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Veteran says church turned him away because of service dog

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CLARKSVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A therapy dog has made a big difference for a Fort Campbell veteran, but he said his church turned him away because of the dog.

Kristofer Magstadt said he got his service dog through a "Train a Dog, Save a Warrior" program to help calm his anxiety.

But on Sunday he took Cissie to the church he has been attending since 2009, Greater Missionary Baptist Church, and he said they turned him away.

Church leaders said this was a misunderstanding. They said Magstadt didn't make it clear the dog was a service dog.

"The only thing Kris said to me is that I need this dog with me all the time and I'm going to call the ADA and report you," said Archer Parker, a deacon at Greater Missionary Baptist Church. "I never asked Kris to leave the church. I never kicked him out."

"It's one of the places I figured would be more accepting, but they pretty much said no, the dog would not be allowed to stay," said Magstadt.

Church leaders said they're hoping to talk things over with Magstadt and he's willing to do the same.

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