Service-dog-in-training not welcome at Elizabethtown church - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Service-dog-in-training not welcome at Elizabethtown church

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ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- An Elizabethtown church is refusing to let a service-dog in-training inside, and now the dog’s foster family says they will go somewhere else.

Connor Wright, 3, lives with autism and cerebral palsy, and after a year of fundraising, his family received a 6-month-old Golden Retriever puppy to be trained as a special needs dog.

Connor’s mom Julee posted on Facebook that her family received the dog and was then contacted by their church, Severns Valley Baptist Church, saying the dog was not welcomed inside.

“I literally hung up the phone and cried, because we love it at that church," Wright said. "We literally looked at it as a family."

The church issued a statement saying, “Severns Valley does not allow service-animals-in-training,” which is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Wright said the church's board of trustees voted the puppy would not be allowed inside but added in a statement to WDRB:

“Severns Valley attempted to clearly express its desire to further discuss this particular service animal issue and conveyed that it would prayerfully consider accommodating this request at the appropriate time.”

Wright says thanks, but no thanks.

“The way we look at it is if he is not welcomed, then we are not welcomed, and we will not be back,” she said.

The puppy, named Kool, will stay with the Wright’s for another few months until he goes to his new, permanent family, just like a dog is doing now before joining the Wrights in June.

Connor’s special needs are severe enough he needs a service dog at his side 24 hours a day, and that includes when the family is at church. 

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