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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.