A fellow customer tried to verbally intimidate a woman grocery shopping in Target with her service dog. The customer said the dog may not be clean enough to be in the store.
Viewers are coming to the defense of Katie (@serviceaussiebailey), the woman with the service dog, stating that she handled the uncomfortable situation much more calmly than they would have.
In the viral TikTok video, Katie explains that the woman randomly walked up to her in Target and started questioning her about her service dog.
“Are you worried about like his hair and things getting into the food? Like, are you allowed to bring him into places that sell food like that?” the woman asked. “Like, does he get bathed every day? Like how am I supposed to know that he’s clean?”
Businesses, non-profits, and state and local governments that are open to the public must allow service animals “to go most places where the public can go” even if they have a “no pets” policy, per the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Katie initially answered the woman’s questions, though her tone seemed annoyed and uncomfortable. Meanwhile, the dog, Bailey, is lying calmly on the floor, not moving or making a sound.
At one point, the woman asks Katie to show her “registration” or any kind of paperwork proving Bailey was a service animal. Katie points out that there is no registration for the sort that exists in the United States, and even if there was, she doesn’t have to show it to the woman.
While several private businesses offer service animal certification, there is no certification a person can get through the government, according to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
In fact, service animals are not legally required to go through any kind of professional training program or wear a vest or ID stating they are service animals. To be classified as a service animal, they must meet the following requirements: be a dog of any breed or size and be trained to perform a task directly related to a person’s disability (like retrieving an object or detecting the signs of an oncoming seizure).
As the video continues, the woman dares to ask Katie what disability she has, and Katie rightfully responds, “It’s none of your business really.”
Later in the video, as the woman continues to harass her about the dog, Katie tells her that the dog is a “life-saving medical device.” She continues, “Just ’cause he’s a dog doesn’t mean he’s just a dog.”
Despite Katie’s patience, the woman went off to find a manager. In the meantime, she followed Katie around the store. Katie ended up leaving without her groceries because of how stressed the situation made her.
@serviceaussiebailey All I wanted do was get groceries for the week. I can’t just leave my service dog at home because has fur. This whole situation really made me so uncomfortable, i didnt know what to say or how to respond… I shouldnt have to disclose my disability with anyone, nor should someone feel the need to harass those who utilize service dogs because they see a dog in places that dogs arent normally allowed. After this she literally followed me through the store waiting until an apparent “manager” could help her. I ended up leaving the store because of how stressed i was. I hate confrontation and this was the worst I have had in a long time. #karen #pots #cardiacalertservicedog #fyp #foryou ♬ original sound – Bailey and Katie
“I shouldn’t have to disclose my disability with anyone, nor should anyone feel the need to harrass those who utilize service dogs… I hate confrontation and this was the worst I have had in a long time,” Katie wrote in the caption.
The video has garnered well over five million views and tens of thousands of comments as of Tuesday morning
“You were FAR TOO NICE. I’d have absolutely LOST IT,” a commenter wrote.
“I would have alerted security asap,” another said.
“And then there he is, being quite literally the goodest boy,” a person noticed.
The Daily Dot reached out to Katie for comment via email.