Couple claims pet snake is ‘service animal,’ brings it to restaurant

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

This man ate with the boa constrictor around his neck (Photo credit: KYTV)

(August 16, 2015) — Snake wasn’t on the menu of a Missouri restaurant, but that’s what patrons got — along with a side of rattled nerves.

A reptile, thought to be a boa constrictor, was brought into an eatery in Nixa, Missouri, this week, sending some fleeing.

Lisa Loeffelholz told CNN affiliate KYTV that she spotted a man and a woman holding the snake and “it started to slither down into the booth behind her.”

Loeffelholz said she notified the restaurant manager — who said the couple insisted the snake was a service animal and the restaurant should allow it to stay.

But just the sight of the woman apparently pulling the animal and then handing it over to the man at the table was enough to make Loeffelholz confront the snake handlers about their slippery excuse.

“He said, ‘It’s my service animal. And I’m allowed to have it because it helps me with my depression,'” she told the affiliate.

The snake may have had a calming effect on the couple, but by no means can it legally be deemed a service animal.

The American with Disabilities Act states “only dogs are recognized as service animals.”

And if the snake posed a concern for public safety, then patrons could have notified police or animal control, according to Nixa city’s communications director, Jill Finney.

“Management didn’t know what to do, because they didn’t want to violate anybody’s rights, and that’s understandable,” Finney told the affiliate.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.