Guide-dog owner denied access to Chichester shop

A guide-dog owner has said she was '˜appalled' to be denied access to a convenience store because of a no-dog policy.

Wednesday, 5th September 2018, 5:11 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th September 2018, 5:12 pm
ks180426-3 Disabled Shop Dispute phot kate Lynn Rochester who was refused access to a shop with her guide dog Wheat.ks180426-3 SUS-180828-183110008

Lynn Rochester, 61, said she unsuccessfully tried to explain to staff at Lindwhyke Stores in Whyke Lane that her dog, in full harness, should be allowed inside.

Manager Raj Sinna has since apologised and told the Observer he was unaware that guide dogs existed and how they worked and Mrs Rochester was very welcome to return with her dog.

Mrs Rochester said: “It makes me so cross. If you were running a bar or restaurant or like this place, a shop, they should have full awareness on being offered their trading licence, I feel.”

She said staff had offered to hand her items from where she stood by the door but she had refused, feeling embarrassed and demeaned.

As a former trainer in visual impairment awareness, Mrs Rochester said she would be happy to do the same training for the store.

When approached for comment, Mr Sinna said there was a sign on the door stating no dogs were allowed and this was due to food on low shelves.

He was not familiar with the concept of guide dogs as highly trained personal assistance dogs, and he said he did not know that Mrs Rochester was blind.