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KFC apologizes after family with service dog gets no service

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ELIZABETHTON, TN (WJHL) -

A fast food chain apologized Friday after an employee told a Tri-Cities family their service dog wasn't allowed in the building.

The Canter family told News Channel 11 they went to the KFC on Broad Street in Elizabethton only to be turned away because they tried to enter the restaurant with their son's certified service dog.

Grace is a Belgian Malinois trained to help Gage Canter, 9, when he has an epileptic seizure.

Despite a vest and paperwork proving that Grace was no ordinary pet, Joey Canter said a KFC immediately told the family they couldn't enter the restaurant.

"I was definitely surprised because she met us at the door and said you can't bring that dog in," Joey Canter said.  "I told her it was a service dog.  It kind of made me upset.  I didn't say what I wanted to say, and then we left."

Canter said his wife called KFC Corporate office and then called News Channel 11.

Around 4:30 p.m. Friday, we asked for an explanation.

About an hour later, KFC spokesman Rick Maynard emailed the following statement.

"Service animals are welcome in KFC restaurants, and our franchisee regrets this recent misunderstanding. They will be contacting the customers and inviting them to return to the restaurant with the service dog, so they can make it up to them."


As of 11 p.m. Friday, the Canter family still had not heard from KFC, they said.

 

 



 

Here's the earlier report:

 

A Tri-Cities family contacted News Channel 11 saying they were denied service at the KFC restaurant in Elizabethton because they wanted to come into the restaurant with a service dog.

The service animal is for one of the family members who suffers from a seizure disorder, a relative said.

We were told the dog has a harness labeling it as a service animal, and the family told us they have appropriate paperwork.

After contacting KFC, News Channel 11 got a response via email.

"Service animals are welcome in KFC restaurants, and our franchisee regrets this recent misunderstanding,"  said Rick Maynard, KFC Spokesman based in Louisville, KY.  "They will be contacting the customers and inviting them to return to the restaurant with the service dog, so they can make it up to them."

News Channel 11 will have a report tonight at 11 p.m..

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