INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis man is calling for change after he was turned away from attending a concert because of his service animal.
The bar doesn’t allow animals; however, the law says the man and his dog should have been let in. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, anywhere the general public is allowed, so are service animals.
That is what Thomas Jordan was trying to explain before he, his dog and his fiancé were asked to leave 8 Seconds Saloon, a nightclub at 111 N. Lynhurst Drive.
Thomas Jordan is an Army veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and a traumatic brain injury. That is why anywhere Jordan goes, his service dog, Luka, follows.
“So, if I am having a panic attack, he will apply pressure on me try to ground me, bring me back to where I need to be. He also does medication reminders and reminds me of my heart rate and my blood pressure. If they get elevated, he will alert me to that to take my meds as well,“ Jordan said.
Jordan trained Luka himself, which, according to ADA Indiana, isn‘t too unusual.
“I take Luka in because he is medical equipment. Essentially, he is a wheelchair, he is an oxygen tank, he is a pacemaker. I mean, if you can think of a piece of medical equipment, that is what Luka is. So if I want to go somewhere, Luka has to go with me,“ Jordan said.
He had bought tickets to a concert at 8 Seconds Saloon, but the operators do not allow animals inside the building.
“They turned us away because we had a service dog. We explained to them, ‘Hey this is a service dog, by law it is allowed to be in here. Here is the ADA law on in.’“
But, Jordan said, that didn’t matter to the saloon.
While he will get over the money lost on the tickets, he is more concerned with the principle. “Well, the biggest frustrater for me was, one, not being able to attend a concert I wanted to see of a band that I liked. And then, two, it was the way the general manager portrayed the situation to me.”
Jordan is hoping his story can create more awareness for those both with and without visible disabilities.
“You know it affects me, but if I look in the bigger picture, it affects disabled vets like me. It affects other disabled people,“ Jordan said.
News 8 spokes to the general manager of 8 Seconds Saloon, and he said that what happened to Jordan is not their policy.
The ADA has provided a page where they answer frequently asked questions about service animals and state regulations surrounding them.