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ONLY ON 3: Store owner could face jail for kicking out service dog

READ MORE: ONLY ON 3: Store owner could face jail for kicking out service dog

WILMINGTON, NC - As we first told you last night at 11, a little girl and her mother were kicked out of the Western Wear store in Castle Hayne because they brought a service dog in with them. Today the mother told us she's decided to take legal action.

Some may think because Robert Bryant owns his store, he has every right to refuse service to whomever he chooses. Not so says the American with Disabilities Act. Now he could be looking at spending up to 20 days in jail.

Bryant is adamant about pets in his store, even service animals.
"I'm gonna treat everybody that walks in my door the same way," he told WWAY. "I asked the lady, I said 'Ma'am, there's a sign up that says no dogs allowed. No pets allowed.' That oughta be enough."

Problem is, that wasn't enough, because Ellie is a service dog and helps five-year-old Amanda Ivancevich navigate through life. Amanda had a stroke before she was born then had seizures, so doctors removed half of her brain to stop them. She also has cerebral palsy. But her mom Susan wants Amanda to live as much a normal life as she can with Ellie's help.

"She has a legal right to be in any business," Susan Ivancevich. "She's been in John Hopkins, the number one hospital in the world. She's been in dining establishments, she's been in grocery stores, she's been all over the place, and so she has that legal right and to not allow her to go in is discrimination against the disabled."

"The dog is, in a sense, an extension of the child," attorney Sue Rielly said. "He does things for her that she cannot do by herself."

Rielly is a former lawyer for the Department of Justice's Disability Rights Section. By federal law, service dogs are not pets. Any place open to the public like Bryant's Western Wear shop, must allow them in.

"In this case, most businesses don't allow animals in their stores," Rielly said, "but the law says make a reasonable modification to that policy. So people with disabilities, who use animals to help them see, or pick things up, or tell them they're going to have a seizure actually can come in and access your store."

Something Bryant apparently refused to do Monday because, he said, the dog smelled, and he didn't want dog hair on his merchandise.

"If she wanted to bring the child in here and shop, fine," Bryant said. "I have no problem with that, but she didn't have to have that dog with her. If you spill drinks on my clothes, I can't sell them. A dog brushes up against them, I can't sell them. I'm not gonna have it. As far as that dog walking in here to maintain that child's welfare, it doesn't."

There are only two instances when you can kick a service animal out of a public place: If it's acting up, or if it poses a threat to others around it.

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.


Service animals

This man is an arrogant a$$ and if anyone deserves the maximum penalty in the law it is him.

He's A Nice Man

I met Mr. Bryant, I also have a special needs child in a wheelchair.
He is one of the nicest people I have never met. Has such a great attitude, and sooooo very helpful. The store is all leather, you know.
I feel like he would of helped anyway he could, he's the kind of man that would of personal sat with the child while the Mother was shopping, she wouldn't of even needed the dog. Im sure if this man hurt anyone feeling he wouldnt be made to say sorry. He is a very kind soul, to EVERYONE. Has a great business and reputatin everywhere. Be kind to Mr. Bryant

The owner has his rights...

I say it's this guy's right to kick any smelly critter he wants to out of his store, I know I wouldn't want to shop where some mongrel dog was rubbing pet hairs all over the goods in the store. This is just a case of simple northern arrogance and aggression, nothing else.

I have rights too!

And I have the right to have my service dog with me in all public places including this jerk's store! And the person in charge can't ask me to remove my dog unless my dog is aggressive or poops inside. Or barks during a movie.

I don't want to shop in a store where people like Guest12 shop. You are just proving the point made by commentators on the previous article that Southern people are ignorant twits. The southern half of this country still has to abide by FEDERAL LAWS!!

this story is ridiculous and

this story is ridiculous and disgusting..seriously!

Don't waste the cops and courts time with this frivolous non sense.

obviously you do not have a

obviously you do not have a special needs person in your life

The dog in the Western Store

After watching your story on the dog in the Western Store, I can promise you I would never step foot in the store. The attitude of the owner will make me tell all of my friends to avoid him and his business at all cost. I would hope everyone else would do the same. He doesn't deserve to have customers with his attitude.

Mr. Bryant should be ashamed

Mr. Bryant should be ashamed of himself!!! But after seeing the interview with him, I bet he feels he hasn't done anything wrong!!! Laws are for everyone including you, Mr. Bryant. Hope she sues the chaps off of you!

How could a dog brushing

How could a dog brushing against clothing make it unsalable?

The Eastern San Francisco

Wilmington has become the San Francisco of the east. Maybe one day your little town will float off into the Atlantic and you can become your own country of liberal cry babies.....I will never shop Wilmington again, except the Western Store in Castle Hayne.

This is the best comment

This is the best comment I've read all day.

Obviously a Mensa member....

Hmm, so a belief in common decency equates to being a "liberal cry baby." Wow - such intellectual depth. Perhaps you should just reject all laws, and not just those that you disagree with?

This is the best comment I

This is the best comment I have read on this story all day.


PLEASE DO US THE FAVOR OF LEAVING HERE SINCE YOU DISLIKE US SO MUCH. As for those referring to him as a redneck, please stop. Rednecks are just good ole boys that like to have a good time. We like our horses and nascar(faster horses). We are not crying about this, but if it is against the law it's against the law. The dog is an extension of this child. He will alert her mother before she starts having a seizer so they can help her immediately.


Technically the Western shop is located in Castle Hayne,so I guess you can still shop in Wilmington. If you are not from our little town you do not need to comment.It is not about location it is about a disabled child being treated cruelly.Feel free to leave our little town we do not need more people like you commenting on things you know nothing about.