Windsor teen concerned after Via Rail says she can’t travel with two service dogs
A Windsor teen is looking for answers after Via Rail said she could not travel with two service dogs.
Emily Sadowski, 19, says she is puzzled because she travelled on the train with the two dogs only four months ago.
“They wouldn't give us an explanation as to why," says Sadowski. “I’ve never had an incident where someone has let me have service dogs with no problem, and seen how good they are, and then they just say no."
In August, Sadowski and with her service dog Priya and another she was training, Lilo, boarded a Via Rail train to Toronto with minor issues.
“Once they realized I was Lilo's trainer and Priya was my service dog, they didn't have any problems."
She figured her upcoming trip, would be a similar experience.
“They said it was a mistake,” she said. “They didn't want to do it again. They've never done it before kind of thing and they wouldn't look at what they've done before, or consider it again."
Sadowski requires a service dog to help with her anxiety and other health issues.
The second dog she was hoping to bring along was to be delivered to her new owner in Toronto.
“I understand this is a special situation, but I have proved that I can deal with a special situation,” says Sadowski. “I've already done it."
Via Rail Canada claims Sadowski and the two dogs were allowed on board the first time, due to confusion with their policy.
In a statement released to CTV Windsor, the company says “Via Rail's policy is to permit one guide dog or emotional support dog per passenger. This policy complies with the Canadian Transportation Agency's code of practice as well as with all requirements under the Canada Transportation Act."
Her father Mark Sadowski feels the entire situation could've been dealt with differently.
“The person I talked to only wanted to talk over me,” says Mark Sadowski. “They didn't want to hear my story. The next person above her was supposed to call me as promised twice, and never received a phone call back.”
Via Rail's statement goes on to say "we have reinforced the details of our policy in internal documents and on our website. We sincerely regret the inconvenience caused by this incident.”
Mark Sadowski says they will figure out something.
He says Via Rail has offered a full refund for Emily's trip later this week, due to the miscommunication, but they have yet to cancel the tickets.