Rep. Hurley and Her Dog ‘Snapped at and Yelled at’ in Courthouse

State Rep. Julia Hurley (R-Lenoir City) was kicked out of the Roane County Courthouse for taking her dog in with he, reports WATE-TV.
Hurley claims the 11-pound Chinese crested is a service animal, which is permitted in public places according to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
She had the dog on a leash when it was spotted by County Executive Ron Woody last week.
Hurley says she simply didn’t know dogs weren’t allowed in the courthouse. She says she’s upset because of the way she was treated and the way the situation was handled, not because she and her service dog were told to leave.
“I wasn’t being attacked for my dog being a service dog. I was attacked for having a dog in the courthouse. I was not requested respectfully to remove the dog. I was not spoken to at all. I was snapped at and yelled at across the courthouse,” Rep. Hurley said.
That’s not how Woody says things unfolded. “As I went out of my office, I saw a little dog walking down the hall, and of course it was on a leash so I had asked security, you know we need to get the dogs out of the courthouse. That was basically the extent of it.”
Hurley says the dog was already registered as a service dog when she adopted it, and it serves as a companion.
“That’s why I got her was to be my companion. I mean if I wanted to take her, if I put on her little service sweater and took her to the hospital for cancer patients, then she would be a service dog, but she’s my dog. She’s my companion,” Rep. Hurley explained.
She says the confrontation was to make a point with county employees. “If he has a problem with his employees, he needs to speak with his employees and not use me as an example to get to them.”
UPDATE from Bob Fowler:
By Tuesday, the freshman lawmaker had declared the issue off-limits. “I don’t want to talk about that anymore,” Hurley said. “I don’t think this is appropriate news. What’s going on in Nashville is newsworthy.”
Roane County Commissioner Randy Ellis said he witnessed last week’s incident and described Woody’s behavior as “quiet and respectful” when he asked courthouse security to remove the dog.
Ellis said Woody didn’t address Hurley at the time and disputed Hurley’s claim that her pet is a service dog, saying it doesn’t meet that definition under Americans with Disabilities Guidelines.

3 thoughts on “Rep. Hurley and Her Dog ‘Snapped at and Yelled at’ in Courthouse

  1. From Roane County

    Hey, this is an unfair piece of publicized news. Our Rep Hurley has put Roane County on the map by the publicity she has received. More publicity = more attention to Roane County.
    After all, in the history of Roane County, never has their been a need to have signs “pets disallowed” — Roane County now needs to invest in employee hours to post signs, has an expenditure of purchasing the signs, and needs to train employees on the process of security of the building.
    The attitude of “this is not newsworthy” expressed by our LC Rep should be not newsworthy to the ignorant and disrespectful.
    Maybe now Roane County will have to get a federal grant to offer dog-sitting or build a doggie park so that all the people who bring their pooches to the courthouse will have a place to keep them safe during courthouse visits.
    Oh, wait, misstatement — a doggie problem in the courthouse has only happened once in over two hundred years.
    I see a reality show!

  2. Lola

    Seems Ms. Hurley doesn’t know the difference between a Service Dog and a Therapy Dog. The former are task trained to assist someone with a disability and the latter go into nursing homes or hospitals. This isn’t a SD and Ms. Hurley has no access rights with it.

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