A Starbucks store in Houston has come under fire after chastising an amputee war veteran who brought his service dog into the establishment. Yancy Baer, who works for an organization that trains service dogs to help disabled people, was in Houston on their behalf. After a non-combat related injury in Iraq in 2009, Baer’s left leg had to be amputed from the knee down.
But when he entered the Starbucks with the service dog, a store employee ordered him to prove his disability. The worker told him he couldn’t have a dog inside because he’s “not blind.” When Baer explained he had a physical service dog, the employee ordered him to explain what the dog does and then loudly asked him, “why can’t you do that yourself?” Eventually, Baer spoke with another employee who allowed him to have the dog inside and apologized afterwards.
“This whole time this guy is in my face, being loud, and I’m trying my hardest not to choke slam his ass. The only thing that prevented this a-hole from a trip to the hospital was the fact that I was with an individual to have an important meeting about…wait for it, SERVICE DOGS!” wrote Baer in a posting on his Facebook page. “Be careful about who you approach and how you approach it. You’ve got to be sensitive to people. This isn’t acceptable.”
A spokeswoman for Starbucks also apologized and said that they “always welcome service animals to our stores and this customer’s experience is not consistent with the welcoming and friendly environment we strive to create for everyone….we hope to have the opportunity to serve him again.” While Baer accepted the apology, he said he will never enter a Starbucks store again.