Couple Brings Snake Into Restaurant, Claims It Is a Service Animal

The restaurant’s manager allowed the snake inside because the man said it ‘helps him with his depression’

A couple brought in a boa constrictor to a restaurant in Nixa, Missouri.

A couple brought a snake into a restaurant in Nixa, Missouri, and claimed it was the man’s “service animal.”

Customers dining at El Puente Mexican Restaurant were shocked when they saw what looked a boa constrictor wrapped around the couple’s necks. The snake also slithered by other booths.

Lisa Loeffelholz, who was at the restaurant with her family at the time of the incident, told KY3 News that she felt uncomfortable dining near a snake. “The manager came over to us and said it was his service animal, so we have to allow him to stay,” Loeffelholz said. “So that's when my mom and I and the girls decided that we would not stay.”

When Loeffelholz approached the man with the snake, he told her, “It’s my service animal and I’m allowed to have it because it helps me with my depression.”

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, a service animal is “any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of any individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.”


Jill Finney, communications director for the city of Nixa, told KY3 News that the snake poses as a health concern and should have been reported. Animal Control or Nixa Police would have removed the snake from the restaurant.