Veteran’s service dog turned away at Illinois store

ROCKFORD, IL (WCMH) — A military veteran was kicked out of an Illinois store all because of his service dog, and part of incident was caught on camera.

Wherever Cesar Ordonez goes, an angel is not far behind. Ordonez is an Iraq War veteran, and Angel is his service dog.

“He’s actually literally brought me back to life,” Ordonez told NBC affiliate WREX. “We don’t leave each other’s side much.”

So when Ordonez stopped for a snack and drink at a store in Rockford, Angel came with him. A store employee confronted him and told him not to bring the dog in the store any more.

Ordonez recorded part of the incident on his cell phone.

“Yeah don’t bring that dog in here no more,” the employee says in the video. “If you have to have the dog go somewhere else.”

The store worker would not comment much about the incident but noted that Angel was big and scary-looking.

Ordonez said he doesn not want anything to happen to the worker or the store–he just wants to raise awareness.

“The more important thing to me is more people need to know about this kind of stuff,” he said. “It happens a lot more than people realize.”

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said service dogs do not need to be certified to be allowed in stores. She said her office will investigate the incident if Ordonez chooses to pursue that option. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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