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Walmart customer denied her access to service dog

March 10, 2024

Walmart customer with POTS says employees denied her access to service dog.

customer can ruin everything.

One Walmart shopper whose service dog alerted them to sit down on the ground due to a postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, or POTS, which is a fainting disorder, says that not only did the store’s staff attempt to deny her access to the store because her service dog did not have a vest, but she was repeatedly told to get off the floor.

In the U.S., service dogs are not legally required to wear a vest, nor are handlers required to carry any paperwork certifying that they have a service dog for a demonstrable reason. According to the Department of Justice, service dogs are defined as animals trained to perform a task for a person with a disability, and must be permitted to accompany their handler wherever members of the public are generally allowed to go.

However, this does not stop other customers from insisting that dogs do not belong in grocery stores under any circumstances, or store employees from intensely questioning handlers about why they need a service dog, despite DOJ requirements limiting questioning from outside entities to whether or not the dog is required in service of a disability, and what tasks the dog is trained to perform.

In the video posted by @tandem_in_pink, multiple Walmart employees tell the poster to get up off the ground, despite having been alerted by her service dog to sit. The employees also ask how old she is, and tell her to instead sit in a scooter, as well as ask her to go get her dog’s vest out of her car, which she is not legally required to do.

“First employees tried to deny access to my service dog because he is not vested,” a text overlay on the video reads. “Then they told me I couldn’t sit on the floor even though I have POTS.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to @tandem_in_pink via TikTok direct message, as well as to Walmart via contact form regarding the video.

Several viewers were heavily critical of the store employees’ actions, writing that they hoped she faced harsh penalties for her behavior.

“please tell me your reporting this and got her taken care of,” one commenter wrote. “I’m so sorry you went through that.”

“love how she’s hiding her badge,” another commenter wrote. “She knows she’s wrong and still kept talking.”

“Wow unbelievable that woman and everyone agreeing with her should be fired I’m sorry you had to go through that,” a commenter wrote.

Others shared their own experiences of POTS, writing that there really is no other option but to find a safe place to sit or lay down if they feel a fainting spell coming on or a service dog alerts for them.

“have pots too, small service dog, vest or no vest pup is doing their job,” one commenter wrote. “sorry you had to go through this.”

“If I stand right now I will black out that would’ve been first words out my mouth,” another commenter wrote. “They obviously don’t know what pots is.”

“Sometimes I get black and white vison and feel like I will faint there is NO seating anywhere I’ve ran outside to sit on the ground and get fresh air before,” a commenter wrote.


*POTS often begins after a pregnancy, major surgery, trauma or a viral illness. Patients with peripheral nerve damage or a family history of POTS may be at an increased risk of developing the condition. Patients with conditions or medical histories associated with secondary POTS may also be at an increased risk.

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