Adan Gallegos is a decorated veteran who served in the U.S. Army in Iraq. As a result of intense combat and exposure to an explosion, Gallegos returned home at the age of 22 with unseen disabilities of depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He has a service animal named Bootz to remind him to take medication, alert him when someone approaches from behind, and assist him with other tasks related to his disabilities.
One day Gallegos and Bootz entered a mattress store in San Antonio. He informed the owner that his dog was a trained service animal. Nonetheless, the owner of the store yelled and swore at Gallegos and demanded that he and Bootz leave immediately.
DRTx filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Adan Gallegos against the store. Following extensive nationwide news coverage and a public outcry against the store on social media, the parties negotiated and reached a settlement.
“This Iraqi War Hero defended our country, and we’re honored to have been able to defend his rights as veteran with a disability,” said a DRTx attorney who worked on the case.
The war hero went on to work closely with state legislators on the successful passage of “Bootz’s Law,” ensuring that people who use service animals have access for their animals in all Texas establishments. His dog Bootz even co-signed the bill into law with his paw print.
See our legal tip video on the Rights and Responsibilities of Service Animal Owners for more information in the rights and responsibilities of service animal owners.