Boston Victim Booted From TJ Maxx Over Service Dog
Sydney Corcoran says she was told to fit service dog in cart
By Jenn Gidman, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 14, 2014 10:21 AM CDT
Celeste Corcoran, center, a victim of last year's bombings, reaches the finish line of the 118th Boston Marathon on April 21, 2014, with the aid of daughter Sydney, right, also wounded last year.   (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

(Newser) – A New Hampshire teen who survived the Boston Marathon bombing says she was forced to leave a Nashua TJ Maxx because she couldn’t cram her service dog, Koda, into a shopping cart, reports NewsCenter 5. Sydney Corcoran, 19, who sustained shrapnel wounds and now suffers from PTSD, says a TJ Maxx store manager approached her while she was shopping last Thursday and said, "If you want to keep your dog in the store, you have to put him in the carriage." Corcoran says she tried to explain to the manager that Koda (who was sporting his bright-blue service dog vest and has been "crucial to my everyday life") couldn’t fit comfortably in the cart, but the manager reportedly insisted she comply with what was described as a new policy.

A shaken Sydney says she left the store in embarrassment and called her mom, Celeste, who lost both her legs in the Boston bombing. Celeste rushed to the store and confronted the manager for violating her daughter’s rights: The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 states that businesses must allow service animals in public areas and that they are not considered "pets." TJ Maxx sent a statement to NewsCenter 5 apologizing for the incident, saying: "Customers with disabilities who are accompanied by their service animals are welcome in our stores at any time. We ... deeply regret that our procedures were not appropriately followed in this instance." Sydney and her mom note on their Facebook page that they hope to continue educating "ignorant" people about service dogs and the rights of their owners.

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Showing 3 of 94 comments
old_guy
Jul 16, 2014 11:32 AM CDT
The whole problem with the Blue Vest thing is anyone can have one, make one or put it on any dog, this tread is really about having a filthy dog wandering about where your food is sold or prepared. What do you think the orifice is for at the base of the dogs tail and the inter action when the dog sets in a chair or anywhere near your food source dogs in those situations is plain disgusting to most of us. I am well aware that dog owners in their own homes have some strange relationships with their dogs and that is fine it is their own home. If they want to clean up little poodle bombs or smell the occasional urine accident in their homes more power to them. Some people place their dinner plates on the floor and allow their dogs to lick them clean and in some cases they wash them after words. We all have our levels of what we will accept in our personal hi-gene but living with dogs where my food is purchased or prepared and served is disgusting and the selfish people who want to force that on me really need to think about how stupid they are in my eyes. Until 10 tears ago or so this issue never was a consideration, and yes there had to be allowances for seeing eye dogs but it is so rare anymore to see such dogs as many if not near all blind people seem to have gone to a long stick apparatus with electronic sensors. I cant remember the last time I saw someone with a seeing eye dog. People with shell shock, insecurities or feelings of a lack of love have been with us for ages and have gotten by with a blankie, pillow or teddy bear all of which are inoffensive and easily left in a car or out of sight. .
Daniel from TN
Jul 15, 2014 3:55 AM CDT
There is one thing NOT mentioned in the story. Was the dog clearly identified as a service dog? All the dogs I have seen wear a vest that says "I AM A SERVICE DOG." If the dog was identified in that manner then the manager was out of line. If the dog was not identified then the manager was within his rights to ask require the dog be placed in a basket. After all, ANYONE can take a pet into the store and claim it is a service dog.
Teabone Bones
Jul 14, 2014 11:39 PM CDT
In the thousands of years there has been no need for a "service dog" and the only need today if for over anxious people who are unable to stand up to life problems and cope. Having a pet at home is nice, nothing like a loyal dog coming down your lane welcoming one home just wiggling and wagging its tail but that is where it belongs, at home not creating sanitary problems among the public.