Veteran with service dog denied entry to Pittsburgh restaurant

A combat veteran who suffers from PTSD said he was denied access to a Pittsburgh restaurant on Thursday because of his service dog.

Kris Jones accused the owner of The Huddle restaurant of stopping him; his Dutch Shepherd, Chopper; and a friend from entering the establishment.

"He's very important to me. He's definitely my lifeline," Jones said about his furry companion, according to WTAE.

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A combat veteran who suffers from PTSD said he was denied access to a Pittsburgh restaurant on Thursday because of his service dog. (Photo: iStock)

A combat veteran who suffers from PTSD said he was denied access to a Pittsburgh restaurant on Thursday because of his service dog. (Photo: iStock)

"He makes me feel safe. A lot of veterans, you don't want to be alone, when you're going into a public place or a restaurant, it can be pretty stressful.”

Jones enlisted in the Marines after the Sept. 11 attacks. He was injured during combat and later diagnosed with PTSD.

Chopper, he said, changed his life for the better.

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Kris Jones accused the owner of The Huddle restaurant of stopping him, his Dutch Shepherd, Chopper, and a friend from entering the establishment. (Photo: Google Maps)

Kris Jones accused the owner of The Huddle restaurant of stopping him, his Dutch Shepherd, Chopper, and a friend from entering the establishment. (Photo: Google Maps)

Jones admitted Chopper wasn’t wearing his service dog vest but did have on his collar. However, he said was never given a chance to show documentation that Chopper was a service dog.

The owner of The Huddle, Pete Wagner, later said that he made a mistake.

Wagner said his business often accommodates service dogs, but he failed to realize Chopper was a service dog because the restaurant was crowded on the night Jones came in, due to a Steelers game.

Jones said he wants the incident to be a lesson to others about the reality for many veterans and people suffering from PTSD.

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"I want business owners, people, everywhere, children, everywhere to know that PTSD is a big thing,” he said.

“A lot of veterans come home and people can look OK and look fine, but you don’t know what’s going on on the inside.”

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