A Delaware Christmas tree farm is under fire after the owners refused to let a U.S. Marine veteran bring his service dog onto the property.
Brenden and Felisha Leets tell radio station WGMD they were furious when the owner of the Pine Hollow Christmas Tree Farm in Milton denied entry to the service dog.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Mrs. Leets told the radio station. “We’re out with our family, in public, and we go to get a simple Christmas tree and somebody has to be so disrespectful. It’s upsetting.”
Leets said he tried to explain that under federal law they were obligated to allow the service dog into the farm.
The radio station reached out to the owners of the farm — and they are defending their decision to ban the dog.
“After years of having dogs on the farm, the damage and liability that they cause, we changed our policy years ago and all dogs, service dogs, therapy dogs, companion dogs, we just can’t have them on the farm for the obvious reason that the product we’re selling is what dogs urinate against, it causes the trees to turn brown,” Shelley Sposato told the radio station. “Not only that, there are messes all over the farm that people don’t clean up.”
She said the Marine veteran was allowed on the property, but not his dog.
“We’re just saying that the service dog can’t come, and some people will leave and some will stay,” Mr. Sposato said. “We love it when children run up and down the rows of trees and my biggest fear is that a child will be running and someone will walk through the trees with a dog and the child will hit the dog and the dog may get scared and may bite that child and we don’t want that to happen. We have a lot of children out there.”