Blind bloke turned away from cafe because adorable guide dog was too fluffy

A blind man has been left "disgusted" after he was refused entry to a cafe because because his guide dog was too “large and fluffy”.

Stephen Vallance, 44, has slammed the eatery's owner as an "arrogant pig" for turning him and his mum away on April 10.

The mother and son were told were hoping for a spot of breakfast at Star Cafe in Sidcup, south east London, but were told their alsatian labrador cross meant they had to sit outside in the cold.

Despite banning guide dog owners from businesses being against the law, the company refused to apologise and simply explained they will lose customers if they let "large and fluffy" animals indoors.

Guide Dogs said it is “completely unacceptable and illegal” for a business or service to refuse entry to a customer with a guide dog.

A couple days later Stephen son went back to Star Cafe with a guide dog trainer only to be turned away once again.

Mr Vallance said: "He [the cafe owner] is an arrogant pig. I think he's got an attitude problem. I think he doesn't like dogs, but it's not fair on blind people.

"What he is saying is rubbish, we've been into other cafes, pubs, shops. Wills is a normal size dog."

Ann Vallance also claimed the same cafe turned Stephen away on a previous visit when he was with his previous guide dog, called Linton.

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She said: “I told the gentleman that Wills was a working dog, and my son is blind. But he insisted that it’s against his policy to have the dog in the café. It’s disgusting, I'm absolutely furious.

“Stephen has a lot of health issues going on and every other café has been amazing – it is just this one.

“We had the same issue there a couple of years back when Stephen had Linton – a black Labrador who was also a guide dog."

Ann said the cafe owner offered them a seat outside, but Stephen recently had a kidney transplant so could not sit in the cold.

Star Café in Sidcup claimed there was not enough room for the mother and son as well as the 'large' dog.

A spokesman said: “You know, I've known them [Ann and Stephen] for years. The guide dog is too large and fluffy.

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“The people in the coffee shop do not like it, so we lose customers. She appeared the other day with the large dog but there was no room.

“She doesn’t understand – she just thinks because there’s a guide dog, they can go anywhere they want and sit anywhere they like, but it doesn’t work that way.

“We've got tables and chairs outside, and she doesn't want that. That’s the reason why I won’t let them in again.”

Clive Wood, lead regional policy and campaigns manager at Guide Dogs, commented: “It’s utterly shocking an access refusal took place even after Stephen and Ann explained Wills was a working guide dog.

“All blind and partially sighted people deserve to be able to live their lives the way they want, and feel confident, independent and supported in the world."

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