The owner of a Parsippany 7-Eleven has apologized to a veteran who was not allowed into the store on Memorial Day because of his service dog, according to News 12 New Jersey.
Veteran Michael Deitch said he was not allowed into the 7-Eleven on North Beverwyck Road because he had his service dog, Sox, with him, the report said. Sox, a 7-month-old lab-hound-mix, is federally protected under the American with Disabilities Act, the report said.
Deitch, who has filed a complaint with 7-Eleven’s corporate office, told News 12 that he has developed post-traumatic stress disorder following an incident while working as a police officer during Superstorm Sandy, the report said. He said Sox has helped him recover.
“This dog literally saved me, and I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for him,” he said.
According to Deitch, when he tried to go into the 7-Eleven, he was told dogs are not allowed into the store because it serves food. Deitch claims Sox was wearing his vest that identifies him as a service dog at the time.
7-Eleven spokeswoman Margaret Chabris told NJ Advance Media the incident is a “misunderstanding,” adding 7-Eleven “absolutely” allows service dogs.
“The franchisee is most apologetic and want to personally reach out to the customer to apologize and make amends,” she said.
The worker didn’t immediately realize Sox was a service dog as a group of children surrounded the animal, the spokeswoman said. When the employee realized why Sox was in the store, Deitch and the dog were already gone, she said.
Deitch is both a military police and civilian police service dog, according to News 12.