Woman claims service dog denied entry at Tulsa Drillers game

TULSA, Okla. — A woman posted a video to Facebook recently showing her being denied entry to a Tulsa Drillers game at ONEOK Field over what she says is her service dog.

In the video posted by Natalia Duran, a man working at the stadium is shown saying he is following regulations from the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). He goes through a series of questions and the dog is ultimately not allowed in.

The man asked what the dog is specifically trained to do. During the video, Duran said the dog has 120 hours of training and is on the United States Service Dog Registry. The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said these certifications carry no rights under the ADA. Duran explained to the man that she has PTSD and that the dog is a psychiatric service dog.

In a message to FOX23’s Cornelius Hocker, Duran said her dog sits with her when it senses anxiety and will paw at her until she begins to pet it. She said the dog continues until Duran pets her and it distracts her from the anxiety. She said she explained it to two others at the stadium prior to the recording of the video.

Brian Carroll, a public relations representative with the Drillers, said the employee in video followed ADA regulations. The Drillers provided the following statement:

"A situation occurred Sunday night at the Tulsa Drillers game where a person who was accompanied by a dog was denied entrance into the stadium.  In the situation, which was recorded by the person, a team staff member followed proper protocol in determining whether the animal should be admitted to the stadium as a service dog.  The protocol that was used comes from the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines for public facilities.  Those guidelines provide the ADA definition of what constitutes a service dog.  The guidelines are available through the ADA website at:

https://www.ada.gov/regs2010/service_animal_qa.html

Frequently asked Questions 1, 2, 3 and 17 provide information that the staff member used in this instance to allow or deny entry."

According to the ADA website, a service animal “is defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability.  The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person's disability.”

Additionally, the guidelines state that “emotional support, therapy, comfort or companion animals” are not considered service animals under the ADA: “Because they have not been trained to perform a specific job or task, they do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.”

Watch the video here:

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