A branch of coffee chain Caffe Nero has sparked outrage after reportedly refusing to give water to a blind man’s guide dog.
The shop in Exmouth, Devon told 40-year-old Olliver Gibbons that his seven-year-old Labrador Sydney could not have a drink despite it being a hot day outside.
Gibbons, a customer in the store accompanied by his friend Helen Fox, confirmed that the shop refused to give water to Sydney, who was being rewarded with a hard-earned rest.
Olliver’s friend Helen Fox, who helps him live independently, told the Exmouth Journal : “I said, ‘he’s a guide dog’, but they just said ‘no’ and walked off.
“It was really hot, he had been working and we had just taken him off the harness for a free run.
“I was taken aback – any dog should be allowed a drink, but he is also a working dog.
“Ollie doesn’t want to go back again. It made him quite sad, really. He was asking why they were being like that.”
Sydney eventually got a drink at Tempus the Jeweller in Albion Street.
Guide Dogs South West spokesman Clive Wood said: “It’s very disappointing that the staff in this Caffe Nero made a decision to deny providing water to this gentleman’s guide dog on such a warm day.
“It’s disappointing that the level of customer service fell lower than expected from a national chain.”
An RSPCA spokesperson said: “It’s extremely concerning to hear that a coffee shop refused to provide drinking water for a service dog whose handler was a customer.
“We would expect all businesses to show kindness and compassion towards all animals, but particularly to service dogs.
“Service dogs are always by their handler’s side and provide a valuable, life-changing service, so we would hope that businesses would cater to their needs, as well as that of their owners.”
A spokesman for Caffe Nero said: “We are aware of this incident, and are in the process of investigating exactly what happened.
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Source : https://www.indy100.com/article/caffe-nero-guide-dog-water-blind-disability-exmouth-devon-8402896
Source : https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/caffe-nero-shop-refuses-give-12720290