McDonalds Manager Punches Mother Over Autism Service Dog


The mother of two autistic boys was punched in the face by a McDonalds manager in Marietta, Georgia. According to WSBTV, on July 12, Jennifer Schwenker had brought her twin boys and their service dog, Barkley, to the McDonalds. A surveillance tape shows one of the boys and Barkley playing in the McDonalds playplace area. It was only as the family was on the verge of leaving that Tiffany Denise Allen, the manager who was off-duty at the time, told Schwenker that the dog was not allowed in the McDonalds.

Schwenker explained that Barkley was a service dog for her two children and offered to show a permit. Under federal law, service dogs are allowed in public places such as restaurants. But after that, as shown by a surveillance tape, Allen followed the family, even to the restroom. When Schenker and her children tried to leave, she lost track of one child and — I can more than relate to this, recalling how I’ve panicked when I’ve lost sight of my 14-year-old son Charlie — she dropped her drink and splashed Allen.  After this, Allen ran “in a rage” after Schwenker to her car and punched her in the face.


Marietta police Detective Gwen Lewis told Davis that she has never seen anything like it.

Schwenker did not want to speak to Davis about the incident, but her husband said they are talking to a lawyer.

Allen is charged with battery assault and disorderly conduct.

The owners of the store said they are “fully cooperating with the police department in their investigation” and have terminated Allen, who has also been issued an arrest warrant.

Allen’s behavior was certainly extreme. Unfortunately, she’s not the only one who has — in contradiction to the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) — said that service dogs are not allowed in restaurants, grocery stores and other places.

According to Life With Dogs, an Albuquerque Hooters restaurant refused to serve Air Force Master Sergeant Justin Jordan because of his licensed service dog, Dallas. Jordan suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and says that Dallas has helped him to go out more in public. Even after Jordan showed documentation that Dallas was a service dog, the restaurant manager called police to remove Jordan and Dallas — and then, even after the police sided with Jordan, the restaurant manager refused to serve them.

Further, the New Haven Register reports that Air Force veteran Kim Mucha has been told she will be arrested for trespassing if she returns to the Big Y Supermarket in North Haven, CT, after her service dog, Ivy, defecated in the store’s aisle. Mucha noted that she cleaned up after her dog immediately and has “seen old people and kids make messes on the floor and nobody ever threatened to have them arrested.”

Clearly more than a few businesses need to review what the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) says about service animals and the essential function they serve for many Americans.

Related Care2 Coverage

Alabama Passes Bill to Allow Autism Therapy Dogs in Schools

Disabled Veteran and His Dog Targeted by City Officials

Prison Inmate Trains Therapy Dog For Autistic Boy

Photo by Crjs452 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Leanne K
Leanne K14 hours ago

As appalling as that is, it shows a lack of training for starters and perhaps stress. It would be interesting to know how the now ex manager explains why she behaved so poorly.

Ben O
Ben Oscarsitoyesterday

This happened FIVE years ago, time for an update...???

Roslyn McBride
Roslyn McBride3 days ago

Can't believe anyone would behave so badly, glad the woman lost her job & is under arrest.

Beverley F
Beverley F3 days ago

What an absolute moron.

Julie B
Julie B6 days ago

Why are we being given this news to comment as its back in 2011. We need articles which is happening at present. Bring changes to changes at this time

Jetana A
Jetana A9 days ago

OLD article from 2011. Retire it or update it! We get stressed enough from current bad news.

Sheri Schongold
Sheri Schongold9 days ago

This is not a replacement needed for McDonalds. It is a replacement needed of the brain of that stupid manager. In her case, it wouldn't matter which store they were in, she was going to have her way and law be damned. I am glad she was fired, but even happier she was arrested. Hopefully they will put her away for a while and she will learn a lesson.

Julie B
Julie B9 days ago

I have believed a long time McDonalds needs to be replaced. As we deserve good wholesome healthy foods. Especially to our young and growing generations. Time to move onto Healthy options thankyou

sheena arsenault
sheena arsenault10 days ago


David C
David C10 days ago