Dexter, MO veterans protest to support service dog laws

Dexter, MO veterans protest to support service dog laws

DEXTER, MO (KFVS) - Last week, we told you about James Steadman, a veteran who was allegedly told to leave the Save-A-Lot in Dexter, Missouri after he walked in with his service dog.

But on Saturday, April 16, Steadman, his service dog Dottie Ann and a dozen others protested outside the grocery store.

Protestors held signs saying "PTSD is invisible and service animals should be allowed anywhere."

Steadman said he is proud and amazed to see so many people supporting him.

"I'm actually surprised that I've gotten so much support on this and I'm happy, believe me," Steadman said. "It's not just for me, it's for anyone who has a service animal."

The Save-A-Lot store manager said they will continue to follow all state and local service animal laws. He said employees only stopped Steadman and his dog because of a possible risk to the store and the customers.

The store management release this statement about the incident:

"Dexter Save A Lot values and respects all of its customers. Because of this, management was concerned for our customers' health and safety- especially for families with small children and the elderly- when a man came into our store earlier this year. He had with him his dog, a breed banned in the City of Dexter, on a leash about 10 feet long. The dog ran from side to side of each aisle, well ahead of it's owner, sniffing around food products, including the fresh meat case. Management had NO indication by the dog's behavior that it was a service animal, and absolutely NO knowledge that the owner was a military veteran. Only when the dog's owner became loud and abusive when approached did the manager call the Dexter Police to help diffuse the situation.  The man's companion continued shopping while he spoke with the police officer.  The store filed no complaint. "

Management also said the store owner's son is an Iraq War veteran and that he would never tolerate discrimination against vets.

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