Vet says he was asked leave center due to dog

Posted at 4:38 PM, Apr 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-29 16:39:22-04

A disabled Army veteran says he was asked to leave an amusement center because his service dog was not welcomed there.

He was visiting Jeepers in Lakeside Mall earlier this month for a child's birthday, when he was asked to leave because other customers were uncomfortable with his Doberman service dog.

"I never thought I'd be in that situation," said Army veteran Davin Dumar."

He survived two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, where he lost his leg and suffered other injuries after this troop was ambushed.

Now, he is fighting a battle for disabled people with service dogs. 

His dog, Layla, never leaves his side and that includes the day he went to Jeepers in Sterling Heights.

"We're there for about an hour, no issues, she didn't bark at anybody, she didn't growl at anybody, she just laid on the ground," he said.

Dumar says the owner of Jeepers's told him Layla was making other customers uncomfortable.

"That I would have to leave and that this is a food establishment and dogs aren't allowed," he added. 

When he showed her his service dog card, Dumar said the owner questioned his condition.

"That's kind of personal. That's kind of my medical history. I don't think I should have to tell you my medical history just to be able to stay here," he explained. "Even after I showed her my prosthetic- she still told me I had to leave.

Rose Yazigi is the owner of Jeepers! in Lakeside Mall.

She says Layla was very well behaved and did not bother other patrons.

"I got on my knees and I let her lick my face," she said. "I thought everything was fine."

She admitted other customers complained saying the dog scared them.

"If I had a golden retriever, everyone loves golden retrievers," Dumar said.  "I'm sure no one would have complained and there would have been no issue."

The owner said she approach the army vet out of ignorance and didn't realize Layla was a service dog.

She said, "I've never seen before a vested service dog."

The owner says she never asked Dumar to leave, but felt obligated to address the situation because of pushy customers.

"He has every right to be in this park," Yagizi added."

In hindsight, the owner of Jeeper's says she would have never approached him and is sorry she made him feel unwelcome.

"I just don't want this to happen to somebody else," Dumar added.

And the business owner says she plans to reach out the the Army vet to apologize to him.

She hopes others can learn from her mistake.