Santa Turns Away Autistic Girl Because Of Her Service Dog, So Hope He Doesn’t Expect Cookies This Year

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Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 4.20.35 PMA California mall Santa and an elf were fired this week for allegedly refusing to see a little girl who had brought her service dog with her, and the girl’s parents say it was because the dog is a pit bull.

According to Fox, 7-year-old Abcde Santos (her name is pronounced “Ab-suh-Dee”) went to The Shops at Mission Viejo with her pit bull service dog, Pup-Cake, to see Santa, but the Santa allegedly turned her away saying “those dogs eat people.”

According to a press release from a friend of Abcde’s family,

“After the Santos family offered to remove the dog from the area, the building, Santa still refused to see the child; sending her away heartbroken leaving a family to comfort a child instead of celebrating her accomplishments.”

On Pup-Cake’s Facebook page, Abcde’s family claims the Santa “suddenly became allergic” when they pointed out that it was illegal to turn the service dog away and refused to see the little girl or even wave at her, even though the family offered to remove the dog from the building.

The Santa’s alleged allergy story does not seem to hold up very well. People with dog allergies can easily react to dander on people’s clothes, but if that were the case, the Santa would have to not see any children who owned or had been playing with dogs, but the mall was not screening any other children for exposure to dogs before seeing Santa.

A lot of people are afraid of pit bulls, but a service dog is a service dog. They’re allowed to go places other dogs are not, and the dog’s breed does not change that.

The mall says the Santa and an elf were fired, though neither the Santa nor the elf have commented on the story. The mall also said it would be getting a new Santa, and Abcde and Pup-Cake would be invited to see him together.

Photo: Facebook/Pup-Cake The Service Dog