A Caffe Nero coffee shop has put itself in the middle of a PR nightmare after declining to give water to a blind man’s guide dog, and in a move that seemed rather harsh, and somewhat unhelpful to all parties involved, 40-year-old Oliver Gibbons dog Sydney was denied a drink at the coffee shop in Exmouth, Devon.
Sydney had been hard at work guiding Oliver Gibbons around the seaside town, but when they stopped for a drink, he was told to jog on. The coffee chain is now reviewing the situation and the chain have said that it’s not the company’s policy to refuse to give a bowl of water to a blind man’s guide dog.
But they simply said no and wandered off. It was a really warm day, and Oliver’s guide dog had been working hard and Oliver and his friend Helen Fox who helps him in his everyday life had just taken him off the harness for a free run.
And they were taken aback because any dog should be allowed a drink, especially as he’s a working dog but Caffe Nero said that they’re aware of the incident and are in the process of examining precisely what happened, and they also said that they absolutely comply with the legislation on access for guide dogs in all stores.
But, the whole thing hasn’t gone down well with the public and it’s really disheartening that the workers in this Caffe Nero made a decision to refuse giving water to this gentleman’s guide dog on such a hot day, and it’s disappointing that this level of customer service fell lower than anticipated from a national chain.
And Service dogs are always by their handler’s side and provide a valuable life-changing service, so it would be great if businesses could cater to their needs, as well as that of their owners, and this is quite shameful, particularly in the heat, and knowing that dogs have no sweat glands to help cool them down, and surely if they were so neurotic about using a bowl for the dog, then they could have easily have given the unfortunate dog a drink in one of those disposable cups, there is definitely no excuse.
And being disabled definitely trumps health and safety, and it’s understandable that health and safety might mean that dogs are not permitted (inside the establishment), but outside this dog required water, and it’s not like the poor dog was taking anything for granted, but it did mean that Sydney was being victimised against, and this coffee shop should be ashamed of themselves.
Perhaps the workers there were just not informed enough on laws regarding disabled people and they simply needed educating? But then health and safety against providing a water bowl, are you serious because I’m sure there are a lot more germs and bacteria swimming about in all those cups and mugs used by the general public.
And surely with some common sense and good hygiene, it wouldn’t be difficult to provide a fresh drinking container for a customers dog, particularly a working animal.