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Starbucks apologizes for service dog incident

The Regional Vice-President for Starbucks has apologized to a Brighton woman for an incident that happened inside the Monroe Avenue store over the weekend.

24 year old Amy Kaplan said she was treated unfavorably by a Barista and questioned for credentials proving her dog was a service dog.

Kaplan filed a police report, Brighton Police concluded Kaplan wasn’t denied service, but was asked too many questions about her service dog.

Late Tuesday, Starbucks Regional Vice-President sent Kaplan this apology for what happened:

Dear Ms. Kaplan:

I am the Regional Vice President that is currently overseeing the region that you recently had your incident in. I want to personally apologize to you about what happened. It is not consistent with our standards and policies and your experience was clearly not what we would have wanted for you.

Our sincerest apologies.

I would like to discuss it further with you if you would have the time.

Sumi Ghosh
Starbucks Regional Vice-President

Under the Americans With Disabilities Act, the only questions allowed in cases like this are: Is that a Service Dog? What kind of tasks does the dog perform?

In the police report, Brighton police advised the employee that in the future he is instructed to only ask those questions of customers with service dogs.

Kaplan said this is ignorance. She said she has received hateful comments and threats after posting on the company’s website the cellphone video her father shot of the incident in Starbucks.

She said people have accused her of doing this for attention or for money. She said neither is true.

Kaplan told 13WHAM that she doesn’t know if she will pursue legal action against the company, but insists her main focus is educating people about the rights of people with service dogs.

She will also file a complaint with the Department of Justice and the Attorney General.

 
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