Boston Marathon bombing survivor Sydney Corcoran was asked to leave T.J. Maxx because of her service dog. According to The New York Daily News, the manager of a New Hampshire T.J. Maxx told 19-year-old Corcoran to put her service dog in a cart or leave the store. Corcoran was taken aback -- she has depended on her four-legged friend for months, and never received this kind of request while out and about.
"He's crucial to my everyday life... He had on his service dog vest — bright blue, says 'service dog' all over it. The store manager came over to me and said to me, 'If you want to keep your dog in the store, you have to put him in the carriage.'"
Sydney Corcoran left T.J. Maxx and quickly called her mother, Celeste, who lost both of her legs in the Marathon bombings. Upset and completely embarrassed, Sydney didn't know what else to do. She told her mom what happened and her mom promptly called the store.
Celeste told News Center 5 in Boston:
"[The manager] said, 'I'm sorry.' And I said, 'That's not good enough. You should have known. You just made someone with an emotional disorder so much worse.'"
The manager said that the "dog in carriage" thing was a "new policy," and while she says that she was just following protocol, that doesn't seem to be the case.
T.J. Maxx released the following statement:
"We are taking this customer matter very seriously. Customers with disabilities who are accompanied by their service animals are welcome in our stores at any time. We have looked into the particulars regarding this customer's experience and deeply regret that our procedures were not appropriately followed in this instance. We are taking actions which we believe are appropriate, including working with our stores to reinforce the acceptance of service animals."
Sydney Corcoran and T.J. Maxx have been talked about quite a bit on social media since the story hit the internet.
@tjmaxx So disappointed to hear what your Nashua store said to Sydney Corcoran.
— Jessica (@jessalicious723) July 13, 2014
ONLY ON 5: Marathon survivor Sydney Corcoran told service dog not welcome in TJ Maxx store in #Nashua #WCVB pic.twitter.com/v1lhLhgQEY — Liam Martin (@LiamWCVB) July 11, 2014
I've never been in a TJMaxx, but they can kindly eff off... http://t.co/Dl26GnwJNy
— Scott Luke (@ScottELuke) July 14, 2014
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, there is a law about service animals being allowed in public areas:
"All businesses must allow service animals into public areas and may only ask the patient if the dog is a service dog, and what tasks it performs."
[Photo courtesy of NBC News / Twitter]