Boofhead is an assistance dog and recently he and his human won a court battle against an NSW (Australia) RSL club. The basis of the battle was because the club had discriminated against the Border collie and his owner because of the dog’s “pungent” smell and appearance. The court feud had lasted six months but is finally over. As the Border collie wins in court, Jervis Bay RSL was ordered to pay over $16,000 in damages to Boofhead’s owner.
Peter George Reurich is Boofhead’s human and he had been denied entry, services, and membership between 2014 and mid-2015.
Mr. Reurich suffers from an adjustment and personality disorder that results in depression and anxiety. He was told to leave the RSL multiple times because his 11-year-old dog wasn’t appealing to the other people in the club.
“Your dog does not meet the basic health and hygiene standards of the club because he has a pungent smell, his coat is all matted and he is visibly dirty,” RSL employees told Mr. Reurich.
On a separate occasion, an RSL bus driver told Mr. Reurich that “your dog makes me puke”.
“How can you say my dog smells when you smoke cigarettes — you smell of cigarettes,” he replied.
Justice Markovic has decided that the RSL had unlawfully discriminated against Mr. Reurich on 8 separate occasions.
“The old saying goes that a dog is a man’s best friend but, as this case demonstrates, sometimes a dog can be more than that,” the judge stated in Friday’s Federal Court judgment.
“He is a constant companion who, as the evidence demonstrates, Mr. Reurich depends on to assist him in coping with everyday life.” as the Border collie wins in court, Mr. Reurich emphasizes that Boofhead is the only one that keeps him calm when everyone else upsets him. “(Just) leave people alone. If they’ve got a dog, let it be. If they’re in a wheelchair, let them be — help them, don’t hurt them,” he told Network Ten while choking back tears.