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Jacksonville woman says she was kicked out of Cold Stone Creamery because of service dog

She says she was yelled at the first time she attempted to bring her service dog into the restaurant.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Jacksonville woman says when she visited Cold Stone Creamery on Beach Boulevard in Jacksonville recently, she was told she couldn’t have her service dog inside of the business.

“Just because I have a disability, and it doesn’t look like I have a disability, doesn’t mean that I don’t have the same rights,” said Porsha Kennon.

Kennon has no problem speaking up for herself, especially when it comes to her rights.

She says she was caught off guard when the store owner said her service dog wasn’t allowed inside.

“On our initial visit, we got yelled at and I was so taken back, I didn’t really advocate for myself,” she said.

Kennon said since the first visit, she’s been back several times.

“Every time we went we seemed to have issues, and I think on like our third visit, the owner came up to me, and she was like, 'I need you to give me your name and I need your number. I told her she’s a service dog and she could only ask me two questions,'” Kennon said. 

The Americans with Disabilities Act said restaurant and store owners can ask people with service animals if they are service animals and what they’re trained to do.

Attorney John Phillips isn’t affiliated with this case, but said stores could be sued if they don’t follow federal guidelines.

“You can’t even ask people what their disability is, where their animal was certified because it exposes you to a lawsuit,” Phillips said. 

 First Coast News reached out to Cold Stone Creamery and the Beach Boulevard location in Jacksonville responded with this statement:

“Cold Stone Creamery always strives to provide the best customer experience to everyone who visits our brand’s stores. providing a professional and safe environment to all customers and employees is a top priority. our brand’s unwavering commitment to the communities we serve helps make cold stone creamery the ultimate ice cream experience for everybody.”

Kennon said her message for people like her is to advocate, always.

“If you’re shy, I understand that but know that you have the right to exist and occupy space,” she said.

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