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Navy Veteran’s Service Dog Kicked Off University Campus Because It Was A “Direct Threat”

November 17, 2016

A disabled veteran and student at the University of North Texas is re-evaluating where he will be continuing his education after his service dog was kicked off campus.

Tawan Throngkumpola, a Navy veteran of 12 years who survived 3 IED explosions and three traumatic brain injuries keeps his service dog at his side so that he stays calm and is reminded to take his anti-seizure medication.

Throngkumpola is currently working towards a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, but after receiving a letter from the university saying that his service dog is no longer allowed on the campus due to being a “direct threat to the campus community,” he is re-evaluating his education and whether he will stay at the university. Since the letter, he has dropped a class and is now concerned that he may have to transfer out of the university.

In the letter, the university cited several complaints regarding the service dog, such as the dog barking and lunging at students and staff, startling and disrupting students and staff in class, as well as biting the Office of Disability Accommodation director on the hand as well as the heels.

Throngkumpola is asking that the university give him more time and “understanding” because he and the dog’s trainer are currently working on the disruption. The service dog gets defensive when people get too close to it, but is now taking a refresher course to work on the issue.

A non-profit organization is currently helping Throngkumpola by paying for a hotel through Friday.