Mall Santa Rejects Autistic Girl for Having Service Dog
Little kids sitting on Santa’s lap at the mall is as much a part of the holiday season as egg nog and ugly sweaters, but it’s one experience one autistic girl never got to enjoy.
Seven-year-old Abcde (pronounced ab-suh-dee) Santos, was turned away after standing in line for 30 minutes at a Mission Viejo, California mall because the mall Santa was afraid of her service dog, a pit bull named Pup-Cake.
The Santa and an elf were both fired. The family is not speaking, although they have documented the matter on Pup-Cake’s Facebook page.
The mall, meanwhile, acted swiftly in apologizing:
We share in your concerns regarding the situation today involving a Santa at The Shops at Mission Viejo. We do not condone the behavior displayed by Santa and have worked with our partners at Noerr, the company that hires our Santas, to replace this Santa with one that is more compassionate to our guests’ needs.
A family spokesman said Abcde’s family is content with the way the mall handled the matter.