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ONLY ON 3: Local store kicks out family with service dog

READ MORE: Local store kicks out family with service dog
servicedog300.jpg

NEW HANOVER COUNTY -- The family of a Wilmington special needs child is angry and disappointed.

While shopping in Castle Hayne, the family was ordered out of the Western Shop. The problem? The owner would not allow their service dog, Ellie, inside. Even after showing the credentials, the family says they were forcibly told to leave.

Five-year-old Amanda Invancevich and her service dog, Ellie, are best friends.

"In the two years we've had Ellie, or almost two years, Amanda has blossomed," Amanda's mother Susan Ivancevich said. "She does so many things that she didn't used to do. She is now independently mobile."

Amanda had a stroke before she was born, damaging the left side of her brain. At six months old, Amanda was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, and then she started having as many as 150 seizures a day. As a result the left side of her brain was removed and, for the most part, stopped the seizures.

"I look at Amanda every day, and I don't see a disabled child. I see Amanda," her mom said.

The Ivancevich family counts on Ellie to be both a protector and a companion.

"They're really close," Amanda's sister Katie said. "Ellie has helped the whole family with everything."

The Western Shop on Castle Hayne Road didn't see Ellie as a companion but as a nuisance.

"People don't want to put clothes on that the dog brushed up against, and they will. The dog smelled," owner Robert Bryant told us when we confronted him about the incident.

Although certified service dogs are legally allowed wherever humans can go, the owner of the store admits he asked the Ivancevich family and the dog to leave.

"Laws that I've got? I don't even have to admit the woman in to my store," the Bryant said. "That's my law."

Susan Ivancevich said she reached for Ellie's credentials, but Bryant refused.

"He said he didn't care what the law was," she said, "that it was his law and his store and get the 'blank' dog out of the there."

Susan, her daughters and a friend left the store. That's when the sadness set in.

"To be treated that disrespectfully by someone that you have a special needs kid," Invancevich said through tears. "He's gonna run you out of a store? I find it so frustrating that he can't see the amazing gifts that God gives you in these kids."

Ivancevich says if she does take any legal action, any money gained will be given to a charity that helps special needs children.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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Funny how other people who

Funny how other people who suffer from seizures do just fine without a dog........

service dog

But wouldn"t it be wonderful if everyone who is subject to seizures had the opportunity to have a dog like Ellie!? They would be much better off - happier and safer. How fortunate little Amanda is to have her dog.

maybe their seizures are not

maybe their seizures are not as bad as hers at 150 per day.just like not every blind person has a seeing eye dog,everyones circumstances are differant.

Re: Funny how...

Not sure what you were implying. It's hard to know if you had sarcasm or meant some other intonation in your post. I'll take your post at face value though and thereby infer that you see the non-necessity of a service dog. This little girl has the wonderful opportunity to have a dog that gives her a higher quality of life. Not everyone has a service dog because not everyone needs a service dog and not everyone can afford a service dog and because not everyone has half their brain removed.

As I write this I'm realizing that I would really like to know what you were implying, otherwise my response would likely wander too much.

evicted dog

Speaking as a parent of a special needs child and a horse owner, I have been to this store. Mr.Bryant, you will never have to bother yourself about selling me some of your pristine shirts ever again.
p.s.
I'm also a dog owner, thats makes this a triple whammy!

Well i have a 4 amlost 5

Well i have a 4 amlost 5 year son old who is special needs also and it is sad to think that someone could be so crule!!! I have shopped there many times and was not impressed at all with stock or quality of things there. Im sorry to hear that that family was treated so poorly no one deserves that special needs or not. This owner should be ashamed and out of business!!!!

Service dogs do not require certification

Unfortunately, the fact that this family and news station is waving the dog's "certification" around means absolutely nothing.

In the United States, service dogs are not required to be certified because there is no government entity to regulate the dogs' training.

The dog must meet the legal definition of "service animal", but certification is not required for access, and it is not recommended that handlers attempt to show forms of ID or paperwork in order to gain access into a venue.

Amanda and the Disability Act

I also have a child with physical and visual disabilities and I am personally related to Susan and her family.GO SUSAN!!!!!!!!
Ignorance comes in all sizes, shapes, and counties. Fortunately, there are alot of people who still have a heart(as I read some of the supporting comments.) Parents with children of disabilities face challenges daily, as does the child.The children and their families are special people with incredible strength. God has given us these angels for a purpose.
This idiot will face justice and he has determined his destiny with his ignorance.
I can't help myself but I believe his MaMa has obviously dropped him on his head and never told him!!!!
Your Lakeland Cousin

Dog-In

I would like to take part in any Dog-In or public picketing of the Western Shop. My daughter is 7 months old and was diagnosed with at least 2 types of epilepsy at 2 months.

Robert Bryant is an insensitive man. To bully a child and her family like that is reprehensible. Ordinarily I support all local businesses before heading to a large franchise store. This is one local business that will NEVER get a penny from me or anyone in my family.

Shame on you Bryant!

Well....

He does have the right to refuse service to anybody he wants. Its his property. Not saying that he should have done it though. I wouldnt have, but he could have been less of an ahole.

He can refuse service on

He can refuse service on personal basis, but not on basis of race/creed/color/sex/age/disability.

...and in the eyes of the federal government he did just that.

---Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, Title III---

"no individual may be discriminated against on the basis of disability with regards to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation by any person who owns, leases (or leases to), or operates a place of public accommodation. "Public accommodations" include most places of lodging (such as inns and hotels), recreation, transportation, education, and dining, along with stores, care providers, and places of public displays, among other things."

So yeah, he willingly broke the law, I (and the federal gov) don't really care what he thinks about it

I am proud of those in our community

That have taken the time to show support for this child and any other special needs person. The store owner is obviously an idiot, he opened his mouth and proved it. He will get his due soon enough. Maybe this is a good time to open a western wear store. Looks like it would have support!
Let's celebrate the fact that there is compassion and common sense in our community.

It's his store

If he doesn't want animals in store then thats his choice and I am on his side. If the mother was with the child then why was the dog needed in the store.

Stanton James

This is to that worthless idiot Stanon James,

You must be proud of how incredibly stupid you are since you are showing it off every chance you get. Tell me, are do you derive pleasure from heckling paraplegics or tripping blind people? You said that if the store owner did not want the dog in his store, that is his choice. Well actually idiot, it is NOT his choice. I will use small words to explain so your limited mind can understand. We have something in this country called The Americans With Disabilities Act which states that a disabled person MAY NOT be refused admittance into a public establishment if they are utilizing a service animal. Obviously you know nothing about service dogs since you asked why the dog was needed if the mother was with the child. The dog in question is probably a seizure dog who has been specially trained to detect when a person is about to have a Tonic Clonic Seizure (Also called Grand Mal). If that dog can give the little girl a better quality of life, I am all for it. Amanda sweetheart, I want you to know that your friends in the US Army MP Corps are with you 100%. As for Stanton James, you are obviously just a worthless piece of garbage like the store owner is. Only a monster like you would side with someone who persecuted an innocent little girl who never hurt anyone. You actually remind me of someone else who used to persecute the disabled. His name was Adolph Hitler. Maybe you two are related

Stanton James

Where do you work so I can make sure I don't ever go there. It is a Federal Law and he has to obey the law. He has no choice. I bet he feels the same about paying taxes. Is that a law he disobeys? Maybe, some one should call the IRS to checkup on him..

wash your dog

The owner of the store said that the dog smelled. Service dog or not, if your dog stinks keep it home.

Dog smell? Really??

I know the service dog Ellie personally, and quite honestly she smells better than a lot of the people I know. The business owners assertion that the dog "smelled" is completely fabricated.

I don't know the last time the owner walked in a horse barn, but do you really think that by having a dog in the same building as your merchandise is going to "spoil" it?

Get real, the owner is a jerk and he got caught.

I do feel bad for the employees who will loose their job when the store will inevitably go out of business.

OUTRAGED!!!

As the mother of an epileptic child, and a horseowner who has purchased many things from this store. I will NEVER shop here again! I am so disappointed, and saddned by this story, not to mention angry...Country people are supposed to be "nice" and caring! Robert is obviously NOT as "country" as he claims to be..I hope his store sinks! good riddens, and I hope the mother of that wonderful child, sues this store, and he will be an example for other business owners.

won't shop there

YEA!!YEA!!! All you dog owners shop somewhere else. Simply put I will be shopping at the "NO DOGS ALLOWED" stores!! Can't wait to get there!!!

Seriously...

I am a pet owner and also an avid shopper. I have purchased from this store on several occasions in the past but will never shop there again. I am also appalled that another human (adult) could treat a child like this not to mention her health but just the fact that she was a child is enough to make me want to tell everyone about this story. I hope the owner never finds his health in a compromising situation and that he never feels the love and happiness that a dog can bring to a human life. The Golden rule, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

I ask that we all take this lesson to heart and either smile, hold the door for someone or just ask how their day is going.

Nikki

I'm with you all the way,

I'm with you all the way, completely unacceptable behavior, shame on you Robert, I knew we werent on the same page, but I honestly didnt know we werent even in the same book....in the end, we all get what we deserve, whatever that may be, you will find that you are no different

Lets all agree that this is wrong and not get off topic...

Lets not make this a North/South thing, im sure the previous comment makers meant no harm but we need to recognize we all agree on one thing, THIS IS AN INJUSTICE. His business will never recover from this and shouldnt. From what i heard he didnt run this store appropriately anyway with outdated apparel, outrageous prices etc. Not to say that matters, seeing that girl on the news touched my heart, she was adorable.

"protector and a companion. "

" protector and a companion"- Isnt that what we all want from our dogs? Sometimes people mask their longtime family dogs as "worker dogs" to get around rules. The business owner has the right to ask anyone to leave for any reason, its his property. Im sure he would have acted differently if he saw the dog physically assisting the disabled such as in a seeing-eye-dog. Im not bying the "protector and a companion" bit.
I wish both parties good luck. I have never shoped there but probably will now because I know the owner has Ba*%s !

I am a special education

I am a special education teacher and Ellie has visited my classroom on multiple occasions. Believe me her training is very real- How many dogs do you know that can sense a life-threatening seizure before it happens and put themself in a position to protect the child and get help? And that is just one part of her training. Ellie is a vital part of Amanda's life and a big part of the reason she has made the progress she has made since Ellie became a part of their family.

Better hurry

Looks like his a** will be closing soon LOL

yes... protector, companion, and then some.

I guess you missed the prior article that indicated the family showed your fellow jerk documentation that the dog is indeed a service dog. Such dogs normally wear a vest to signify their status as well. You also apparently missed other articles where your fellow jerk said he didn't care if it was a service dog.

Protector??

Who are you to question the credentials of this service dog? The owner was shown the paperwork and refused to read it,obviously you do not know about the american disability act.Service dogs are used for many differant things not just seeing eye dogs,they detect a seizure coming on,someone needing insulin,etc..In Amandas case Ellie helps her walk and detects seizures before they occur.I guess you will be a lonely shopper at the western shop. Maybe you and the owner will become fast friends because he could sure use some support from someone.Everyone else will be standing behind this innocent child.

Service animals begin

Service animals begin training almost immediately after birth and that training continues for over 2 years before they are placed with a family. These are NOT pets, and comments like this just show how ignorant some people are to role service dogs play in our society. These dogs are an extension of the person they are assisting. They are not pets and they are never treated as so...they are helpers that assist with a variety of tasks, many of which are essential to allowing the person with a disability to leave their home. Not allowing a service dog in a facility is the same thing as telling a person with a cane or wheelchair that THEY can come in, but they cannot bring their chair or cane.

coment on sircribb's coment about Western Store

Ok. You say that you do not buy the "protect and companion" thing not a bit. A seizure alert dog does protect you from harm by getting you to a safe place. If you were near a busy road then they would get you away from it so you would not get hit by an automobile. If you were in a pool they would get you out of it so you would not drown. After they would save your life or help you feel more independent then don't tell me that they would not be a companion to you and you would be greatful to have that dog! People can have visible disabilities such as being blind like you said. Their are also people with invisible disabilities and that does not make them a family dog. You have to prove medically and that Social Security says you are disabled by following the Department of Justice's guidelines. They don't just hand them out because they feel for you. You also have to go through a lot of paper work, be interviewed and also go through training. The dogs are not cheap because they can cost up to $10,000.00 depending on the breed and the length of their training depending on what they are being trained to do.All i have to say about that owner is that it was not me because i would have called the law. The only way legally that could refuse that dog was if it damaged his store by chewing on something,by pooping or urinating in the store and if it acted unruly by growling at someone or biting them. Good luck to the owner of the store with his laws because you will have to deal with the Department of Justice's rules.

PROTECTOR OR COMPANION

WHETHER THE DOG IS A PROTECTOR OR A COMPANION IT SEEMS TO ME PEOPLE HAVE TO BE PICKING OR PERTICULARLY CALL WHAT THE DOG REALLY IS FOR THIS 5 YEAR OLD GIRL SO ITS ABOUT A GIRL THE DOG IS THERE FOR AND NOT NEED TO BE MENTIONED IF THE DOG IS WHETHER A COMPANION OR A PROTECTOR BECAUSE THE LITTLE GIRL IS THE REASON FOR HER TO HAVE A DOG SO ITS ABOUT THE GIRL AND NOT JUST A DOG OK SO SICRIBB U NEED TO LIGHT UP AND FEEL FROM THE HEART AND NOT SAY WHAT U SAY ISNT A BIT OR A BIT OK ITS ABOUT THE GIRL THE DOG DOES EVERYTHING FOR SO HOW DO U FEEL IF YOU ARE A DOG OR A LITTLE GIRL AND SOMEONE SAYS THE SAME TO YOU AS YOU JUST MENTIONED SO THINK ABOUT IT ALSO AS FAR AS THE OWNER DOING WHAT HE DID I DONT CARE IF HE OWNS THE STORE OR NOT, ITS CUSTOMER SERVICE HE HAS TO ALLOW WHETHER ITS GOOD OR NOT SO THE OWNER IS GOIN TO FACE HARSH SUITS ALSO TO BE DOING THIS DURING HOW THE ECONOMY IS GOIN TO RUIN HIS BUSINESS SINCE EVERYONE NOW KNOWS WHO HE OR SHE IS ALSO WHAT KIND OF A HEARTLESS PERSON THAT PERSON IS AND ISNT FIT FOR BUSINESS WITH NO ONE OR TO HAVE A BUSINESS TO RUN!!!! BUTT OUTT!!!!!