"Any service dog that has been trained to help someone with their disability has the legal right to go into any business with the person that has a disability," said Jennifer Rogers who trains service dogs.
Columbia, SC (WLTX) - How would you feel if you were turned away from just trying to pay for your gas?
That's what happened to one Midlands man when he went in to pay with his service dog.
"I know I wouldn't be here, 15 minutes after the ambulance left my heart stopped, I bled out and bit my tongue in two. She stayed with me for 9 hours and people were walking outside of my home and she kept barking until someone came and checked on me," said Thomas Jacobs.
Thomas Jacobs says he owes everything to his dog Kyi. An accident caused him to have epileptic seizures and his service dog alerts people when he is in an epileptic seizure.
Kyi is his service dog and goes everywhere with him; but this week on place wouldn't allow her in.
"I stopped at a BP gas station and when I went in, the lady told me no dogs allowed, take the dog back."
That was on Monday, on Tuesday at a different station it happened again.
"The thing is I'm getting wore out with this, I fought my way back from the brink of death, I have a window to have some type of quality of life, I've had surgery, I had a week of recuperation and the first two times I got out I got to deal with service dog incidences. "
A BP representative called Jacobs and apologized for the refusal of service.
'I'm sorry that shouldn't have happened," said BP representative Bill Downs over the phone.
So the question is, can a disabled person bring a service dog into a business like a gas station or grocery store.
"Any service dog that has been trained to help someone with their disability has the legal right to go into any business with the person that has a disability," said Jennifer Rogers.
Rogers works with PAALS and trains service dogs every day. She says a business can only ask two legal question when it comes to service dogs.
One "is that a service dog?" And the second question is, "what does the dog do to help you?"
Rogers says they have seen an increase in the number of those with disabilities be refused service. She says just because a person has a service dog doesn't mean they have a visible disability.
"We train dogs for people with PTSD and often times they look just like you an I on a good day, there are dogs that help people with diabetes and seizures and unless you are having an episode you are going to look just like everyone else."