Hotel refuses reservations for NC family with service dog

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — A Baton Rouge hotel refusing reservations for a North Carolina family with a service dog will face punishment.

“Chip is a seizure response dog for my son,” says mother and attorney Karen Vaughn, whose family was traveling from North Carolina.

Vaughn received an odd correspondence from the Best Western they booked in Baton Rouge, “We got an email saying ‘due to unforeseen circumstances they would not be able to honor our reservation’ and they said, ‘oh, well. You’re bringing a pet with you. That Best Western isn’t pet friendly.”

The Americans with Disabilities Act allows service dogs to go wherever their service is needed.

The front desk worker told the family she was aware of laws protecting access for service dogs, but the owner insists.

“I already booked with another hotel that is understanding and happy to follow the law and happy to have Chip here,” says Vaughn.

Best Western International found out and released a statement saying, “We deeply regret the matter, and we will continue to proactively communicate ADA requirements and training to Best Western branded hotels to ensure all guests are treated with the utmost dignity and respect.”

The statement went on to read that the Baton Rouge hotel is now restricted on the corporate reservations system and must stop representing itself as a Best Western branded hotel until, the statement reads, “Its representatives attend a hearing at our corporate headquarters at which their future association with Best Western will be decided.”

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