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FIRST ON 3: Store owner who kicked out service dog apologizes

READ MORE: FIRST ON 3: Store owner who kicked out service dog apologizes

It's been two days since we first told you about Robert Bryant, who owns a western wear shop in Castle Hayne. Monday, he kicked out a service dog that helps a 5-year-old girl who has cerebral palsy, because he said he had a strict "no pets" policy.

Today he talked with WWAY's Hailey Winslow and apologized for his decision.

"Honey, I try to treat everybody who comes through my door with respect and honor," says Western Shop Owner Robert Bryant. But the Ivancevich family didn't feel respected.

Robert Bryant kicked five-year old Amanda and her service dog "ELLIE" out of his Western Shop Monday. It was the first time Amanda had been out of the house in a year. She has cerebral palsy, and is missing the left side of her brain. She relies on "Ellie" to get her through the day.

Bryant talked with me on camera about the story, and what he did earlier this week.

"I had no intentions of offending these people, and I apologize if I have," says Bryant.

Bryant says he asked them to leave because he has a strict "no pets" policy, that "ELLIE" smelled, and he didn't want her getting dog hair on the merchandise.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, a service animal is not a pet, and a business owner can only kick the dog out if it poses a threat to others.

Bryant says he didn't know about the law. "I was not aware that there was a law that required me to let an animal into my store. I've got horses that i think a lot of, I'm not going to ride my horse through the door."

President of Carolina Canines for Service Rick Hairston says this isn't the first time Bryant has kicked out a service dog. "I know of several, beyond that, how many we don't know about is probably more of an issue," says Hairston.

Bryant contends though, he treats everyone fairly. "I don't know that I've done anything wrong. But I don't treat people mean, I don't."

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.


He would...

You ask WWJD? He would smack the back of Mr. Bryant's water head.

I doubt it......give the man

I doubt it......give the man the benefit of the doubt...everyone deserves a second chance...."those who have no sin may cast the first stone"
NO, it wasn't right, but, move on...

he has done it before

According to the news last night he has done this before.. So how many chances should he get? Then he said he didn't know it was a law. Well, He was told the last few times it was the law regarding service dogs being allowed in stores. So,now he's lying..but he is a Christian man .
yeah right !!!

The only reason he is apologizing this time because it made local and national news.. funny!!!

Finally...a big smile out of all of these posts! Good one!

You need to place yourself

You need to place yourself in the house of the lord and ask for forgiveness too.


Thank you for your apology and unlike the others I will accept it. As I posted earlier, my 2-year-old daughter has cerebral palsy--she can't walk or talk yet, but we're hoping. I, like so many of you, was deeply offended by the owner's actions. However, I'm old enough to understand (this is because of my daughter's tragic birth) that grudges and vindictiveness only harms me and the ones I love. This guys wants to apologize. In accepting it perhaps we show him some compassion which could make real and effective change in his life and his worldview. In rejecting him we only embitter him more. And given that his business is in our community we will be touched by that bitterness. Let's be adults in this unfortunate circumstance and forgive.

I am glad that there are

I am glad that there are people out there who have a shred of decency. This man made a mistake, which will inevitably cost him his business, which he built single-handedly from the ground up. I know him personally, and happen to know that he has the kindest, most christian heart in the world. He acted on his belief that his store could be damaged, not out of hate. So thank you for realizing that humans are not perfect and they make silly mistakes. I am ashamed that so many Americans think they have the right to judge someone they do not know, simply based off of a dramatized news story


Yeah, he seems real kind and christian to me. Real christian kicking these people out of the store! Dog hair is removable with a lint brush or masking tape. Service dogs don't run around destroying stores, and short periods in proximity to clothes does not make clothes smell.

If the man is so backward that he doesn't know the law, then he deserves what he gets. Ignorance is NOT an excuse.

Hubris and Catharsis

Hubris: Overbearing pride or presumption; arrogance
Catharsis: A purifying or figurative cleansing of the emotions

These two elements are major components of the classic greek tragedy. You should teach your friend about them asap because he's the star of his very own tragedy. The man made a mistake no doubt, and offended the community he wants to pander to. He's exhibited on air a tremendous amount of hubris, and his catharsis rang as false to a vast amount of the viewers.

If he has the kindest, most Christian heart in the whole wide world, I feel bad for Christians. They are represented very poorly. The man is a curmudgeon to the core. Since so many people want to bring Christ into, where is the Christian heart? Job 40:12, Ephesians 4:2, Romans 12:16, Matthew 23:12, Micah 6:8. One could easily go on on shortcomings, but that would be judging wouldn't it. Just as you are judging the judgers.

People aren't basing this off a news story mind you, but the very words out of your friend's mouth. HE has done himself this disservice. No one else. HE is solely responsible for what has happened on every accord.

I won't be shopping at the store anytime soon, but I never would have in the first place. Nothing lost nothing gained.

Ok, so he apologized

I still won't shop in his store. He seems all nice and sincere, but I'm not 100% convinced. It's fine to have a "no pets" rule but the majority of the population know that service animals are an exception. In owning his own business, he should know that. On the Christian front, he should have shown some compassion and at least listened to the woman on why the dog was essential.

Too late

Sorry, You ran your mouth for the cameras saying it was your store and you could do what you wanted... The ONLY reason why you are apologizing is he was told to do so or face jail time. He isn't doing it because he feels he was wrong.. Sorry, bud you hurt your business and there's no getting around that..

You are just a mean ignorant man..

I will NEVER shop in your store again

Is it just me or....

do I detect a bit of back-pedaling here? Sounds to me like he didn't like the recommendation his attorney gave him but I don't think it is going to help much. And then to have the AUDACITIY to say he runs his business in a Christian way...... talk about ignorant!

Rejection of Service Dog

Mr, Bryant should check out the facebook page

Are you serious! You don't

Are you serious! You don't deserve to have a business and you certainly won't get mine.

Look like someone

Looks like someone is shakin' in their over priced boots. Scared that the community will turn on him. What a sorry SOB. If he really meant it, he wouldn't have done it in the first place.

wrong move buddy

you made a poor decion in life buddy service dogs are allowed everywhere no matter what store it is. I'm sure people would still try on the clothes. They are going to where the horseback riding in them or even work in them.

western wear

He should have thought about then. I promise you I will never step foot in his store again. What a jackass.

Too little too late

Mr. Bryant you may K.M.A.

sorry buddy to little to

sorry buddy to little to late I hope this puts you out of business

Christians forgive

He made a mistake, he apologized, and I bet he never does it again. Not good enough for you Christians?


I am a nurse that works daily with handicapped and special needs children, I have heard very hurtfull comments that people make that are ignorant to the facts. The God that I worship says that we must forgive to be forgiven. Judge ye not less ye be judged. All of you that are judging this man needs to stop and ask yourself if you have ever made a hurtful comment about someone that was handcapped it doesn't matter if anyone heard you or not because God heard you, be honest with yourself. Let God take care of this situation.

He has not admitted that he

He has not admitted that he was wrong,if you listen to the video he repeatedly says "IF" I did something wrong. This is not an apology.He professes to run his business in a christian way but his actions and his statements to the family were anything but christian.

He said he runs his store

He said he runs his store like a Christian. If this is how a Christian treats his fellow man, and a disabled child at that, I'm ashamed to be called a Christian.

Maybe he does realize his mistake, but I still choose not to patronize his store for my daughter's riding gear.

People always say this when someone gets caught doing something wrong - that they're sorry and that we should forgive them. But that doesn't mean that they shouldn't pay for their transgressions.

This guy's payment will be a loss of some of his customers and a possible lawsuit.