A former Army nurse who suffers from PTSD claims she was thrown out of a supermarket for taking her assistance dog inside.
Elaine Arnold, 57, was shopping in Asda with her Patterdale terrier Holly when she was asked to leave by a member of staff.
She carries a GP letter to say she needs her dog with her but felt unhappy disclosing details of her mental health in front of other shoppers.
Elaine claims the employee threatened to call the police, telling her she was banned from coming back into the store.
She said: “I went to customer services and asked for the keys to a scooter, I got on and Holly sat on the floor between my legs.
“I was going round doing my shopping when this man said ‘you aren’t allowed dogs in here’.
“I said she is an assistance dog.
“He was shouting at me, so I moved away because I don’t like confrontation.
“He came and said you have to leave the store and said he was banning me.
“He said he was calling the police.”
Elaine, who was a nurse with the Army Reserve, also suffers from severe back pain from a slipped disk, panic attacks and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Holly wears a labelled jacket – but she is not registered as emotional support dogs are not recognised in the UK unlike in America.
Elaine, from Dovercourt, Essex, regularly takes her to the store in Ipswich, Suffolk, without any difficulties.
But the incident on Saturday has left her worrying about going out with Holly.
She said: “It was Saturday between 1pm and 2pm and it was quite full.
“I was very distressed at the time, it has really put me back.
“I have complained to the store and spoken to the store manager and he said the man was right.
“But I’ve taken her there before, to Tesco and Morrisons without problems.
“Now I’m worried about going out and trying to take her places.”
Asda did not provide a comment but a spokesman said Mrs Arnold has not been banned from its stores.
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