HOUSTON — A man is calling attention to Houston-area hotels that he said didn't follow the law when it comes to service animals.
Izeiah Williams, 23, said he was asked to show unrequired documentation about his service dog. He said he's even been refused service as result.
Williams shared a video of one of his recent encounters at a Houston-area hotel.
In the video, the person at the front desk told him he must show proof that his dog is a service dog and also demanded that he pay a $150 pet deposit.
KHOU 11 News is not naming the business in order to give its management an opportunity to respond. Williams said it’s an issue he has encountered at hotels across the city.
“It needs to be known and it's creating problems for real handlers," he said.
Williams has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a disorder that affects connective joints. He said the disorder has led to other underlying medical conditions, which is why he has Ash.
"She’s medical alert and response, psychiatric alert and response and she also she did some do some mobility,” Williams said of his service dog.
Life hasn’t been the easiest for Williams. He said he’s been transient since the age of 17. Williams said he’s currently a certified EMT working multiple jobs to make ends meet.
“At one point, I had to result to staying at my job. I’ve stayed in hotel rooms. I’ve stayed on the street. It's a total gamble where I’m going to be all of the time," he said.
The American Disabilities Association states:
“As Texas law and the ADA state, staff may not ask about the nature of the person’s disability or about the qualifications of the service animal, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the animal, or ask that the animal demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.”
The ADA said violation of the law could result in a $300 fine and community service. A civil case is also allowed to be filed with the courts.
Williams said he’s not looking to take any legal action. He said his goal is to help spread awareness.
“All I wanted to do is educate the staff and make it better for the next person. It’s not all about me, there are going to be other teams and other hotels who go through the same thing," he said.