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DoggyDaddy

Service Animals Are Not Pets

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Service animals are animals that are individually trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities such as guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling wheelchairs, alerting and protecting a person who is has seizures, PTSD, diabetes, or performing other special tasks.

Service animals are working animals, not pets. People with service animals cannot be charged extra fees, isolated from other patrons, or treated less favorably than other patrons.

Under the Americans Disabilities Act (ADA), businesses and organizations that serve the public must allow people with disabilities to bring their service animals into all areas of the facility where customers are normally allowed to go. This federal law applies to all businesses open to the public, including campgrounds, restaurants, hotels, taxis and shuttles,
grocery, amusement parks, and department stores, hospitals and medical offices, theaters, health clubs, parks, and zoos.

Service Animals do not have to wear vests. Many owners carry just a badge because
of the heat.

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And let us remember that they are working dogs and should not be approached to be petted unless specific permission is asked of the owner. (Might save your hand.)

Thanks Joe.

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I have had a service dog for 2 1/2 years now and I'm fairly well versed in the rights of service dogs and their handlers. There are some places where service dogs can be excluded for safety reasons (for the dog's and other animals). Zoos and animal sanctuaries being two that come to mind. However, they do need to provide a safe holding area for the dog. When I went to a crane santuary in WI the person working the desk was very accommadating and kept my service dog with her behind the front counter while my husband and I went through the sanctuary. At the High Desert Museum in Oregon, that facilitiy allowed my dog in but with the stipulation that if any animals became overly agitated we would need leave those areas. I could then leave her with a staff member.

Each state can vary in how they arrange their laws and requirements for Service Dogs (also known as assistance dogs). For a complete listing you can refer to "Guide To Assistance Dogs Laws" published by Assitance Dogs International Inc. I encourage anyone who is interested in learning more about Assistance Dogs to visit their website www.adionling.org

My dog is a hearing dog and most states only require that she wear her orange collar and for me to use an orange leash, both have "hearing dog" embroidered on them. However to make access smoother for the two of us I also have her wear a small lightweight vest that also identifies her. This makes her very identifiable as a service animal and I rarely have trouble.

Karen, with Cherelle the Hearing Dog

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Another thing to remember is that all pets are not service animals. I work in a retirement center and all of a sudden EVERYONES pet is a "service animal". The state requires that service animals have a certificate from the state. But we are prohibited by Federal Law from asking to see it so we have to accept their word.

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Until recently, I worked for several years on the front desk of a hotel who's brand is a major hotel chain in the U.S. All the employees in the hotel had to take a course on how to best serve guests with disabilities. It include a segment on service animals. I was very surprised to learn that miniature horses were listed as service animals. I have no idea what services these animals provide, but thought that it was really interesting that these little guys could be trained to do this kind of work. And I think someone mentioned this above, but you cannot charge the guest a fee of any kind for accommodating a service animal. (We did charge fees for regular pets at that hotel).

Has anyone ever seen a miniature horse that was trained as a service animal? I would love to hear about it.

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If someone has several certified disabilities and they just go out and buy a dog and train it themselves is that enough to qualify it?

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I like traveling by ship as much as by RV. The new thing (about 4 years) is women of all ages will have one or two miniature dogs in a baby buggy aboard ship. They call them Anxiety Dogs! I have seen more than a dozen women that can't seem to understand that what may be legal in the US, does not apply in foreign countries! The Service dogs that we, and most other Nations around the world recognize as legitimate, does not cover Anxiety! One told me last year in late April on a Trans Atlantic cruise to Barcelona, Spain that she could not leave her "children" at home! I asked her if she had checked on the Import laws of Spain and she informed me that both dogs where protected as Service dogs! The doggie police got them in Barcelona....3 months Quarantine at US $ 20 per day, per dog! Very expensive lesson!

Carl

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