A TikTok user named Erika, a.k.a @chaticqxeen, filmed a woman who was on her phone and complaining about the TikToker's emotional support animal (ESA) being allowed inside a restaurant.
ESAs are not guaranteed entrance to public spaces like of service animals, but a business can decide to allow entrance to any animal they want within the laws in their area. While Erika had no "right" under the Americans with Disabilities Act to bring her dog in, the restaurant approved it and the animal was under control.
The clip, in which the aggravated woman loudly discussed her displeasure at the sight of Erika's companion animal, has gone viral with over 612,000 views since being uploaded on TikTok two weeks ago.
The woman never addressed Erika directly in the video but made it known who she was talking about on the phone while standing in front of her.
The text accompanying the clip read:
"[Entitled woman] was mad bc I had my ESA service dog inside of the restaurant with me."
"Mind you my dog is just laying on the floor behind me and the manager was okay with her being inside the business."
#WelcomeBack #karensgonewild #ChiliDogYumPlz #karen #LiveFlowSweatDuet #fypシ #servicedog #esadog
The woman rolled her eyes, waved her arms in frustration about the presence of the sedentary animal, and also repeatedly slapped her thigh to make her exasperation more evident.
The flustered woman explained to the listener on the phone what the role of a companion animal was to a person with a disability.
"A service dog has to be trained to do something the doctor has recommended that you cannot do for yourself," she huffed.
"An emotional support animal just has to provide emotional support. It's not the same thing."
The American Kennel Club states while all dogs offer an emotional connection to their owner:
"To legally be considered an emotional support dog, also called an emotional support animal (ESA), the pet needs to be prescribed by a licensed mental health professional to a person with a disabling mental illness."
"A therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist must determine that the presence of the animal is needed for the mental health of the patient."
The club's website additionally clarified the difference between an ESA and a service dog.
"ESAs provide support through companionship and can help ease anxiety, depression, and certain phobias."
"However, they are not service dogs, and ESA users do not receive the same accommodations as service dog users."
"A service dog, such as a guide dog or psychiatric service dog, is generally allowed anywhere the public is allowed; ESAs are not."
"For example, ESAs generally cannot accompany their owners into restaurants or shopping malls."
But the woman appeared to interpret the information as a situation requiring calling the police or animal control on Erika.
"This dog should not be in a public place!" the woman yelled.
The patrons seen in the video looked more annoyed by the dramatic disruption than by the presence of the well-behaved animal.
Though the comments have been turned off on TikTok, the clip was also shared on the Public Freakout subReddit where users sounded off on the woman who was skeptical about the role of Erika's dog.
Although many social media users were appalled at the woman's behavior, the biggest takeaway in the subReddit comments was how much the woman's thigh took a beating during her public rant.
The Daily Dot reached out to Erika for more comments or an update but has not heard back.