Norway McDonald’s Under Fire for Banning Guide Dog

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A McDonald’s in Norway allegedly told a blind woman her dog was not welcome

Wikimedia/GeorgeHawkins

A visually impaired woman in Norway says staff at a McDonald's barred her guide dog from the restaurant.

A McDonald’s restaurant in Norway is under fire and under police investigation this weekend for allegedly barring a visually impaired woman from the restaurant because she had her dog with her.

According to The Local, Tina Marie Asikainen visited the McDonald’s on Friday with her guide dog, Rex, and her 5-year-old daughter. Before they could eat, however, a staff member reportedly told them to leave because Rex was not welcome.

“We had with Rex with us when we ordered food,” Asikainen said. “He had a harness where it clearly said ‘guide dog,’ but after two minutes, before we had eaten the food, one of the employees came and asked us to leave because we had a dog.”

Asikainen says she tried to explain to the employees that under Norwegian law she has a right to bring her guide dog with her into restaurants, but she says they would not listen to her. She called the police to file a complaint, because it is illegal in Norway to bar a guide dog from a restaurant.

She said the experience was humiliating, and she plans to press charges. According to Asikainen, about 20 people were in the restaurant and saw the scene go down.

McDonald’s Norway says it is aware of the law regarding guide dogs and that Rex should have been allowed in if everything happened the way Asikainen tells the story.

“If this is true we regret it, for this certainly isn’t what is supposed to happen,” said Kathrine Moe, Mcdonalds’ press officer in Norway. “We obviously follow the law that visually impaired should be allowed to have guide dogs.”

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