In October 7, 2011 Plaintiffs brought an action of protection against Supermercados Peruanos S.A. after Defendant prohibited the entrance of any animals to their supermarkets. Plaintiffs sought a court order allowing Plaintiffs to enter all the Defendant’s supermarkets with their guide dogs due to their visual disability. Plaintiffs alleged that Defendant had violated their rights to free development and well-being, to freedom of transit, to a balanced and adequate environment for the development of his life, right to equality and to not be discriminated, and right to accessibility and personal mobility. Furthermore, Plaintiffs stated that beyond being living beings, guide dogs are accommodations for the blind, just as a wheelchair is to a person with physical disabilities or a hearing device is to a person with low hearing.
The Defendants argued that the prohibition to bring any animal into the supermarket was based on health concerns and Article 32 of the Sanitary Regulations for the Operation of Food and Beverages. Defendants alleged that, contrary to the Plaintiff statements that they were being discriminated against, they had personnel in their supermarkets that could help persons with disabilities by assisting them with their purchases. Additionally, they said that their establishments had special areas for pets, who would stay under the supervision of the staff in charge. All of that guarantees equal treatment.
The Constitutional Tribunal considered that a blind person was at her most autonomous self and could have access to her immediate environment when accompanied by a guide dog. The court stated that guide dogs were not just simple pets, but properly trained dogs that had a very important role for the personal fulfillment of their owners. For that reason, the prohibition imposed by the Defendants was unconstitutional and violated their right to equality and to not be discriminated against. A different treatment and adaptation of the environment was sometimes necessary to guarantee that persons with special need can have access to it, just as the others. In this case, the court considered, the Plaintiffs were required a different treatment due to her visual disability and the Defendant had denied them of such treatment. Therefore, the court ordered that the blind were allow to enter to the supermarkets with their guide dogs.