Service dogs are an important asset to their handlers who need the support in their daily lives. However, for the second time in three months, one disabled woman said she and her service dog were turned away. Elizabeth Bise needs her service dog Kuzco to live and get around, but she said it isn’t always easy. Most recently she said she was denied care by Health City Cayman Islands.
“They let me know that if I needed treatment or care, that I would be treated outside and she indicated with her hand to the pavement outside,” said Ms. Bise.
In July, Ms. Bise shared another story of how she was denied entry into a local supermarket.
“So being told that I’m going to be treating outside on the pavement, how is that suppose to make me feel? So I’m less worthy of coming inside because I have a service animal with me?” said Ms. Bise.
HCCI’s Director of Business Development Shomari Scott said he cannot confirm that a member of his staff told Ms. Bise she was not welcome with her dog.
“So we can’t verify that statement was made because we’ve actually spoken to our staff members,” said Mr. Scott.
He said, according to his staff members, they addressed the situation differently.
“She actually asked if she was allowed with the service dog which was when she was told that from a protocol perspective, infection control from our cross-pollination perspective wouldn’t let a service dog in,” said Mr. Scott.
Mr. Scott said it’s not only dogs that are not allowed into the facility.
“We actually have strict infection control protocols here at Health City and unfortunately, our protocols actually don’t even allow some types of flowers and flora to come into the hospital, as well as, no animals,” said Mr. Scott.
Mr. Scott said service dogs shouldn’t be needed in a hospital because the patient is already in the safe zone.
“So the fact that the patient would actually be in the hospital that would make our staff response time even quicker,” said Mr. Scott.
Ms. Bise disagreed. She said she hopes by bringing the issues she’s faced to the fore, more business places will accept service animals and their owners.
We reached out to CTMH Doctors hospital and they confirmed that they do allow service dogs within the hospital. We also reached out to the Health Services Authority Cayman Islands hospital, but they did not get back to us.