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www.wmfd.com - One mother wasn't too happy when a hotel canceled her family's reservation because they wouldn't allow her son's service dog. }}" />

   
 
 
Hotel Cancels Reservation Over Service Dog

Story By: Larry Stine

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  Original Published: 6/29/2014

One mother wasn't too happy when a hotel canceled her family's reservation because they wouldn't allow her son's service dog. Four hours in the backseat of the family car on a hot summer day means all the kids need a good stretch. "Really, Chip?" Including Chip, the youngest of the Vaughn bunch, you'll notice, majority of the time wherever 13-year-old Beau is. "Up Chip, up." Chip is right beside him. "He's even been at the hospital with Beau, when Beau had to have surgery and he was in the pre=-operative room," says Karen Vaughn, the family's mother. Restaurants and family trips included. "He's a seizure response dog for my son," Karen Vaughn says. "He's diangosed with a rare type of epilepsy called Landau-Kieffner Syndrome. Chip alerts us to when Beau is having a seizure." When the family recently made reservations at a hotel in Baton Rouge, they didn't think it'd be a big deal. Mom, Karen, says they are not required to alert hotels they have a service dog, but she usually gives a heads up. That's when she says her reservation at this hotel was refused. "We got an email saying due to unforeseen circumstances, they will not be able to honor our reservation," Karen Vaughn says. "Working through that, they said oh you're bringing a pet and that Best Western isn't pet friendly." Service dogs are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act. A front desk worker inside this hotel told us she is aware of the law, but they cannot go against what the owner says. Vaughn says once someone understands the law and still violates it, she goes from mom to attorney. She practices largely in rights of children with special needs. "Show me how big, you love Chip that much? Wow!" says Vaughn. "Chip's a good dog isn't he?" She says the corporate office for the hotel did contact her almost a week after the incident and offered to honor her reservation. "I've already booked with another hotel that's understanding and happy to follow the law and happy to have Chip here," Vaughn says. "I don't want to go to a hotel where I have to force them to follow the law."

   
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