Saturday, July 26, 2008
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Comment: "I would like to make one more point about the use of pit bulls as "therapy" dogs. My mother is disabled by Alzheimers, and I have spent a good deal of time in both assisted living facilities and LTC facilities, and have spoken to some of the folks who do pet therapy. One of the considerations you have when choosing a dog for this kind of work is that many residents will be afraid of the dog...especially if the dog is a large, menacing looking breed. The PRIMARY consideration for choosing a dog for therapy visits should be the comfort of the residents, NOT to make a political statement. Guarding and fighting breeds were created to look menacing, muscular, and imposing, not cuddly and cute. Many residents would be afraid of having a pit bull pay them a visit, and depending on the level of their disability, may not be in a position to express that fear. How terrible to have a sick and disabled elderly person, trapped in a situation where they may feel intimidated by an animal they are afraid of....all to accommodate the ego of some "rescue angel", who is not doing therapy work because she seeks to give back to the community, or bring joy to lonely residents, but because she wants to make a political statement about a breed of dog!Post Comment to DOJ
I think that sick, disabled residents like my mom would much rather a visit from the sweet faced Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, which can sit gently in her lap, or the lovely Standard poodle. I also believe that it is equally important that the handler is a mature, kind, compassionate person who loves the elderly and disabled; therapy work is not just something to put on your dogs resume, and I am VERY concerned that the pro-pit lobby would actually stoop low enough to get pit bulls certified for therapy PURELY as PR; the rescue angels will spend most of their visits to facilities "educating" residents about pit bulls instead of keeping them company."
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07/20/08: Service and Therapy Animals: Changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
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| 7/27/2008 6:13 AM |
The Pit Nutters are going beserk over this one. Most of them just get the qual for a advocacy purposes. It's almost as if they believe each therapy dog certification magically grows back a toddlers scalp.
If only they would put this much energy into breeding safer dogs...
| 7/27/2008 2:05 PM |
That is exactly what I suspected; that pit bull "activists" would be motivated to do this for the wrong reasons. Therapy work is more about the people, and less about the dogs; the woman who does pet therapy at the nursing home my mother is in still comes to visit the residents, even after her dog passed away. The dog facilitates the visit, brings comfort, can have a calming effect, etc.; but it is the human member of the team who needs to make that connection with the people. Its not about, "Isn't my dog pretty and nice, do you want to pet her?", it isn't a venue to show off your dog.
The pit bull owners I encounter seem to be extremely narcissistic, and definitely NOT the type of people who would be doing therapy work for the sake of the residents. Honestly, if I thought pet therapy was something I would like to do, I would not get a large, fighting or guarding breed as a pet; regardless of how nice the dog's temperament is, I would understand that some residents would be fearful. My primary concern would be for the residents comfort, but then I am not a pit bull owner with a political agenda and a chip on my shoulder.
| 7/27/2008 8:44 PM |
I was in a pet store a few weeks back in Muncie, IN and a customer had a pit bull in there, must have weighed 75 lbs, I had to wait till the guy moved from the door so I could leave. I didn't want to get close enough for the dog to get a chance at me. Once I saw the pit bull all I wanted was out of there.
The store was called "Jack's Pet Store".
| 7/27/2008 8:45 PM |
How about this narcissistic owner:
I can't believe this woman has the gall to do something like this and say she is doing it to help people when we know she is just doing it for selfish reasons. One can only hope she sees the error of her ways.
| 7/28/2008 11:47 AM |
One more comment.....I am troubled by the frequent use of pictures of therapy pits and patients that are springing up all over the internet; most pet therapy teams do not take pictures of the patients due to privacy issues. There is often a lack of informed consent with residents of LTC facilities, and it is unethical to take picture of residents, especially those who may be disabled, and post them publicly.
The website listed above has pictures of disabled children posing with pit bulls, with the main focus being on the pit bulls. I sincerely hope that the parents of every single child who appears in these pictures signed a consent form for this; in my public school system, we need to give written consent for ANY picture to be taken of our children. This is for safety and privacy reasons, because of the potential for sexual predators to gain information about a child, because of custody battles where a child could be kidnapped by an abusive non-custodial parent, to protect children who have entered the foster care system from being located by abusive family members, etc.
Again, it appears the main goal of these organizations is pit bull advocacy, NOT the needs of the elderly and disabled. I would be FURIOUS if my disabled mothers picture appeared online, ANYWHERE, much less in a pit bull advocacy website.