Hotel turns family away because of service dog

Posted at: 04/26/2013 7:35 PM
By: Chris Ramirez, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A New Mexico family claims they were denied a room at an Albuquerque hotel because of their service dog.

Jim Deverman and his son Tim Melton were planning on starting at the In Town Suites near Jefferson and Interstate 25. The rooms are a decent price and clean, which made it at tractive for the family who needed a temporary place to stay.

They said they were surprised when they were turned away because of Tim’s service dog, Blitzen the Husky.

Blitzen and Tim Melton go together like Aspirin and a headache. Tim is 24, but his father says he has the mental maturity of a 12-year-old. The medicine to control Tim's mental disability comes on four white legs.

“Our service dogs are larger breeds because of his size are trained to help calm him down when he gets into one of his PTSD moods or fits,” Jim said.

Jim said a home renovation project forced them into a hotel, and In Town Suites was the one of their choice, but a no-pet policy prevented them from staying there.

"They said the dogs were not allowed because it wasn't a seeing-eye dog,” Jim said.

Tim even has a doctor’s note explaining the dog's uses.

"I believe the use of these animals as service animals will help his mood and irritability problems,” Jim said of his son Tim.

The hotel’s manager said he doesn’t deny service animals and that more information could be found at the corporate hotline.

After KOB Eyewitness News 4 On Your Side’s inquiry into Jim and Tim’s denial to stay at the hotel, the hotel’s corporate office said the matter had been reviewed and that Jim, Tim and Blitzen would be welcomed after all.