Family with service dog denied hotel reservation

Baton Rouge, Louisiana (WAFB/CNN) -- A North Carolina family says a Louisiana hotel refused their reservation over their service dog.

Thirteen-year-old Beau Vaughn has a rare form of epilepsy called Landau-Kleffner Syndrome. His golden retriever, Chip, is with him at all times to alert him when he's about to have a seisure.

"He's even been at the hospital with Beau when Beau had to have surgery and he was in pre-operative room," says Beau's mother, Karen Vaughn.

When the family recently made reservations at a Best Western hotel in Baton Rouge, they didn't think it'd be a big deal. Karen says they are not required to alert hotels they have a service dog, but she usually gives a heads up. That's when she says her reservation at the hotel was refused.

"We got an email saying due to unforeseen circumstances, they will not be able to honor our reservation. Working through that they said oh you're bringing a pet and that Best Western isn't pet-friendly."

Service dogs are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act. A front desk worker inside this hotel told us she is aware of the law, but they cannot go against what the owner says.

Vaughn says once someone understands the law, and still violates it, she goes from mom to attorney. She practices largely in rights of children with special needs. She says the corporate office for the hotel did contact her almost a week after the incident and offered to honor her reservation.

"I've already booked with another hotel that's understanding and happy to follow the law and happy to have chip here. I don't want to go to a hotel where I have to force them to follow the law."


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