Asda apologises after army vet told to take assistance dog out of store
- Credit: Archant
A Suffolk supermarket has apologised after a wheelchair-using army veteran was told he was not allowed his assistance dog in the store.
Scott Robertson, who suffered spinal injuries while serving with the Royal Artillery in Afghanistan, said he felt “embarrassed and humiliated” by the incident, which took place at Asda in Bury St Edmunds.
Mr Robertson said upon entering the Western Way store on Tuesday with his assistance dog Rusty and partner and carer Hayley Andrews, a security guard shouted that dogs were not allowed in the supermarket. The couple said they explained Rusty was an assistance dog, but the guard once again told them the dog was not welcome in the shop.
The security guard eventually realised his mistake but Mr Robertson, who also suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), was left angered by the incident.
Asda have apologised for what they called a “genuine error” and have since offered Mr Robertson a £50 gift voucher. However the army vet said he does not wish to accept the offer and will not be returning to the store.
“I’ve never had any problems before,” he said. “I’ve been to restaurants, I go bowling and have never had anything like this.
“I felt embarrassed and humiliated by it. Rusty’s harness is clearly marked.”
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Mr Robertson said that another member of staff at the store also told him to take Rusty out of the supermarket following the incident with the security guard.
“It made me feel like a low-life and as if I shouldn’t be out in public,” he added.
“I will say the managers were very apologetic about the whole thing but I don’t want to step foot in the store ever again.”
Mr Robertson said he has contacted Suffolk police regarding the incident and the force confirmed they are investigating under Section 5 of the Public Order Act, causing harrassment, alarm or distress.
An Asda spokesman said: “We would again like to apologise to Mr Robertson.
“This was a genuine error on the part of our colleague that they attempted to rectify with Mr Robertson at the time, but we entirely understand the upset this incident has caused.
“We can assure all customers that we will always try to accommodate any needs they have when shopping with us.”