officer identification for Bear.
“He wouldn’t even look at it,” Gipson said. “He said he knew the law.”
You can RTFA if you enjoy reading crap shucking and jiving from restaurant managers or police departments populated with coppers who don’t know a damned thing about law and order.
I don’t encourage lawsuits as a rule; but, I hope Taylor Gipson riles up Popeyes’ corporate suits enough that they bend the ear of managers about service dogs.