Monday, July 8, 2019

Hampton Inn told veteran PTSD is not a disability because of service dogs

Veteran says he was kicked out of hotel for having a service dog: 'PTSD isn’t a disability'

Yahoo Lifestyle
Paulina Cachero
July 1, 2019
“The night manager said PTSD isn’t a disability and we don’t allow emotional support animals because we’re not pet friendly,” Nic recalls. “We educated her on ADA regulations and showed her that PTSD is an ADA certified condition.”

After serving 13 years in the Marine Corps, including four deployments overseas, Nicholas “Nic” Day is “proud to have served my country and I would do it all again in a heat beat” — no matter the costs to himself. However, as a veteran now afflicted with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from his time in the armed forces, Nic never expected that the civil rights he fought so hard to protect would be “abused” after he was kicked out of a hotel for his PTSD service dog.

“I feel like I was discriminated against because I have PTSD,” Nic tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “A lot of people don’t understand that there’s a difference between an emotional support dog and a service dog.” Nic was first diagnosed with PTSD — a mental health condition considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) — around 2008, while he was still on active duty.

Nic’s condition makes it difficult for him to be in large crowds and unfamiliar places, as they often trigger anxiety attacks. After trying the full range of treatments for his PTSD with little to no success, Nic finally decided to try getting a service dog. “I had from medication to meditation and nothing was working. I figured let’s try a service dogs and let’s see how that works,” says Nic.

A loyal, four-legged companion turned out to be exactly what the former marine needed to help mitigate his PTSD symptoms. He trained his current service dog, Atlas, to paw at him or jump and give him a hug if he “gets too worked up,” and to trail right behind him to make sure no one creeps up on him from behind. “As a marine, we’ve always had someone there to watch our backs and are always working with other marines. Having Atlas at my side all the time gives me the same sense of security,” Nic says of the 1-year-old Akita.

“Failing to accept new information or correct information and blowing it off in my opinion is just ignorant,” Nic says. “My goal is to educate not only the hotel but other businesses about the differences between an emotional support animal and service dogs.”

Nic tells Yahoo Lifestyle that he and his wife, Tina, were taking a long over-due vacation and planned to stop by Medford, Ore., to attend his nephew’s high school graduation. The couple made reservations at the local Hampton Inn, and allegedly informed the hotel that they would be bringing their service dogs, Ares and it here

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