A close-up of a Burger King sign
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A 40-year-old army veteran said that he was denied entry at a Burger King branch as he had a Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) support dog.

This happened Saturday when Richard Mearns, who was diagnosed with PTSD in 2009, dropped by the fast-food branch in London's Waterloo Station, reported Mirror. The father-of-one said that he pointed out his dog Ziggy's 'Assistance Dog' jacket, still a staff member told him to "get out." Then Mearns, who was in Iraq as a combat medical technician for the British Army, asked to see the manager, who apparently told him that they "only allow guide dogs."

Mearns told them that this was incorrect, after which he was given a "grunted apology" that upset him, according to Daily Mail. Mearns said that he wanted them to deal with it, and accept a mistake had been made. But the manager was grunting and talking to him about dogs, and he felt whatever the manager said and did was clearly for show.

He felt the staff clearly didn't care, and it was that disconnect that made him "feel so riled about it. Why is it okay to embarrass somebody in a crowded area like this?" He got his food and left, and the food, according to him, was as bad as the treatment.

The army veteran doesn't want others to experience something similar and feel "embarrassed," so now he is calling for Burger King to make sure all their staff members are given training on assistance dogs. He said that he doesn't want this happening to him or anyone else, and called the whole experience "embarrassing and degrading."

The company said that the "use of assistance dogs is permitted across all of their UK restaurants," and they are investigating the incident. SSP that operates the Burger King at Waterloo issued an apology for what happened to the army veteran, and said one of their staff members "did not realize the customer in question required special assistance."

Mearns said that Burger King may say they have a policy of allowing entry of assistance dogs in their branches, but if staff members aren't trained properly, "it has a significant mental impact on me." For him, Ziggy is not just a dog, but someone who assists him with his day-to-day stuff and allows him to do what he does.

An empty Burger King restaurant on Queen Street in Cardiff City centre
An empty Burger King restaurant on Queen Street in Cardiff City centre on the first Saturday night of the "firebreak" which is aimed at reducing the number of COVID-19 cases on October 24, 2020 in Cardiff, Wales. Wales entered a national lockdown on Friday evening which will remain in place until November 9. People have been told to stay at home and pubs, restaurants, hotels and non-essential shops must shut. Primary schools will reopen after the half-term break, but only Years 7 and 8 in secondary schools can return at that time under new "firebreak" rules. Gatherings indoors and outdoors with people not in your household are banned. Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

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