A pound shop has apologised after a blind shopper was turned away when staff objected to her guide dog Rooney.

Debbie Goad has been reliant on Rooney, her Labrador cross retriever, since her sight worsened last year.

The 46-year-old who lives in Coutts Avenue, Chessington, went into Pound Value on Tolworth Broadway to buy a frying pan on Friday, March 25.

But when she walked in she was approached by three separate members of staff who each asked her to leave citing a no dogs policy.

She said: “I’m a confident person and have only been losing my sight since I was 40.

“I felt harassed and distressed. At first I thought it is one of those things but I can’t believe it.”

“I think it is disgusting. To be turned around and told to get out of the shop by three people. I thought you only got thrown out for stealing.

“This is the first time and hopefully the last. “ Her husband and carer, Steve Goad, 54, said: “I feel absolutely gobsmacked. It upset my wife and it upset me.

“It should never happen.”

Sue Sharp, head of public policy and campaigns for Guide Dogs, said shop owners cited hygiene but it was not a lawful reason to discriminate against people with guide dogs using a shop or restaurant.

She said: “We regularly receive complaints that guide dog owners have been refused access with their dogs which can be very distressing.

“Staff often cite hygiene issues. The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health Officers has confirmed that guide and other assistance dogs should have access to these premises and that there is no conflict with hygiene laws.”

Manager Afshan Niawaz said it was a misunderstanding. She said: “We have got a no dogs policy but if someone is blind we need to understand this of course.

“I do apologise and I’m sorry. I will definitely let them in in the future. I have served a customer who was blind and I let him in and I helped him myself.

“I feel really bad. If I can see her in the future I will apologise.”