Seth Cole made national news in 2014 when the disabled veteran made a claim against a Great Clips shop located in North Spokane. Cole claimed that the shop refused to allow him in the shop because of his service dog. He suffers from PTSD and seizures relating to a head injury from a grenade when he served in Iraq. Coles’ dog, Sally, helps him manage his condition.
After his story aired on the Spokane news he received an apology from the CEO of Great Clips who promised to emphasize to its employees the proper way to handle customers who have service animals. The CEO also called it a “regrettable misunderstanding.”
While Cole accepted the apology, he feels that the experience can help companies learn proper customer service techniques and develop proper policies were service animals are concerned.
An instructor at Glen Dow Academy had heard Cole’s story and contacted Cole to offer him a free haircut. Cole was just the first of many veterans that would receive free haircuts. The academy launched a policy to serve veterans by offering free haircuts.
The free cuts are now offered weekly and the academy averages 40 per month. Siobhan Brown, who is one of the instructors, said that some veterans cry when they find out that their haircut is free. She feels they deserve to be thanked for their service and this is the school’s way of honoring them.
Victoria Obleness is a student at the academy and the spouse of a veteran. Offering the free haircuts has meant a lot to her she said, especially since she has many family members with military service.
For his part, Cole is happy to have helped create awareness for those who need the service of a companion animal.