Dad 'embarrassed and angry' at McDonald's for turning away autistic son due to assistance dog

Odette Odendaal
Nov 29, 2018
04:16 A.M.

At a McDonald’s branch in New Zealand, a father was not allowed to buy his autistic son chicken nuggets because of his son’s assistance dog.


On the way home, Shane Wheeler, from Auckland, stopped at a McDonald’s branch in Bombay to pick up some chicken nuggets for his autistic son Noah and seven-year-old daughter for dinner.

Noah and his assistance dog, Nitro entered the McDonalds store with his dad and sister. But as Shane was busy ordering from the self-service kiosk, a staff member approached them and said pets are not allowed in the store.


He hopes that in sharing his story that the need for better staff training is highlighted especially regarding the importance of assistance dogs.

In spite of the black Labrador wearing a grey vest with the words ‘assistance dog’ written on, the employee kept insisting that Nitro is a pet and not allowed and asked them to leave.

Read more on our Twitter account @amomama_usa.

Embarrassed and angry they left the branch after explaining multiple times that Nitro is not a pet, but an assistance dog for Noah due to his autism.


Still, without chicken nuggets, Shane swallowed his pride and anger and drove to another branch in Mercer down the road where he used the drive-through.

MacDonalds apologized for the incident and assured that the branch owner would be reminding staff of its policy to serve people with registered assistance dogs.

Shane said that he would not boycott McDonald’s only because his son Noah loves their chicken nuggets, but will not go back to the Bombay branch in the future. He hopes that in sharing his story that the need for better staff training is highlighted especially regarding the importance of assistance dogs.


On 18 November Lauren Monument also felt the need to speak up about her experience. The 25-year-old and her husband, David, joined their two nephews at Weston-super-mare to meet up for lunch.

They decided to go to Weston Beach Cafe, but their entry got denied because of Lauren’s guide dog, Goldie. Turned away from being seated inside due to ‘hygiene reason,’ they had to sit outside in the cold or find another place to eat.


Lauren was livid and said she had tried to explain the law to them regarding Guide Dog access, but none of the staff was interested in listening. She explained in part on her Facebook post:

“They sheepishly hid behind the counter and in the kitchen and walked away to avoid all conversation. They accepted my dog was a Guide Dog and refused entry regardless.”

Lauren Monument has a rare genetic disorder and has been blind since she was thirteen years old. She’s had Goldie for five years, and they are constant companions. Deciding to take further action Lauren added:


“I will be taking all the appropriate legal action required and also want to urge you to think twice about whether this is a place you want to spend your money at.”

Weston Beach Cafe disputed the account of events and posted in a statement on Facebook which read in part:

"It is with much regret that I must make this statement concerning a person being refused entry to our café with a guide dog. It is very unfortunate that the lady feels she was discriminated against. We have ALWAYS allowed guide dogs inside the cafe, even during peak season. The cafe currently has a 4.1-star rating based on 144 Google reviews. One of these mentions fantastic food, lovely staff, and a relaxing atmosphere.”


The matter is under investigation to find out exactly what happened that day. A spokesperson for Weston Beach Cafe also said that the CCTV footage is being reviewed. They hope to have the misunderstanding resolved and will give copies of the footage to all concerned.

Service dogs of any nature are an essential part of the everyday lives of those with disabilities. They improve the lives of those with disabilities remarkably, as evident with 11-year-old Bella and her special needs dog, George.


Bella suffers from a rare progressive disorder named Morquio Syndrome and affects her mobility. Her mobility was greatly restricted until her mother decided Bella needs a service animal.

George is a great Dane, and the two of them have been inseparable from day one. After receiving George, she walked again for the first time in years. In a video uploaded by Bark, Bella said:

“I could tell he needed me and I needed him.”

Related posts

My 72-Year-Old Grandma Was Kicked out of Luxury Restaurant - Her Return Few Days Later Left Waiter Pale

April 11, 2024

Cab Driver Denies Hospital Ride to Lady in Labor Unaware the Baby Is His Grandson – Story of the Day

March 11, 2024

'Why Did You Give Birth to Me?' Boy Is Ashamed of Old Mom Until He Learns He's Not Her Son — Story of the Day

July 15, 2024

Boy, 6, Shields His 3-Year-Old Brother in Attempt to Save Him, But Tragically Both Die Later Side by Side

April 25, 2024

King Charles' Rarely Seen Niece, 20, Appears in Reworn $1,725 Dress, Drawing Divided Reactions

June 19, 2024

'Friends' Star David Schwimmer Has One Daughter, 13, Who Shaved Her Head & Called Herself Vegetarian

July 03, 2024

Gray-Haired Tom Selleck, 79, Called 'Sexiest Man Ever' as He Poses at His Ranch in Rare New Photoshoot

April 17, 2024

My Biggest Parenting Fail Sparked Thousands of Reactions & Comments

March 13, 2024

Husband Makes Pregnant Wife Work 40+ Hours & Manage All House Chores — Family Finds Out on Thanksgiving Day

March 26, 2024

My Boyfriend Insisted That I Take 2 Showers a Day - His Odd Request Became Clear When I Met His Mother

July 04, 2024

Rich Old Man Dresses up as a Pauper to Check on His Five-Star Hotel Staff – Story of the Day

April 08, 2024

Man Mocks and Dumps Loyal Wife for Another Woman, Life Dumps Him Later

March 07, 2024

Dog Barks at Coffin during Funeral, Suspicious Son Opens It and Finds It Empty – Story of the Day

May 13, 2024

Dog Barks at Coffin during Funeral, Suspicious Son Opens It and Finds It Empty – Story of the Day

April 30, 2024