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ADA Rules Questioned After Disabled Woman is Asked to Leave Restaurant

SPRING HILL – Today’s service animals do much more than help lead the blind; many of them can alert their owners of an impending seizures, Psychiatric and Autistic conditions or even sense when an owners blood sugar is reaching dangerous levels.

Individuals who are licensed to travel with these animals are protected from discrimination by the American Disabilities act (ADA) and certain state laws. Although there are some exclusions and exceptions to the rules, most businesses and animal owners abide by these rules.

Those rules came into question Tuesday, when Jodi Semones, who has diabetes, entered Niki’s GryoMania Greek Restaurant on Spring Hill Drive.

According to Semones, when she entered the restaurant with her service dog Samantha, the owner, Sandy Martino became irate and demanded that she leave. Semones says he tried to explain that Samantha was a certified service animal and that she doesn’t have to leave but Martino said that due to her allergies to animals, she cannot have a dog in the building.

According to the ADA, allergies and the fear of animals are not valid reasons to deny services to a disabled person, but according to Martino, in addition to her allergies she also has severe asthma. Due to some other congenital health problems, an allergic reaction could kill her, says Martino.

So there is a quandary; according to the ADA, business owners are not allowed to ask customers what their health issues are, so should customers have the right to ask the business owner for their medical history?

Martino has a small sign posted on the front door, asking patrons not to bring animals into the restaurant. She’ll also be inquiring with the ADA regarding her rights to deny service animals inside.

Semones says she was unaware of Martino’s more severe health conditions and that all of this could have been avoided if Martino would have explained her condition. Martino says she was respectful and believes she is within her right not to explain her health problems to customers.

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gyro 2 Jodi's dog Gyro Mania

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  • This story was meant to be sensational. The author provided no background on the service dogs tasks or the laws that are involved. Also, I am a guide dog users, and I am sick of sighted people who say that blind people can’t use computers. You hate disability laws? Well, maybe if your ancestors had not left people with disabilities to rot and die of abuse and rat infested institutions, these laws would not exist. Yes, people without disabilities Who believe service dog handlers are a joke do try to pass their pets off illegally. There are laws to prosecute them, but no one enforces them. That is not the fault of a legitimate service dog handlers. After hundreds of years, you still persist in your unequal treatment. You Blaine service dog handlers for something they cannot control. You blame them for other people trying to commit fraud. These comments just make me sick. I am fully aware that sighted people don’t want me in this world. Guess what. I am a human being to, and I am not going to be treated like a third class citizen and have to eat outside or in a segregated area . And you are all about service dogs acres, but has it ever occurred to you how many people lie about having dog allergies just because they don’t want to be around a service dog? I honestly hope I never encounter most of you in real life.

    Thursday, 12 January 2017, 6:51 pm
  • I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that public accommodations laws themselves ought to be repealed. The only rights I have against another person is that they not aggress against my body or property. Otherwise, the idea I am entitled to another person’s goods or services against their wishes is slavery.

    Friday, 26 February 2016, 3:41 pm
  • I have a toy poodle who we adopted as a pet. Turns out she can alert me when I am gping to be sick and I can takey medication and get a jp on the outbreak. It has been life changing
    So.she is becoming a service dog
    Howeber, If ask to leave under circumstances like the per being allergic. I wouldosy certainly understand. I can’t imagine why someone would not, rule or no rules
    It’s just the right thing to do.

    Sunday, 23 August 2015, 1:25 am
  • brett there should be paper work if you are disable then its not going to bother you to show paper work,its the people trying to get away with it that about ada get out there and train buiesness owners about what is exceptable and what is fake. then fine these people that have fake capes and paper work. every real service dog i seen was like you said. the problem is our hands are tied and im sure that this is possible what happen with this owner she just got tired of these people taking advantage of this.

    Saturday, 27 June 2015, 12:48 am
  • Theres a real problem people purchase the service dog sweaters on line just so there dog can be with them which makes it bad for the people who have to have dogs,just like the people who have handy cap parking pass and really nothing is wrong with them. look i have 3 dogs and i can make it a few hours with out them.i deal with this problem all the time i have a restaurant.a real service dog is well behave i seen these so called service dog up on chairs mis behave but the law says i cant ask to see paper work i still ask. you know what the most people say what the dog is for emotion. these people brought there dog in a baby carriage really get a life. restaurants is not a place for dogs unless someone really needs one like a blind person. if a person has a dog for there diabetes you think that the person with them would help them quicker.

    Thursday, 25 June 2015, 11:37 pm
    • Shovel hd, Just a couple notes for you. The ADA gives you the right as a business owner to ask a poorly behaving Service Dog to be removed. The ADA does not require formal certification for service dogs so there is no real “paperwork” under the law. Also EMOTIONAL Support Animals are not SERVICE dogs so any person with a Emotional Support Animal does not have access rights under the ADA.

      Friday, 26 June 2015, 2:21 pm
  • To make an accurate assessment you really need to know if the owners allergies are legit. If in fact she would be rushed to the hospital near death because of the dog I really believe that everyone should be a little bit more considerate of her disability as well. As you said legitimate service animals provide a great service to many people. My only question would be, would you rather feel that you have exercised your rights under the ADA and make someone go to the hospital? Or would you be respectful of someone else’s disability as you want everyone else to be respectful of your disability. I just want to say that I am an animal lover and have known many working dogs. I also would like to say that sometimes we need to have compassion for others as well and maybe not harm someone just to get a gyro or Greek salad.

    Tuesday, 23 June 2015, 6:16 pm
  • I am a Guide Dog user, yes I am blind. What would people say if it were me that went to this place of business and was asked to leave? or take my Guide outside? The owner is bound to the rules of the ADA and must allow access. Instead of all this crazy stuff let’s try to find ways to help each other. Things the owner can do like wear a surgical type mask, or something like that, when a service animal is there. Service dog handlers should follow proper procedure as well. Dog in one place quiet and un-noticed, not running or bouncing around. I would like to say to all business owners, Don’t try to be the “fake” service dog police you have more important things to worry about. If a Dog is running around and not controlled or barking excessively, being a general brat. That is your indication it might be a “fake”. I suggest get some video of the behavior, ask the handler to control the dog and if they don’t comply ask them to remove the dog. IF it is a “fake” they will cause a little ruckus and leave shouting out threats as they leave, nothing will happen because they can’t prove it in court. IF it is a legit service dog, you have video evidence to prove you were exercising your rights under the ADA. I hope this is a little brighter than some of the other comments I have heard.

    Tuesday, 23 June 2015, 12:49 pm
    • Brett I am a bit confused you are blind but yet you were able to read this article and then reply?

      Friday, 26 June 2015, 5:32 am
      • Yes Phil, technology, voice software that reads for me and allows me to dictate messages or other written communication. You would be really surprised at some of the advances that have been made for the blind.

        Friday, 26 June 2015, 2:09 pm
  • Lol! If all you’re eating is salad and healthy things, you don’t have to worry much about your blood sugar!

    People are so gullible

    Tuesday, 23 June 2015, 12:17 pm
  • This lady is a b**ch anyway. She waits at the door to make sure some one doesn’t park in “her” parking spots. And I’d like to see the medical documents

    Tuesday, 23 June 2015, 10:24 am
  • Dear educate yourself, I’m quite aware of everything you are saying..
    SO. if I do have that low blood sugar episode, my Dog should be able to shoot me with some insulin and I’ll be O.K…

    I have a bad heart too.
    Maybe I can get a service dog that will bark 10 minutes before I have the big one…..

    NOW you educate yourself in common sence

    Tuesday, 23 June 2015, 6:14 am
  • Florida law makes using fake service dogs a criminal offense. Law was signed by Governor Rick Scott on June 11 and will go into effect on July 1.

    If caught, someone could face up to 60 days in jail, along with a $500 fine. To figure out if the dog is real or fake, business owners can only ask two questions.

    “The only questions that can really be asked of them are: is this a service animal and if so, what is this service animal trained to do?” said lawyer Jason Quick. “Once the person asserts this is a service animal, there’s really no way for a business owner to verify whether or not this is true.”

    It will also make it a second degree misdemeanor for business owners to prevent a disabled person from bringing a service dog inside.

    Monday, 22 June 2015, 11:51 pm
    • As a worker in the food industry I have encountered customers bringing the dogs in the rest. the law says they are lay under the the table. You are not allowed to ask for proof they are a service animal. Anyone can go online these days and get a permit for service animal I checked this out myself. I have found customer wanting to have their dog sit in the booth with thewm even had one feedind her animal from the table. All of these things are not to be done in rest.Just like so many things today many take advantage and strecth the law which makes it hard on the ones that really need a service animal.

      Thursday, 25 June 2015, 6:25 pm
  • They have salads at Gyro Mania… I think it’s hilarious so many assume a diabetic shouldn’t eat there… instead of the issue.

    Monday, 22 June 2015, 11:25 pm
  • The fact is you can die quickly from low blood sugar. Many diabetics have lost the ability to feel their blood sugar dropping before they are totally unable to help themselves. Diabetes is a disability. It causes blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, amputations, gastroparesis and much more. It requires multiple blood checks and injections throughout the day and night. Please educate yourself before you comment
    Diabetics can have this indicated on their licences so law enforcement can recognize a medical emergency

    Monday, 22 June 2015, 9:34 pm
  • Wow this article is getting alot of press! I am a big dog lover and animal advocate. However… food establishments are held to a higher standard of cleanliness and this alone should have stipulations on bringing animals into restaurants, service animal or not. I think it’s great that these animals are so highly trained that they help disabled people on many levels, but some places they just cannot take them. I know Sandy personally from working with her many years ago and she is a sweetheart. She does in fact have the issues that are being stated and it could be fatal to her health with her asthma. There is no reason she is unable to run her business and should not be put down for asking that they order from outside. I don’t see where she was unreasonable. She’s helping customers, accommodating as best she can without putting her own health in jeopardy. I feel she had every right to do so without anyone taking offense or insult. We need to see both sides of the coin here, seriously…

    Monday, 22 June 2015, 8:35 pm
  • Is not it true that diabetics should record their sugar levels before eating a meal to see how much sugary food they should consume. If they do, then why the need of service dog to the restaurant.

    Till now I thought service dogs are for severely disabled or for blind people. I never thought diabetic is also a disability. Can they get the disability parking permit from DMV. Just curious. I know blind people can get disabled permit as someone will drive them and they need to walk little distance.

    Please throw some info as I was in a different impression.

    Monday, 22 June 2015, 3:48 pm
  • I test my blood 4 times a day for diabetes, I don’t need a dog to do that.
    Ya Let’s have a greasy Gyro on tom of my diabetes…….. that’s a winner

    Maybe we should boycott the Spa next door to the restaurant, why not…….

    Monday, 22 June 2015, 2:29 pm
  • If you have diabetes and need a “service” dog, you are full of it. There are probably veer few things you could eat out anyway without sky rocketing our health care costs. This lady has zero credibility.

    Monday, 22 June 2015, 9:01 am
  • Having an allergy, asthma or other physical reaction from animals like pets and service dogs alike are still with the people who have them.
    As well as there friends and family. Dander, hair, saliva will always be there whether the animal is there or not. Weather the owner or anyone else says they can’t handle the dogs being there because they are allergic have a huge problem. They might need to live in a bubble or do the practical thing and get whatever they need to assist them with their medical problems.
    I hate to let you know but diabetes is definitely a disability. Having a service dog letting you know whether your sugar is going too high or too low is a life-saving task.
    There are all kinds of invisible disabilities people ( business owners ) tend to not believe the animal is not really a service animal ( a very big problem ) and just say they have a medical problems mistakenly believe that would allow them to try to get out of letting the service animal in with no hassle. ( WRONG ) Now a lot of people will refuse to go there because of this issue. Or they might end up with a line of people with their service animals ready to come in. Of course with the rules and regulations with them.

    Monday, 22 June 2015, 2:54 am
  • they offered to let her eat outside. I wouldn’t even take mine out in this weather. I’ve heard the food is good there.

    Monday, 22 June 2015, 1:23 am
  • The comments are extremely eye opening and in a lot of cases very sad. The lack of empathy people show for one another is the exact reason why this story was even a story to begin with. To see others bitch about a service dog regardless of his purpose and to state there is nothing this dog can do is simple minded. This dog can smell the change in glucose levels long before the person with it will become symptomatic for one. For others the dog is trained to alert others if his owner passes out and his vest alone will communicate the health emergency because its labled. So this way there is no guess work and the owner can receive proper help faster instead of emergency workers playing the guessing game as to what is going on. That is the short of it. Asthma and allergies can also be life threatening so once again if people showed some empathy this would not be an issue.

    Monday, 22 June 2015, 1:02 am
  • It’s real simple RESPECT for one another…..The service dog wins in this one!!! Personally to me dogs are. Better than humans,,to bad Samantha couldn’t voice her opinion….

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 11:15 pm
    • At last someone admits it! You don’t care if you cause the death of a human asthmatic. Plenty of asthmatics are children, too. Will you care if you cause a child’s death or will you enjoy watching him/her gasp for breath, Sicko?!

      Sunday, 9 April 2017, 3:12 pm
  • My husband NEEDS his Service dog. If he does not have someone taking care of him at all time and his service dog it could cost him his life. When we first got the service dog it was to help him not get lost but soon she started telling us when he was about to have “falling spells” we have now found out those spells are seizures. He has been injured because I have put her outside so she was out from under feet while I was cleaning up after our kids and then he got up and fell. We are pretty much homebound but at 35 years old and a Very outgoing Veteran injured in Iraq that is not always easy for him. We do go out. I do have to go to the Grocery store and we like to eat. He cant be left alone so guess what, They go with me. That said we are also very understanding. If someone is afraid of our BIG shepherd we attempt to make them feel more comfortable. If someone says they have allergies we do like ADA says and Attempt to come with an accommodation for us both. It does seem that was attempted by the owner. They were not ask to leave completely but an important thing to remember if it is hot outside it could be VERY dangerous to the person with the disability AND the service dog. Many Service dogs are trained NOT to drink or eat in public so that could be very bad if they get too hot.

    Last comment My husband’s dog was trained through an organization but his service dog is just under 4 years old (we have had her 2 years) and she is trained to go under the chair or seat in most places and her vest gets caught often and does get torn up. We have been through 6 vest in 2 years. She is just rough on them. Each vest has been different. Most have been ordered online. ONLY one time I was ask if I had the agency we got her from for a discount. I gave the information. I would not be opposed to show documentation of training but I am glad we can get her a vest when needed as she should have a VERY good looking vest not a battered uniform. Being that my husband is disabled vet and I was a law enforcement officer before quitting to take care of him, we are big on uniforms.

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 11:00 pm
  • News Feed
    Drena Leigh‎RealNewsRealFast
    2 hrs ·

    Just to let people know the owner did not tell her to leave. She only asked that she please take the dog outside because of highly allergic reactions to the animal especially to an animal of that size and the fact that there is only 1 room no other to sit in except outside tables which there are two. Service was never refused the girls left on their own. When Jodi .S said in a kurt voice you can not ask me that it is against the law. Then the owner asked if it was her dog because Jodi had been on occasion in the restaurant with no dog ever. Jodi replied very kurtly you can not ask me that it is against the law and now I am going to get you in soooooo much trouble I am going to report you. And her friend who came in with her Ruth Gavish Rakes just held her hand over her mouth and said the same you can not ask those questions and gasped. Miss martino was just trying to keep from getting sick from the allergies and also keep her asthma from kicking in which happens and it is like a fish out of water No one should ever have to know what that feels like. IT IS VERY SCARY!!!!! AND YES IT CAN KILL YOU IF YOU DONT GET HELP IN TIME. Semones left on her own accord and when Miss Martino tried to explain to Jodi ‘ s friend why she asked if it was Semones dog Ruth just left and said she did not want to eat there. What kind of person would show such disrequard for another person’s health even if it was a possibility why would one take that risk. And the fact that this is her livelihood and the one other person who works there. Oh and when Miss Martino asked The wellness center which is right next door and where Semones works with her friend why she had never seen Semones with a dog before in the restaurant the owner of the Spa who is Lisa Arrington said because she is always with one of us and therefore does not need the dog. However when Semones came in that day she did not come alone she was with her friend and co-worker Ruth Gavish Rakies. So ask yourself this…..was the dog necessary at that point or just something she wanted to do? Both of these people Semones and Gavish Rakies are best friends of the owner of the Spa next door Lisa Arrington who does not seem to care for Miss Martino and had shared that with her friends more than likely. Are people so hateful that they would try to hurt a hard working person who is doing the best they can . And the fact that Miss Martino did not post a really big sign was because she loves animals but did not want to affend any owners/customers since she realkt does understand the love of an animal and has fed many of her customers dogs outside for free even non customers because she does care and has a heart. And a normal caring & understanding person with a heart would never ever try to hurt someone on purpose. ..why would they? What if it was a customer or even your child or Sibling or your parent….what would you do.? As for those who to seem to be jumping on the band wagon of this witch hunt you really should be ashamed! You don’t even know the truth and you are not only judging you are condemning. It seems you will not be happy until she either gets so sick and dies or goes out of business or both. WOW. WHAT KING OF WORLD DO WE LIVE IN??????????? MORE IMPORTANTLY WHAT ARE YOU CONTRIBUTING TO IT?????????
    Like · Comment · Share

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 10:23 pm
  • After discussing these comments with my dog, she now understands why humans are so anti-social. She wonders why humans are more interested in taking sides and placing blame than they are with coming up solutions to resolve the problem. She’s a smart dog.

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 10:15 pm
  • I’ll never eat there, and I will tell all my friends not to eat there too. Poor business lady!!!

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 9:29 pm
  • Health Dept. opens at 8:30 Monday Morning. Then you will know the rest of the story.

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 8:35 pm
  • AND ALSO: diabetic alert dog ? COME ON!

    I know for a fact, If I was at a restaurant and saw someone needing help or passed out because of a diabetic condition, I guarantee I would see it before a dog & I can dial 911. I’d like to see the dog make a call!!! of he could use the phone, he’d call for a pizza!
    Really what is the dog supposed to do? drive you to the hospital???? come on people!

    this is the funniest and most Ridiculous topic Tom has ever published…..Thanks TOM

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 7:30 pm
  • Thanks Tom, With all this free advertising, I think I’ll go and give Niki’s GryoMania a try..
    I bet the food is GREAT! I just won’t bring my dog….
    What about my hairless pig?

    My question is.. Why do you need to bring you dog anyhow? What the hell is a dog going to do for you that another human being can’t do for you??

    If you are blind…and have a dog…I completely understand..

    If you have no arms and Legs…and have a dog…. I get it.

    BUT if your feelings or emotions are little squid, and you have a dog because of that? STAY HOME WACHO! I don’t want to, or have to deal with you!

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 7:22 pm
  • Good job Real News Real Fast. Putting another food vendor out of business because you couldn’t wait to get all the facts before publishing this article. If past stories are anything to go by, you will never publish what is decided by the ADA. All these people who do a knee jerk reaction to this are foolish. Both sides have valid arguments. Shouldn’t you wait to put someone out of business till you know the facts? To be clear, I am not for either side. I just think the reporting was meant to stir up reactions not to tell the facts. Again, Good Job.

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 6:05 pm
  • I think also that anyone portraying their pet as a service animal should have documents by the county and must show them when entering businesses. I do see many people going into Walmart and I am sure many of them are not certified service animals. Anyone can get those Vests online but they should have a state seal sewn onto it as well so as to identify the pet.

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 5:36 pm
  • I am also disabled, so I will adamantly stand up for the disabled. This woman should be ashamed of herself and should not be working with the general public.

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 5:30 pm
  • I have Poodles, they are Hypoallergenic animals. I have seen them being used as Service dogs. If I had one as a service dog and went to that establishment what excuse would the owner then give. If she is that bad then I would not want her handling my food. What if she was sneezing all over the food. I have a grandson with severe asthma and allergies and when he has sneezing spells it it terrible and he is miserable. So, why is this women handling other peoples food? It seems to me as though she was just doing this as a cheap form of free advertising for the establishment. I go past there daily and hardly any customers. Mmmmm.

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 5:26 pm
  • Everyone is a victim in our screwed up society. If I am not happy with a business I don’t go there. I keep my mouth shut and not try to ruin someone’s business. I just avoid them and it seems to work out. If you run a business the right way you will succeed and if you don’t you will go out of business. Also there is difference between service animals and therapy animals. Service animals are allowed and therapy animals are not. Once again why is everyone a victim? Just don’t go there and don’t make a big deal out of nothing. Pick your battles in this world and you will be a better person for it.

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 4:46 pm
  • I WILL NEVER go there !!!!! And if anyone decides to picket the place…….count me in !!!!

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 4:16 pm
  • Service dogs play a major role in our society. Regardless of disability a service dog allows for the disabled person to maintain a sense of self reliance. Diabetes can be debilitating if its hard to control and a serious flux in sugar levels can cause coma and death to say the least. With that being said if this woman has an allergy that is so severe should be for the ADA to decide. Even people who have disabilities requiring the use of a service animal they should still be respectful of others allergies and fears :/ (I am not saying this person was not respectful) respecting one another and being courteous to each other would make this a non issue 🙁

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 1:43 pm
  • I think all this stuff is blown out or proportion. It’s like handicap parking stickers. People taking advantage of stuff.

    Almost like food stamps and the people who get them.

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 1:12 pm
  • Hey Jayne, Paul’s right and you’re a dip***t, also the owner says she would serve the person outside…..which is where the dog belongs. Doesn’t make her an “animal hater” dogs don’t belong in restaurants or grocery stores…period

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 12:32 pm
  • With some of the reasoning I am reading here, I would be interested to know how many of you would handle a child in the school system with a deadly peanut, egg, or other food allergy. Do we tell them they can’t come to school or do we advise other children to not bring such food with them or to sit far from that child? I can tell you how that goes. You keep the allergen far from the person. Again, it does not mean they are sick. They have a health issue akin to a disability. The owner has an American right to entrepreneurship. If you have a service dog, leave it in the car with the AC on long enough to order and get your food or go somewhere else. I have two dogs myself-had 12 at one time in my life-so don’t say I am against animals. I fight for disability rights, so don’;t go there either. Both sides have rights. Shame on those of you slamming the owner! Why is their health less important than the person with diabetes? Mob mentality gets our society nowhere.

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 12:27 pm
  • Hey Paul, I’ll put it simply for you so you understand…you’re an a****le.

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 11:45 am
  • Sandy Martino seems to be such a mean, nasty individual. That message on your door is horrible. And if that’s your every day mind set I feel sorry for you. You should be ashamed of yourself. And you’re an animal hater which makes it worse! Be mad at your parents who gave you the allergy…the animals had nothing to do with it.

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 11:41 am
  • I hope no one enters her establishment and spends one single penny for a thing she has to offer. If she’s so allergic she needs to let her staff run the restaurant and keep her nasty self home. As for her right to deny service, I don’t think she can deny a person of disability with a service animal. BOOO TO NIKIS GYROMANIA!

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 11:32 am
  • The law states that a service animal cannot be denied access but on the other hand…….The law is always bent and twisted and I know many people who just want to bring their dog everywhere with them and have gotten legal paperwork to do so. Just because it is law does not make it right. The owner of the restaurant having severe allergies should be allowed to make a living to support her family. I am sure there are other Greek restaurant available and the fact that they couldn’t eat Greek that night at this place was not life altering like a severe reaction to the animal would be life altering for the business owner. Not knowing all the facts people should stop being so judgmental and stop bashing the business owner. What if it was a customer who is deathly allergic and the dog owners walked in with the dog? Would it be fair that the person who paid for their meal and was halfway through it to be forced to leave their meal or end up in the hospital? In case nobody noticed a lot of our laws suck and human decency and common sense need to come in to playing at some point in time.

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 11:11 am
  • Most business owners want more business! If she wasn’t sick she wouldn’t kick her out.

    She’s not a bad person. I’d say 90% of these dogs are bogus anyway.

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 11:04 am
  • I was under the impression that a business can refuse service to anyone at any time….. Except the race can’t refuse service to a minority, in less you refuse service to all.

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 10:34 am
  • Never ate here…prob never will either! Sounds like the owner was just being a beotch! The owner should have gave the dog some food…poor dog was prob starving, smelling all that good food!! lol

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 10:22 am
  • This appears to be a legitimate situation were I believe the restaurant owner now will possibly be sued. However, the bringing of dogs and cats in various types of carrying devices (like small children are carried in) into dining and retail environments were food is sold is OUT OF CONTROL. I cannot believe these people cannot leave their cherished pets at home while they dine or shop. I had my 9 month grandson in his carrying seat covered up and in a cart at Sam’s Club during snow bird season. Three people came up to me to ask to see my dog, when I said it was a baby they were in disbelief. Enough said!

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 10:03 am
  • She lost our business!!!!!

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 9:43 am
  • I was bit by a dog wearing a service dog vest where I work; a retail store. little Pomeranian mix drew blood. no joke. I didn’t report it because I didn’t want them to take the dog- but, it could have happened to a child. point is; not every dog wearing a vest is a trained service dog. I’m skeptical. do not try to pet strange dogs. take my advice.

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 6:54 am
  • I am sick and tired of my “rights” being bigger than your “rights”. When did people quit caring about other people. Pet owners bring their “children” into stores now in carts where food is carried and small children are carried. This may not be a health hazard in most situations, but why should would we take a chance. There were laws passed years ago when there was such a thing as common sense and these laws are being ignored today. You are not allowed to smoke in any establishment because of the harm it does to other people so why should you be able to contribute to harming someones health by imposing your “rights”. We have had pets and that’s what they’ve always been, pets not “children”.

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 6:13 am
  • Question? Was this sign posted on the window before or after this particular incident? If before I believe it should be signed by a physician and noterized.seems to me to be a little hear say! Things that make you go hum?

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 5:28 am
  • Thanks for bringing this to my family’s attention, we will no longer dine at this restaurant. Her story (the owner) is a bunch of crap and the public knows it. Soooo Longggggg

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 5:14 am
  • My daughter has severe pet allergies. It is a scary and horrifying experience for her to endure. My father is also a diabetic and I understand the dangers there. I feel that you should not put anyone that has allergies at risk. The restaurant was going to accommodate her without the chance of the owner having an allergic reaction. Allergies are not just sneezing and a runny nose….

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 1:53 am
  • I love dogs. A lot of people do not. As a courtesy, I probably would have eaten elsewhere. Many individuals are bringing their animals with them into formally ‘off-limit’ establishments. On a flight to the west coast recently, I saw many of these service dogs. Most look like they are legitimately providing a service to their owner. However, I’ve got to question the chihuahuas in the basket of a Publix shopping cart. Just saying…

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 1:05 am
  • They are both at fault. Maybe we should be more humane-instead of finding a reason to make a big deal out of nothing, and ruin the reputation of a thriving business. Yes, there are laws for this and that, but REALISTICALLY- you don’t bring an animal into a place where they sell food. It’s common decency. It’s also common decency to treat anyone, labeled “disabled” or not, with respect and accommodate them in your place of business. Maybe this is why it’s so hard for anyone to keep a business running in this town (and so many others)..we need our customers, and they need us. We need each other. We are forgetting that as a society.

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 12:57 am
  • Since this establishment has ruled no pets no animals, the the county should take a strong look at the licensing guidelines to obtain a renewed permit to operate a business in Hernando County, this woman has violated federal law, and a renewed license should not be issued, As for Paul I sincerely hope you never become a type one diabetic.

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 12:37 am
    • I hope you become an asthmatic and find out what it’s like to have to gasp for breath. But of course, asthmatics deserve to die, so you can have your pet instead of using a blood sugar test kit.

      Sunday, 9 April 2017, 12:19 am
      • I am an asthmatic and yes, I know exactly what it is like to gasp for breath because one of my attack triggers is cigarette smoke. So maybe I should boycott going in or out of any shopping center as there are people smoking by the door? Let’s be realistic here, use common sense and common courtesy…

        Monday, 10 April 2017, 12:00 am
  • Yeah, let’s get the government involved…smh If the owner of the restaurant has a legitimate health reason to prohibit dogs, then no dogs, pretty simple. Her right to make a living at an establishment that she has to be at hundreds of days a year outweighs the dog owners right to eat there once. Does this dog take her blood sugar readings and administer insulin?

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 12:21 am
    • Benjamin Martin…I suggest you do a little research on animal therapy, specifically in how animals are being trained to alert someone when certain medical emergencies occur. Ignorance is bliss…and I’d say you have that mastered!

      Sunday, 21 June 2015, 4:09 am
      • I suggest you do a little research about asthma. But of course, you probably don’t care if we die.

        Sunday, 9 April 2017, 12:16 am
  • Personally, I do not believe this owner has an allergy that would cause her such dire health consequences that would prevent her from being in the same room of an animal. I do know for certain that I will not patronize this restaurant, nor would I any establishment that does not honor the ADA! I suggest that this owner retire and stay sequestered in her home…maybe then she won’t be at risk of dying due to being in the same room of an animal! Absolutely Ridiculous!!! I know of other Greek restaurants in Spring Hill that are cleaner and have better food anyway.

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 12:13 am
    • Do you enjoy watching asthmatics gasp for breath because of your dog, Psycho?

      Sunday, 9 April 2017, 12:15 am
  • If this owner does have severe allergies to DOGS,
    she should NOT be in the food/hospitality service
    industry!! That was her choice and she HAD to
    know about the ADA laws BEFORE she went into
    OWNING a PUBLIC restaurant or ANY other
    business open to the PUBLIC!!

    And that little note she has in the window is so
    LAUGHABLE to this reader, as it looks like a 2nd
    grader wrote it, for pete sakes!!!

    Saturday, 20 June 2015, 11:43 pm
    • So dogs should eat at restaurants and asthmatics should be prisoners in their own homes. What a monster you are!!

      Sunday, 9 April 2017, 12:14 am
  • I would get a ADA attorney. Let’s see how long she stays open.

    Saturday, 20 June 2015, 10:44 pm
    • I hope a family member of an asthmatic that gets killed because of you charges YOU with murder.

      Sunday, 9 April 2017, 12:12 am
  • I love dogs.

    Saturday, 20 June 2015, 10:41 pm
  • When I saw the pic of the sign banning any animal because of dire health reason’s i thought it could be a reasonable request but then I saw the size of the “card” posted on the door. If her allergy was that dangerous and debilitating, she should have a full size poster board at eye level on the entrance door…She should be reported to the proper authorities.

    Saturday, 20 June 2015, 10:39 pm
  • Love the gyros at this place. will continue to go there and take friends with me. They do have tables out side and you can always get take out. owners medical issues are her business as is the customers. and there are other places you can go if the rules at Niki’s don’t suit you. people that take dogs that are not service dogs with them to every store they visit are ruining it for the people with real service dogs.

    Saturday, 20 June 2015, 10:31 pm
  • I am also allergic to dogs and it is a balance issue as I see people bring their lap dogs into publix and other places and claim they are service dogs. They have made it so easy for people to get a service dog tag for any reason and some take advantage of it. I complain about it all the time as I don’t think Dogs should be in food establishments and I believe people with allergies have rights as well. I think they need to revisit who is allowed to be protected under this rule as many don’t need to bring their dog into the grocery store or a food establishment it is just gross to begin with. But if someone is blind I get it and would deal with my allergies and just try to avoid being near the dog.

    Saturday, 20 June 2015, 9:53 pm
  • I can’t believe how naive some comments have been. My daughter is deathly allergic to fire ants. It doesn’t mean she is “sick” because she has an allergy that could kill her. The amount of pet dander on a person with pets is minimal compared to what is on an animal. I work with people with disabilities and am an advocate for their rights; however, in this case, you are basically looking at two people with disabilities-both health related. Who trumps who? That will be for the courts or ADA to decide. The customer was not denied service, just asked to place the order outdoors. Why not sit in your air conditioned car and allow the staff to wait on you there and bring you your food? There are options.

    Saturday, 20 June 2015, 9:52 pm
    • What you are overlooking is that the business owner is there to serve the public. If she could die from being close to something she should be at home. Are we going to go back to Nazi
      Germany where only some can be served?

      Monday, 22 June 2015, 12:53 pm
      • It’s going back to Nazi Germany when people like you are allowed to kill asthmatics who are customers at restaurants. Do you enjoy watching people gasp for breath?

        Sunday, 9 April 2017, 12:10 am
  • The real problem here is that people bring their dogs in everywhere they go and claim they are service dogs and most places are afraid to say anything. I’m with the owner on this one. Even if blind someone drove you to the restaurant.. They can bring you in…. Leave the dogs home..

    Saturday, 20 June 2015, 9:51 pm
  • We will never eat here. And for Paul, a type one diabetic can have a major issue where their insulin level can drop rapidly with the person not aware this is happening, that is what the dog is for. This condition can cause cramping, nausea, dizziness and seizures. As a business owner myself I have encountered this several times, this restaurant owner needs to educate herself, and realize she was in the wrong. She could of handled this in a more professional manor.

    Saturday, 20 June 2015, 9:48 pm
  • I would NEVER go to this business. As a girlfriend of a disabled vet with a service animal, our dog goes everywhere with us… The owner has no right to demand a person with a service animal to leave. Again I ask about people who have pets who come in with dander or shed hair on their clothing. If her allergy is this severe, she should have a health dept issued notice regarding employee or employer/owner allergy to animals in general. Otherwise I will have to call her BS card and file a formal complaint with an ADA attorney…

    Saturday, 20 June 2015, 9:40 pm
    • How many asthmatics have you killed or put in the hospital? You don’t have the right to commit murder.

      Sunday, 9 April 2017, 12:07 am
  • I agree with the owner. There should be exceptions to that law. There seems to be a service animal for manageable ailments added everyday, when will it stop. I would not mind if someone has a sevice animal and they were in a restaurant I was dining at but I would have a problem if it were at the table next to me.

    Saturday, 20 June 2015, 9:35 pm
  • Considering you can buy service dog vets online, I would question if the dog had certification. Most will have a pouch on the side of the vest for such certificate. I’ve worked in the restaurant business for many many years and have seen true and fake vests!

    Saturday, 20 June 2015, 9:31 pm
    • My husband has a POODLE for service dog we do have a pocket on her vest but its in a Velcro pouch where its not noticeable. But its also illegal
      to ask for such certification.

      Saturday, 20 June 2015, 9:56 pm
  • I Will NEVER eat there and I would discourage anyone to eat there. The disabled have the same rights as everyone else. Forget that grease pit restaurant..

    Saturday, 20 June 2015, 9:25 pm
  • This should go on facebook so everybody should see it. If the owner is so sick she shouldn’t be running a restaurant. Won’t be eating there. I am afraid of allergies. O My.

    Saturday, 20 June 2015, 9:17 pm
    • I intend to go there, so I will make up for your lost business (if you ever even visited the place).

      Tuesday, 23 June 2015, 2:01 pm
    • I hope you get an asthma attack and can’t breathe. See how you enjoy gasping for breath–and possibly dying–because of someone’s dog.

      Sunday, 9 April 2017, 12:02 am
  • She really COULD have a class 6 allergy to animal dander that could trigger a lethal asthma attack. I have seen it happen and it isn’t pretty. I see this as legitimate. There are other food places. She could have been forthright about her allergy tho.

    Saturday, 20 June 2015, 9:04 pm
  • We will never eat there

    Saturday, 20 June 2015, 9:03 pm
  • omg for real? now you can say you have a service dog cause your diabetic? thats not a disability…. if all diabetics brought their dogs with them to the restaurant it would be like the dog pound!

    Saturday, 20 June 2015, 9:03 pm
    • good point!

      Saturday, 20 June 2015, 10:16 pm
      • Some diabetics have more severe cases. Read up on it before you sound stupid to nonignorant people. If the owner is so allergic maybe she should be in a glass bubble. She is there to serve the public and being served outside because you are different ended years ago!

        Monday, 22 June 2015, 12:50 pm
        • Some people with allergies have more severe cases too. That customer can go to another restaurant if they need the dog. The owner’s allergy is just as valid.

          Tuesday, 23 June 2015, 1:59 pm
  • So you have the right to enter a restaurant with a service dog even though the owner is severely allergic to dogs? I am with the owner on this. The customer could have been served outside without endangering the owner. If the ADA does not allow for this it should be amended.

    Saturday, 20 June 2015, 9:02 pm
  • What do people who have pets at home do…strip and take a shower before going inside the restaurant? People who have pets always have pet dander and fur on them. This is just a bunch of nonsense. Service dogs are allowed in food establishments. Maybe Ms. Martino needs to work in a place where she will have no contact with any animals, whatsoever.

    Saturday, 20 June 2015, 8:58 pm
  • I agree. The business owner is being nasty. Glad I’ve never eaten there because I won’t for sure now…If it was some little yappy lap dog , I bet she woudn’t have complained..

    Saturday, 20 June 2015, 8:56 pm
    • Yah. Shame on the owner for wanting to live—instead of having your dog give her an asthma attack that kills her!!!

      Saturday, 8 April 2017, 11:59 pm
  • Load of malarkey

    Saturday, 20 June 2015, 8:36 pm
    • Really!!!! Diabetes Alert Dog. What does it do, carry insulin in its mouth so that if you have a problem it can bite you; thus injecting you with insulin? I googled this. You can “train” your own dog and get “certification” on line for just about anything. I wonder if I can get a service dog for my athletes’ foot.

      Monday, 22 June 2015, 7:04 am
      • You are a nasty person. Have some empathy for others. Shame on you!

        Monday, 22 June 2015, 12:47 pm
        • So asthmatics don’t deserve empathy? Kill us all and make way for the dogs!!l

          Saturday, 8 April 2017, 11:57 pm

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