Blind man and his dog asked to leave waiting room

Says it's a violation of the ADA

BAKERSFIELD,Calif. - After getting assaulted five years ago, George Garcia lost his vision and relies on his guide dog, Banks. 

"He is trained to stop if theres any danger ahead of me," Garcia tells 23ABC. "He keeps me safe, he's just a wonderful companion and he enables me to be mobile."

When Garcia went to accompany his girlfriend to her ophthalmologist appointment, he says he was asked to leave the waiting room at Dr. George Alexandrakis' office. 

"The receptionist said  'we don't allow service dogs,'" Garcia's girlfriend Pattie tells 23ABC.  "I said, 'it's the law.'"

Garcia and his girlfriend left the office, saying they were embarrassed and frustrated.

According to the Independent Living Center of Kern County, this instance is a  violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which says that public entities must permit service animals with people with disabilities.

"People cant make up their own rules concerning the law. This is federal law. It trumps state law and local law," says ILCKC's Olivia Kent.
23ABC reached out to Dr. Alexandrakis, who responded back with a statement saying that no patients were denied services. He said some particular breeds of animals create an allergic reaction on himself and his primary objective is the well-being of his patients.

Pattie says she does not want to leave her doctor. She filed a complaint with the Department of Justice and the case is under investigation.

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