Man with Eye Seeing Dog Refused by Doctor

In dog, news

Remember that restaurant owner who went to jail for refusing a customer with an eye seeing dog?

Well, apparently, restaurant entrepreneurs aren’t the only ones who suffer from making bad decisions.

Meet Joe Cichonski.

Joe is legally blind.

In fact, he can only see shapes, sizes, light, and shadows.

Like a lot of people with visual disability, Joe has an eye seeing dog, Hero:

When Joe went to Dr. Priya Punjabi of Bridgetown, PA to get a physical to apply for his social security benefits, guess what the doctor told him.

“No pets are allowed in here”

According to My Fox Philly:

Hero is Cichonski’s guide dog, his best friend, and so much more.

That relationship is protected by federal law. These two are allowed to go anywhere together, including church, hospitals, and doctors’ offices. And yet when they arrived here last week, Cichonski’ said Dr. Punjabi told him, “the dog is not allowed in the office, it is a pet.”

“She came in and told me we had a problem,” Crystal Cichonski said about the incident involving her husband. “She said is that your husband, I said yes. She said well I asked him to leave because no pets are allowed in here.”

“it just floored me. I said you gotta be kidding me!” added Joe Cichonski.

Crystal Cichonski alsohad applied for social security benefits, and needed a doctor’s exam to qualify. But she says when Dr. Punjabi saw Hero in the waiting room, she said there was another problem.

“She said I refuse to examine you, and I’ll call social security. So I just got up and left and went outside.”

In her defense, Dr.Priya Punjabi told the police that she had “dog phobia”.

Yeah, apparently she thinks “phobias” are good enough an excuse for breaking a FEDERAL law.

Here’s the video clip:

Should Dr. Punjabi be exempt from the legal repercussion of breaking a federal law just because she has a “phobia”?

Write your thoughts in the comment box below.

To Dr.Punjabi:

I have a phobia of high medical bills.

I should go to your office, get all the service I want, and LEAVE… and I shouldn’t have to pay OR go to jail because well, high-medical-bill-o-phobia is the number one killer of, well, wallets.


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Showing 6 comments
  • Melissa


  • Melissa

    What a same, that doctor should know better.

  • Donna Sweeney

    What a Bitch, those kind always claim phobia or religion reasons
    Like come on, no dog can even touch Them, They think contagiouse.

    They r the contagiouse.
    C Religion My @ss
    She claimed Phobia lmfao

    Who cares the law is the law.
    Every other person can start saying that now 2 if She can.

    Nice way 2 get away with it.

  • Lydia buitenwerf

    What’s next for people who need seeing eye dog’s are they going to be band for not only restrants and’s but mall’s and bus’s as well if so what are this people suppose to do. They deserve to be treated with respect and dignity lets see they keep it.

  • Isabella

    AH HAHAHA! This bitch can kiss her medical license goodbye! Doctors of all people,should realize the necessity of service dogs! Phobia? Phobia my ass,you’re just a BITCH. I have a service dog myself. She is a seizure alert dog (she was actually in an article done right here,by PawshPal!). I have epilepsy,she’s my service dog that alerts me to oncoming seizures. That being said,she’s also 18 lbs. She’s a min pin,and many people are confused by seeing a small breed dog,as a service dog. She’s small,but she saves my life everyday! I rarely have issues taking her everywhere I go. Occasionally I’ll get a – ” You can’t have a dog in here”,or “only service dogs are allowed”. But,the minute I tell them that she is a service dog (of course,they could always just READ IT ON HER VEST,that she always wears),then they back down,and smile. One time in our Walmart,a chick in the electronics department was standing there,and said, “sorry,you can’t have that dog in here”. So,I nicely explained that she was a service dog,blah,blah. She continues to harass me,saying there’s no such thing as a service dog that’s not a seeing eye dog,and that I would have to “stand right over here and wait for her manager to come over”. At this point I’m getting irritated. Then she starts in telling me I’m a horrible person,because I’m mocking blind people. I continually told her about the dog,what she does,and that she is legally a service dog,and at this point told her she’d be best to shut up now,because she was gonna lose her job there in a minute. She didn’t stop,and then told me 2 of her kids were blind,I was making fun of them and that I was going to be in a lot of trouble for impersonating a blind person. (Once again,my dog wears a vest where it CLEARLY says ” SERVICE DOG”. On one side it also says “SEIZURE ALERT DOG”,and on the other side says “PLEASE DO NOT PET”. AND,I told her 50 times that I had epilepsy,she was my seizure alert dog,a service dog,and what she did). So,at this point I had had it. I’ll spare you the verbal assault I lashed upon her,causing quite the scene,and ended with finally making fun of her “blind” children. Not nice,but I was nice for wayyy too long with her,and she finally ticked me off to the hilt. I made her cry,and then a manager came,and she was fired (and I didn’t say a word of complaint to Walmart). Walmart just doesn’t want that kind of publicity,and is smart enough to know better,and know they could have the shit sued out of them for something like that. The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) states loud and clear; there are only 2 question a business of any kind may ask. That’s -“Is that dog a service dog?” And “what task does said service dog perform?”. Anything beyond that,they cannot ask (and I mean in terms of allowing/not allowing access etc. a lot of people are also just curious in general,and I’m more than happy to talk all about her and what she does). But,if they harass,refuse entry,services,access,or treat them differently from any other customer or person on the premises,they can be fined up to 1 million dollars by the ADA,and then sued privately by the “injured party”. They can also lose their licenses,up to their losing their business license altogether,and in some rare circumstances,can be jailed for it. The point of this sordid story,is that,the man and his wife in this story,handled the situation with great grace,dignity,class,and patience. Something I most certainly would not have been able to do. In all likelihood,I would have shoved that stethoscope directly up that “doctors” ass,and told her to get the HELL out of my country,and back to where the camels roam,and the rags are worn,where she came from. Good for these two though! Good people! How mean,rude and insensitive,Dr.Priya Punjabi is! No much of a physician if she doesn’t even know the necessity of a service dog for a patient. AND the bitch told them that she was going to CALL social security disability office and “report” them? AH HAHAHA! Is that what it takes to get a doctor to actually get off their ass and correspond to SSI?! Whadda total bitch! “A phobia”. Sure,ok…we all buy that…NOT! And,even if she is truly completely petrified of dogs,being a doctor,once again,she would know that a service dog is trained to concentrate on the task they perform,and their handler,and nothing,or no one else! They are beyond well trained,and do not give a whit about others around them,let alone attack or so much as look at someone cross-eyed. What a total TWIT this idiot is! I say…ship her back to her own country!

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