PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A local woman says she travels from Pittsburgh to New York every week on Greyhound with her service dog. However, there was a problem this morning.
Three-year-old Maxx may have the appearance of just a family pet, but his owner, Amanda Foote, says he is far more than that.
“He’s an emotional support animal. I have documentation sent from my doctor and a certificate and an ID that he is a service dog and it’s all valid and up to date,” she said.
Foote said when she travels, the first thing she does is go to the ticket counter and make them aware of her situation.
“And today, I go and give the driver my ticket and he goes, ‘That is not a service animal, that’s a pet.’ I said, ‘Wait, are you serious? This is a service animal,’” she said.
Foote, who was heading to New York for an audition, says the confrontation with the bus driver got heated.
“He steps into my face like he going to hit me and another worker from Greyhound had to step in front of me to keep him from hitting me,” she said.
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, a person traveling with a service animal cannot be denied access to transportation, even if there is a no pet policy. The law applies to both public and private transportation providers, including subways, rail, light rail, taxis, paratransit and fixed-route buses like Greyhound.
According to Foote, the driver told her she was not getting on his bus. So she and Maxx had to return home, but Foote said this isn’t over.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Greyhound says it does allow customers to travel with service animals. They issued the following statement:
“We apologize to the customer for her experience, as we do allow customers to travel with service animals. This incident is not representative of our policy or our drivers’ training, and the driver involved has been taken out of service while we complete our investigation. We understand the importance of making travel easy and accessible for customers with disabilities, and we strive to provide the best travel experience for all customers. The customer has received a refund, and she will travel at no cost on a later schedule today.”