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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

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.


I would also like to say

I would also like to say that as a member of the horse community all of us are avid animal lovers. I cannot emphasize enough the fact that 90% of my clothing both for showing or just general use have some kind of animal hair on it. I would rather have a new show shirt with dog hair on it than buy one from a "dog".


Well since he doens't seem to like dogs!!!...does he not like Horses, either???
Maybe he needs a new poster for him with a JACKASS.



It is a shame . . .

I bet this isn't the first customer with a service animal this individual has thrown out of his store. People like this don't just wake up one day and decide "I'm not letting dogs in anymore". He's always done this.

It is a shame that this happened to a disabled child but what is even more of a shame is the unknown number of others he has done this to and nobody knows or cares about it because they weren't kids.

To me the real story is him breaking the law and his callous attitude towards someone with a disability. The fact that this time it was a child makes it worse but doesn't negate the potential suffering this person has inflicted on other disabled people.

And the guy referring to the "Yankee idiots" - nice of you to perpetuate a problem. Your reference is completely unfounded and irrational. You have ZERO way of knowing the southern comments were made by Yankees. I was discussing this story with a friend earlier this morning. He made a comment about this being the "old intolerant Southern redneck mentality" - and my friend was born and raised in Southport. I suppose he is a Yankee idiot too?

Then you better not

ever leave your home again, because I can promise you that almost every business you go into will have had a service animal in it at one time or another. This is a store that caters to the horse people. Horse owners have dogs too so they have dog, horse and cat hair on their clothes. I guess it is better to walk in around the clothes with muddy, manure/urine coated shoes from cleaning stalls and riding horses all day than have a service dog??? That must really make the clothes smell nice! Don't join the ignorant and defend Robert. You too should be ashamed too!

Boycott the store..& the Yankee idiots who say this is southern

I'm glad this made the news so we now know of at least one store not to do business with, he will suffer for this. I'm also offended at the remarks by people calling this southern treatment. I am born and raised from here and I know we treat people better than this. It's my career to help people.

I don't shop with dogs

I do not want to shop in any store or eat in any restaurant that has dog hair flying around, therefore I agree 100% with this owner. I think it should be the owners policy as to whether to allow animals inside. Not to mention many people are allergic to dogs! Who wants a new outfit with dog hair on it?!

Stupidity at it's best

Umm.. you realize that we're talking about a WESTERN Store right? How many people walk into a WESTERN Store and don't own an animal. This guy gets people coming into his store to buy things for their animals, or for themselves while they work WITH their animals. More than likely they have some type of animal hair on them. Meaning, it'll fall off when they brush against clothing. So lets say for arguments sake, that this guy (to not discriminate) shouldn't allow anybody in his store that has an animal. Therefore he wouldn't have to worry about animal hair on his clothes. This is pure ignorance at it's best. And the Disability Act will not let him get away with it.

And for the people who think this dog is not a "real" working dog. Just because she's not this little girls eyes doesn't mean she's not there for a reason. She is there to sense when she's about to have a seizure so that her mother can get her help before it's too late. This in my eyes is amazing and one of the most necessary working dogs out there. The training this animal has received to do what it does is far beyond what any human could do for this little girl. There is NO DOUBT that this is truly a working dog. Seeing eye dogs get to rest and sleep when their owners sleep. This dog is ALWAYS on alert for something to go wrong. How would he have felt if they took the dog back to the car and the little girl had a seizure while shopping in the store?

RE I don't shop with dogs

My greatest desire is that you or someone you dearly love comes to need the services of a service dog. And I sincerely hope they (the service dogs) bite you in that dumb ass of yours.

so do you live in a filtered

so do you live in a filtered bubble? what about human hair? human skin? you do know what's in dust right? what about when people fart, that's particles of POOP floating around in the air. oh what ever will you do, all that "stuff" in the air

reply 2 I don't shop with dogs

I understand about people being allergic to animals. In a restaurant the dog is at the owner's feet. Really,the dog hair will fly into your food unless you are eating on the floor. If hair is in your food from a human or an animal then i could understand. It is not the owner's policy on whether or not to let the dog in but the Department of Justice's policies on if the dog should not be let in. Finally, about the new outfit with dog hair on it issue. That is the reason you wash clothes before wearing them to get that and other stuff off of them. People have sneezed on clothes before and them back on the rack. If you feel that way then buy a new outfit that someone sneezed on because when it dries you will not be able to see it.

instead of hiding

behind your post who are you? I would like to know because I do not want to be associated with your kind. If you believe so strongly for this business owner let us all know who you are so we can boycott you to! skank!

We should all strive to

We should all strive to reach your level of maturity.

It is a sad day when a

It is a sad day when a fellow human being cares more about getting dog hair near them than the needs and feelings of a disabled child who depends on this dog to be able to function in day to day activities.I hope you never have to experience what these individuals go through on a daily basis being discriminated against for something they cannot help.I am proud to say we know this family and I hope you can find a little compassion inside of you to be more tolerate of service animals.God help you if you or one of your family members ever need a four legged service animal.They are a valuable members of families and society.

Don't shop with dog hair MORON!

You are just as stupid as the business owner!!!
Evidently you care more about dog hair on your clothes than the immoral treatment of a child.
May you never have to experience the need for a special needs dog, and the hardships that go along with it.

You agree with the owner?

This isn't a Chihuahua in a purse "T", this is a physically and mentally disabled child with a very expensive, well trained dog assisting her through life. Good luck being you for a lifetime.

Dog hair...

This is not about dog hair,,,it's about the Americans with Disabilities Act. And moreover the way this family was treated. You lost the point with this one. This guy was totally out of line. Clothes can be washed being humiliated can't be.To the family, GO GET EM !!!! Perhaps Dateline or a national news station would eat this story up. I hope they get back what they have dished out.

Reply to dog hair

AMEN!!!! I agree with you the national news stations should get a hold of this. Then he would have a small idea of just what it feels like to be humiliated like that girl was. I wish him the best luck in court because if national news stations will get a hold of the Department of Justice will. Then let us see how his law stacks up to their law! I would love to be a fly on the wall for this one!!!!!!!

Since I'm going to take my

Since I'm going to take my new outfit, and promptly climb into a saddle on the back of a horse, I could care less about a little dog hair. What I do care about is that you are the type of person who would be mean to a child, and a special needs child at that. I will never set foot into your store again.

This poster is the same

This poster is the same person who who a review on a local merchant's list that said the Western Store is a "nice, clean store." Any bets that this is the owner, trying to mitigate the negative publicity he brought on himself?

I meant to say "who wrote a

I meant to say "who wrote a review." I guess I should proof-read my posts...

What an Jerk!

This store owner is the lowest of the low. His excuses are untenable. He should not be allowed to do this to ANYONE. I hope he's sued by the family and fined by the state.

A boycott would be fitting for this man.

I purchased a pair of boots

I purchased a pair of boots there on Saturday. Had I known this I would have taken my business elsewhere. Rest assured, The Western Shop will get no repeat business from me. What a purely shameful act.

R McClellan

lets have a "dog in"

We need to have a "dog-in". Kinda like a "sit-in". Lets surround the store with all kinds of dogs right outside of his property line ('cause we all know how "his laws" are) & let everybody know how "super cool" he really is.

I will go to this store.

With my service dog that is. I will give this man a bit of education.

Western Store denies Family with Service Dog

Well well well...

This takes the cake. This man is ignorant of the laws and mean & nasty to boot! Speaking of boots, he won't get any of my money!!

I have to confess though, I am entertaining the thought of taking my Service Dog, Larkin & stopping in to visit, hee hee.

"Well howdy, pardner!"

"Hang on there, while I shoot myself in the foot."

Stupid. Really stupid.


You can bet I won't spend my money there and my daughter loves to shop there. These people must be the most self centered people there are. Truly pathetic..... With attitudes like that, they won't be in business much longer.

Special needs dog

I bet, if a friend of someone with vision impairment came into the store to pick out a bunch of stuff that equaled to a good amount of money, when it came time to pay, I bet he would let the vision impaired man with his guide dog into the store. He wouldn't turn down money then. How sad for the family, trust me, I know how it is exactly, having had a special needs daughter, I know all to well. To the parents, stand up for your rights, to many jerks out there now days thinking they know whats best for everyone. If he can kick out a service animal because his business is privately owned, then why can't I smoke in a privately owned bar???

shut it down

I hope this man goes OUT OF BUSNESS! After seeing that story who would go there. That is one mean ol man that deserves loseing his store!