Mum ‘asked to leave’ Sainsbury’s as staff say her support dog ‘is not real’

A disabled mum says she was booted out of a Sainsbury's store after workers insisted that her support dog "was not real".

Bex Clifton said staff at the grocery outlet in Basingstoke, Hampshire, "shouted at her" in front of other shoppers and her daughter.

She says she had been in the supermarket for around 25 minutes on December 2 when staff spotted her and her emotional support dog Maxxy.

Mum Bex, who is living with an invisible disability, said she felt she had been discriminated against during the episode.

"It made me feel discriminated against," Ms Clifton said.

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"I've got a disability and them shouting at me made me feel discriminated.

"The second time my daughter was with me and she was in tears.

"[The Sainsbury's worker] was shouting from the customer service desk to the door 'he's not a service dog'.

"Everyone was looking at us and it was making us feel different."

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The Sainbury's worker allegedly said Maxxy, a nine-year-old Jack Russell collie cross, was not a real service dog.

Ms Clifton, from Basingstoke, says she has since complained to the supermarket giant and received an apology and a gift voucher in return.

She added: "This was about raising awareness.

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"A lot of people don't really know what an assistance dog really is, everyone thinks it's a guide dog and that's it.

"Not many people have heard of emotional support animals."

A Sainsbury's spokesman said: "We have apologised to Rebecca for her experience and provided her with a gesture of goodwill so that we can welcome her back into store with Maxxy."

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