Kosovich family’s horror as autism assistance dog denied entry to Melbourne cafe

Family are left FURIOUS after being refused entry to a cafe because their autistic son had an assistance dog with him

  • Boy who suffers from autism denied entry to cafe because of his assistance dog
  • Noah, 9, was going for breakfast with his parents when they were turned away
  • This is despite the Melbourne cafe legally not allowed to tell them no
  • The autistic boy was left traumatised hiding under a blanket on the way home 

A Melbourne family has spoken out after they were refused entry to a cafe because their autistic son was with an assistance dog.

Kate and Murray Kosovich, and their son, Noah, 9, tried to visit a popular Melbourne cafe for some breakfast along with the assistance dog, but they were turned away at the door.

This is despite the family having a special permit which allows their dog into venues because Noah has autism.

The manager told them dogs are not permitted at the venue, ruining their day and leaving their son traumatised.

‘Noah was not happy at all. He hopped under a blanket in the car on the way home and that’s how we travelled home,’ his mother Kate told Sunrise.

Noah Kosovich (middle) and his support dog Claudia went to grab some breakfast with his parents Kate (left) and Murray (right) at a Melbourne cafe when a waiter informed them dogs weren't permitted, leaving Noah traumatised and hiding under a blanket on the trip home

Noah Kosovich (middle) and his support dog Claudia went to grab some breakfast with his parents Kate (left) and Murray (right) at a Melbourne cafe when a waiter informed them dogs weren’t permitted, leaving Noah traumatised and hiding under a blanket on the trip home

Noah Kosovich is pictured with his support dog Claudia. Service Dogs Australia says autistic children with an assistance dog 'show remarkable improvement across their social, verbal and cognitive skills'.

Noah Kosovich is pictured with his support dog Claudia. Service Dogs Australia says autistic children with an assistance dog ‘show remarkable improvement across their social, verbal and cognitive skills’.

Kate said Noah’s assistance dog, Claudia, is no different from a guide dog and had helped her son conquer many fears.

‘She does this beautiful thing called the ‘nudge’, just saying “hello I’m here, can you give me attention”,’ Kate previously told the Herald Sun. ‘He’ll just pat her quietly, and it’ll bring him out of what’s going on in his head.’

They say even other cafe goers were also shocked by the attitude of the manager who denied them entry.

‘It is hard learning how to handle the dog and going out in public. So you know, just to be met with someone that says blatantly “No” is absolutely wrong. I would hate that to happen to someone else. It’s not right at all,’ Kate said.

‘We had each other to protect and look after. But I just kept thinking, imagine if this was someone with visual impairment or you know, one of the guys with PTSD, and they were by themselves or a young adult with their first assistance dog going out to a cafe.

Following the ordeal Ms Kosovich says she has attempted on multiple occasions to call the cafe to speak to them but their phone just rings out

Following the ordeal Ms Kosovich says she has attempted on multiple occasions to call the cafe to speak to them but their phone just rings out

Noah’s mother has tried to speak to the cafe about the incident, but they are not picking up the phone. 

Autism is a persistent developmental disorder, evident from early childhood which affects almost 1 in every 150 Australian children.

If a child is granted access to an assistance dog, the animal is allowed in any public place or transport – with the exception of zoos, aquariums, sterile environments, food preparation areas and quarantine areas.

It is illegal for a venue to refuse entry for an assistance dog.

Service Dogs Australia says autistic children with an assistance dog ‘show remarkable improvement across their social, verbal and cognitive skills’.

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