A Boston Marathon bombing survivor was asked to leave a TJ Maxx store. She was welcome, but her service dog was not.
Sydney Corcoran suffers from leg injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating and sleeping disorders as a result of last year's bombings. She calls her service dog, Koda, a "miracle" who has helped her cope with life again.
One TJ Maxx manager didn't care-- when Corcoran tried to go into the New Hampshire store with Koda, she was told to confine him to a carriage, or leave. Corcoran felt the carriage couldn't accommodate Koda, so she left, feeling distraught over the incident.
Corcoran's mother Celeste, who lost both her legs in the bombing, went to the store to complain. The manager did apologize, and TJ Maxx released a statement that they accept responsibility for the incident. The company says they will help train their staff to be better informed about service animals.
By law, service dogs must be permitted anywhere as long as they do not present a danger. A store is only permitted to ask the owner if it is a service dog, and what the dog does-- they cannot grill a person over the nature of their injuries or demand proof of injuries.
Celeste gave an interview in the news to remind people that not all scars are visible, and that for some people a service animal can be a "lifeline". With Celeste, Sydney and Koda doing their part to raise awareness, hopefully they’ll save others from running into the same problems.