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May 21,2007
Man stands up for those with guide dogs
by UPI

HOUSTON -- A Massachusetts man is ruffling feathers in Houston after a limousine driver refused to take him, his wife and a friend to the airport with their guide dogs.

The Houston Chronicle reported Sunday that Carl Richardson has waited two months for Houston authorities to take his case seriously. Richardson, who is blind, reportedly was visiting Houston with his wife when the incident occurred. Richardson said the driver also refused his friend, Joseph Yee, who also had a guide dog with him.

"We want the driver to know there is a consequence to do this so he will think twice about doing it again," Richardson said. "This is the law, and I feel he should be fined according to Texas law."

Under Texas law, refusing transportation to a person with an assistance animal is punishable with a fine of $300 to $1,000, the Chronicle reported. Since Richardson's complaint, lawmakers in Texas are reportedly reviewing laws regarding disabled people and their assistance animals.

The Chronicle talked to several people with disabilities who say Richardson's experience with the driver is not at all uncommon. A nationwide online community of guide dog users has rallied behind Richardson through the ordeal.

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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