(Screen Shot From WAFB)
When a North Carolina family booked a one-night hotel stay at a Baton Rouge Best Western, they were thrilled. When they were informed their reservation had been canceled because of their son’s SERVICE ANIMAL? Not so much. Karen Vaughn says their dog, Chip, is crucial to caring for her son, Beau, who is an epileptic. She notes that once someone understands the law and still violates it, she switches from mom to attorney.
Karensays they've never had that kind of treatment, especially since it's a violation of the law. "We got an email saying due to unforeseen circumstances, they will not be able to honor our reservations,” she explains. “Working through that they said, oh you're bringing a pet and Best Western isn't pet friendly." Too bad for the property that service dogs are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
A front desk worker inside the hotel even said she is aware of the law, but workers can't go against what the owner says.
As it happens, Karen actually is an attorney and practices largely in the rights of children with special needs – kids like her son. She also admits the Best Western corporate office did contact her, almost a week after the incident, and offered to honor her reservation. But she didn’t accept. "I've already booked with another hotel that's understanding and happy to follow the law,” she notes. “I don't want to go to a hotel where I have to force them to follow the law.” Right on, mom!