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Man kicked out of Popeye's for service dog

May 19, 2012 at 2:22 PM

ATLANTA, May 19 (UPI) -- A diabetic man said an Atlanta Popeye's restaurant kicked him out Saturday because of his service dog.

Taylor Gipson, 20, suffers from Type 1 diabetes, characterized by sudden drops or peaks in his blood sugar levels, and even seizures. That is why he has Bear, his British lab, who acts as his loyal companion and service dog, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Bear is trained to detect when Gipson's blood sugar levels are low or high. Gipson says is Bear sometimes more accurate than his blood sugar meter.

The American with Disabilities Act dictates Bear is allowed to accompany Gipson into a restaurant, even when state health codes prohibit animals in food establishments. However, the manager of the Windy Hill Road Popeye's didn't seem to know, the newspaper said.

"I was having low blood sugar, so I ordered my food and was drinking sweet tea," Gipson told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. That's when he said a manager told him he'd have to leave, or else he would call the police.

When an officer arrived, Gipson tried to show him Bear's identification.

"He wouldn't even look at it," Gipson said.

Gipson is considering filing a lawsuit against the restaurant. Cobb County police said the incident is under review.

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