A Visually-Impaired Woman and Her Service Dog Were Forced to Leave a London Hotel After Staff Questioned the Dog’s Credentials

A young British woman staying at a London hotel was forced to leave in the middle of the night because her dog was with her. It wasn’t a matter of not paying a pet deposit or that she tried to sneak the animal in under the cover of darkness. It was because the staff at the Premier Inn at Enfield questioned the authenticity of the animal’s service dog credentials. The incident created such a ruckus that the police were eventually called to sort the whole mess out, and the woman was forced to vacate the premises anyways.

Guide Dogs

Staff at the hotel asked Angharad Paget-Jones, who is blind, for proof that her dog, Tudor, was a registered guide dog. She had checked in earlier in the day and everything had gone smoothly. It wasn’t until she’d been there for a matter of hours that things went south. The 29-year-old data analyst and disability rights campaigner was so upset by the unfortunate episode and the way it was handled that she took to Twitter to vent and tell her side of the story.

service dog
Photo: Pixabay/krista269

2010 Equality Act

In 2010 in the U.K., the Equality Act was put into place, making it illegal to refuse service to disabled people with guide dogs. While her check-in had gone off without a hitch, with the dog wearing its service vest and guide harness, the hiccup occurred when her partner came to visit and offered to take the dog out for a potty break. He left the room with Tudor still wearing his guide-dog gear to avoid any unnecessary hassles upon return.

But he and the dog were still stopped on re-entry and asked for verification that Tudor was indeed a service animal. Paget-Jones’ boyfriend assured them that Tudor was and explained that his girlfriend could provide them with the dog’s official ID in the morning, as it was late by then, and she was in bed trying to sleep. That’s when things started to go haywire.

Sensitivity Training

Paget-Jones noted, “They wouldn’t drop it and came up to the room and ended up disturbing me as I was half asleep. No one was telling me what was going on. I asked for a manager to help resolve the situation.” But resolution apparently wasn’t on the menu. As it turned out, Premier Inn staff reportedly continued to harass the couple about the dog. They even requested the presence of a security guard to escort them off the property. After allegedly going the extra mile to provide proof of Tudor’s credentials, the staff told them the dog’s ID “looked fake.” It’s unclear whether they took the time to contact the desk clerk on duty when Paget-Jones checked in.

service dog
Photo: Pixabay/CLVann

Too Little Too Late

Eventually, her partner dialed the police, but they replied that the couple would simply have to leave. Understandably upset, Paget-Jones stated in her Twitter thread, “Legally, I do not have to provide proof.” Since all of this went down, a spokesperson for the hotel said that the company was reaching out to her to hopefully rectify the situation. However, it might be a tad too late, as Paget-Jones now says she’s pursuing legal action against the Inn.

People, Pets & Planet

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