The ADA is the law, the Department of Justice is responsable for enforcing it.
Legally denying a service dog is the same as dening a person based on race/gender/etc. same department, same rules, same penalties.
When a violation occurs and is reported to the DOJ, they make their own investigation and then sue the retailer in federal court. Usually the retail takes a settlement where a fine is issued and the retailer is put on a 3 year probation. Fine are usually $10k - $50k (payable to the US Treasury), the disabled person usually gets $5k-$10k (Payable to the DOJ who gives it to the disabled in exchange for the agreeing to the settlement.
This whole process takes about one year.
Now many states, including NC have state laws, many have criminal penalties which are in addition to any charges the DOJ brings.
Almost every major chain has had an issue and taken a settlement, a complete list is here: http://www.ada.gov/settlemt.htm
If you are business or service dog user, we offer a free brochure to help you.
Service animals must be clean and safe in public. If the animal was covered in mud, the business owner would have a valid excuse to exclude it.
Service Dog Trainer
Service Dogs of Florida, Inc.
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