Autistic boy, assistance dog turned away from Auckland McDonald's

  • 28/11/2018

McDonald's has been forced to apologise to an upset father and his 9-year-old son after they were kicked out for bringing in an assistance dog.

Shane Wheeler was asked to leave the McDonald's in Bombay after entering the restaurant with two children and assistance dog Nitro, NZME reports.

The dog assists Mr Wheeler's son Noah, who has autism, and keeps him calm. He wears a grey "assistance dog" vest, but that didn't stop staff from refusing to take Mr Wheeler's order.

Mr Wheeler tried to explain the dog's purpose to the worker, but they kept telling him pets were not allowed in the restaurant and the family had to leave.

"It went back and forward for a couple of minutes and I was just so embarrassed and angry about the whole thing that I just had to get out before I yelled at the guy," Mr Wheeler told NZME.

"This guy was adamant that Nitro was a pet and not an assistance dog."

Noah has quite a restricted diet, so Mr Wheeler took him to the Mercer McDonalds instead and ordered from the drive through.

He complained to McDonald's, who admitted the staff member got it wrong.

"It appears there has been an oversight by a staff member in this case and we apologise for the incident," spokesperson Simon Kenny told NZME.

"On receiving the complaint the franchisee investigated with restaurant staff and will be following up with the customer."