Mum refused service for not wearing face mask after dog ripped off nose

Shereen Mawson had her nose ripped off by a family friend's dog.
Shereen Mawson had to have surgery to reattach her nose after a dog attack (Picture: SWNS)

A woman recovering from painful surgery to reattach her nose after a dog attack says she was brought to tears when pharmacy staff refused to serve her for not wearing a face mask.

Shereen Mawson, 36, was trying to buy medication at her local store when a female worker shouted at her for not wearing a face covering. However, Shereen, who was left with cartilage hanging off and significant scarring from her friend’s dog, is exempt the rule because of the surgery.

Face masks cause the mother-of-four a lot of pain, but she was still refused service.

Shereen, from Snodland, Kent, said: ‘I walked into the shop and one of the ladies literally shouted at me to get out because I didn’t have a mask on.

‘I said, “I’m really sorry” and I tried to explain to her why I couldn’t wear one. My stitches are so visible and she was just so rude I couldn’t believe it. She went to her manager and he also refused to let me in but he didn’t even come and see me.

EMBARGOED TO 1700 THURSDAY JULY 30The victim - who only wants to be referred to as K or Kdogg, the name he uses when he performs music, recovering at home with his sister. The NHS worker has been left scarred for life and frightened for his safety after being seriously injured in a racially aggravated hit-and-run. The 21-year-old was walking to the bus stop after finishing work at Southmead Hospital in Bristol at about 4.20pm last Wednesday. PA Photo. Issue date: Thursday July 30, 2020. See PA story POLICE Southmead. Photo credit should read: Claire Hayhurst/PA Wire

INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOUR PET: Dogs have wet noses because it helps to absorb scent chemicals.

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‘Then the member of staff said she could serve me outside and I said “okay, that’s absolutely fine”.’

However, more issues arose when the pharmacy worker discovered that Shereen wanted to pay by card, as that would have needed to take place inside the building.
The scar on Shereen Mawson's nose after the attack. See SWNS story SWNNbite. A mum recovering from painful surgery to reattach her nose after a dog attack said she was left in tears after pharmacy staff refused to serve her for not wearing a face mask. Shereen Mawson was trying to buy medication at her local store when a female worker shouted at her for not wearing a face covering, she said. The 36-year-old has spent the last two weeks at home recovering from a freak dog attack that left her with the cartilage from her nose hanging off and extremely painful injuries to her face. As a result of the attack by a friend's pet, Miss Mawson has visible facial scars from the stitching that is still in the process of healing and in a delicate position.
Shereen Mawson admits she hasn’t been out much since the attack two weeks ago (Picture: SWNS)
Shareen Mawson. See SWNS story SWNNbite. A mum recovering from painful surgery to reattach her nose after a dog attack said she was left in tears after pharmacy staff refused to serve her for not wearing a face mask. Shereen Mawson was trying to buy medication at her local store when a female worker shouted at her for not wearing a face covering, she said. The 36-year-old has spent the last two weeks at home recovering from a freak dog attack that left her with the cartilage from her nose hanging off and extremely painful injuries to her face. As a result of the attack by a friend's pet, Miss Mawson has visible facial scars from the stitching that is still in the process of healing and in a delicate position.
It’s still too sore to wear a face mask, so Shereen is exempt from government rulings to wear one in all shops (Picture: SWNS)

‘When she found out I was paying by card she then refused me again and at that point I became so overwhelmed I literally bawled my eyes out.

‘I was in tears and ended up having a panic attack outside because I was so embarrassed.’

Thankfully, she was able to be served at another nearby chemist without issues.

The dog attack happened two weeks ago while Shereen , who runs a horse livery yard and rescues animals for a living, was walking around Leybourne Lakes Country Park near Snodland with her friend. Describing the ordeal, she said her broken nose cartilage was left sticking out after she was bitten, after she tried to intervene in the dog being attacked by another.

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However, she rejects suggestions that the dog should be put down as she puts the pet’s actions down to pure accident and misfortune: ‘People have said he should be put down but I’ve known that dog for years and know he didn’t do it on purpose, it was just a quick snap reaction.’

Miss Mawson says the recent events have knocked her confidence so much, she now finds it difficult to leave the house. Catts Pharmacy, which is run by Paydens, apologised and launched an investigation into the incident but disagrees with any claims staff were rude.

A spokesperson added that all customers, regardless of face-covering exemptions, are asked to wait at the door for service: ‘Whilst there are exemptions from wearing face coverings for certain individuals, our company policy advises staff that any customer not wearing a face covering, whether exempt or not, should be politely asked to wait outside the premises and we will attend to them at the door.

‘The reason for this is that despite being exempt from wearing a face covering, we need to protect our staff and other members of the public using our pharmacies.’

INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOUR PET: There are approximately 600 million dogs in the world. It is estimated that nearly 400M of those dogs are strays.

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