OXFORD, Mass. (WHDH) — Russell Ireland, the owner of "Big I's" restaurant, came under fire earlier this week after he said a disabled Iraq War Veteran's dog that helps him with PTSD wasn't a real service dog.

Ireland's actions upset many people in the community. Now the restaurant owner says he was wrong.

“I have learned that the companionship of an animal is very important when it comes to PTSD and I apologize for my belittling of it earlier. I’ve learned how important it is for your survival,” said Ireland.

Ireland says he has received phone calls from several war veterans who have explained PTSD and how a dog can help. He also wants veterans to know that they and their service dogs are always welcome at the restaurant.

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