NIXA, MO — A man disturbed customers by bringing a snake into a restaurant, and management allowed it to stay during dinner because the man claimed it was his “service animal”.
“I just started trembling and said ‘We’ve got to get out of here’,” one customer told CNN affiliate KYTV.
After customers told management of their concerns, they were told the snake was a service animal, and would be allowed to stay. According to KYTV a customer approached the man and he told her the snake helped him with depression.
However, the Americans with Disabilities Act defines service animals as dogs only.
“So if someone says they have a service monkey, a service cat or a service snake, ADA only defines it as dogs,” Jill Finney, the City of Nixa’s Communications Director, told KYTV.
She added that, since the snake posed a concern for public safety, police or animal control would have responded if called. Instead, several customers simply chose to leave the restaurant.