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April 28, 2020

Welcome to our letters to the editor/opinion section. To submit yours for consideration, please send to Please consider including an image to be used–either a photograph of you or something applicable to the letter. However, an image is not necessary for publication.

Remember opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect that of Redheaded Blackbelt nor have we checked the letters for accuracy.

Dear Community;

Grocery Outlet in fortuna is denying service animals into the store but not lap dogs. I went in yesterday with my service animal and they told me I can’t have him in there and that he needs to be wearing a vest and they wanted to see his papers. No where in the ADA guidelines does it say that I have to show proof or provide visual evidence that he is in fact my service animal. He was well behaved and leashed by my side. The only way we could’ve been asked to leave the store is if he was disruptive or say not potty trained.

I called to speak to the manager and she asked me what my disability was which by law is not legal for her to do. However, I have severe social anxiety panic disorder and ptsd he is to help calm me. I am out of medication and is the only reason I ATTEMPTED to take him to go grocery shopping. Which I wasn’t able to do. The manager was dismissive, and I emailed corporate to no avail. But this business should know the legality of this which they denied my entrance with a legitimate service animal and I am almost certain it was based on his breed, again ADA has no breed restrictions on service animals. This should be brought to the attention of the public.

If you’d like to tell them that you also disagree you can call them at this number (707)725-7010. Hopefully after enough people say something they will have the proper education and training in dealing with ADA guidelines.

S.D. Rio Dell, Humboldt

His registration number is US-SAR-654259281

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