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2 thoughts on “Service and Therapy Animals: Changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

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  1. I would also like to add that pit-bull propaganda groups have gone to great lengths to confuse the terms “service dogs”, and “therapy dogs”. Therapy dogs ARE NOT considered BY LAW in the United States to have the same status as SERVICE DOGS. Service dogs directly assist their handicapped owners with daily tasks in some fashion; therapy dogs are handled by their owners to assist others at specific times, such as visits to a facility.

    If you look at organizations like Guiding Eyes for the Blind, they have been breeding their own line of guide dogs since the mid-sixties; looking for potential dogs in shelters and through random breeders was not working, since most dogs failed to meet the rigourous standard required of guide dogs. Many other types of service dog programs use their own breeders, also; the making of a service dog starts with the breeding, and working with the pup from the time it is born through careful handling exersizes and socialization. Pit bulls are exceedingly rare as service dogs; and are never listed as a recommended breed by any of the major service dog organization.

    The term “therapy dog”, however, is a very loose term; there are informal situations where one may consider a dog a “therapy” dog, because the owner brings the dog into a LTC facility for visits. My mom was in an Assited Living Facility whre the secretary brought her Lab to work. The aides would regularly bring the dog into the common areas to visit the residents and help with OT exercises by having the dog fetch tossed objects. The dog had no formal training or certification.

    Certified Therapy dogs must generally pass the CGC test,and be evaluated by a recognized therapy dog organization.

    As far as claims that pit bulls are often used as therapy dogs, it simply doesn’t hold up; yes, some pit bulls are indeed certified therapy dogs, but if you go to any therapy dog organization website and look at the “members” pictures of participating dogs, again, pit bulls are RARE. This can be quantified, if you take the time, searching therapy dog websites across the country. Pit bull advocates bank on the fact that if they keep insisting that these dogs are commonly used as therapy and service dogs, people will believe them.

    Its all part of the misinformation campaign aimed at protecting the for-profit breeders of these dogs.

  2. Sent to via email:

    People who use handicapped parking seem quite okay with getting a mirror hanger so everyone knows that this soul needs special accomodations. When buying Bingo packs at BJ Bingo in the line that is for the handicapped they have to show their blue card. When I got my senior Gold Card from the City of Seattle, I had to show my ID to prove my senior status. Actually it is nice that we understand that everyone who has a disability does not especially look like a stereotype. I am often told I do not look like I am 63 years old, and I am never offended.

    So what is the big deal with the service dogs. It would seem that those who really need one and expect us to respect the dog and them, would want to respect those who they want respect from. Dogs have to have a license attached to them if they are to be in the public, what would be the harm if the service dog had a license showing they are trained to do what the owner needs – without training what is their value and how are they in fact then different from just a dog?

    I support the idea of certified training, licensing, and id that is visible to the average person, store owner, or driver. We are taught in general not to pet, bother or confuse a service dog, and I respect this and would expect that others respect it. They are working.

    There is in the United States a vast difference between rights and priviliges. Rights have been fought for and are protected under the law. The rights for ADA was a hard fought battle by many not in need of this right. For those who are protected under the right and see it as privilege are wrong. Privilege is taken and assumed, not earned. So, yes, and friends, keep up the fight on this one and store owners keep asking. It seems that the legitimate owners and utilizers of service dogs would want one that is well trained for their need, that they are identified, so those perpetrating do not tread on the rights of others. Vest with a identifier of some kind means no one has to say anything to anyone.

    I like the stores who can not enter an alcohol sale without proof of ID, that protects the store and everyone else. Some clubs card everyone, whether they look 21, 15, or 72, that is fair.

    I was knocked down twice by two different unleashed dogs and still suffer from the injury – at the time I did not know that as I aged the injury would surface. This was after passage of the leash law. We seem to be sticklers about laws that some of our population break and then we look away when laws are broken by those who think they should have the privilege of doing what they please.

    In Seward Park those with boom boxes were sent packing under the decible law for noise. But in this same park we are told the city (Animal Control and Police) does not have enough personell to respond to off leash calls. Let me tell you the police were on it several years ago when the population in Southeast Seattle changed and they did not enjoy the music of those who thought the park belonged to them and they felt privileged to play their music as loud as they wanted. I like the quiet but I do not like that we can not seem to rid the park of nuisance dogs off leash. And I do not like that our police seem to see calls about them as nuisance calls. One morning my walking partner and I called the police to report an unleashed dog that was threatening and his owner who was more threatening. We were told they did not have any available, that it was a busy time, it was 7 A.M. Ironically, when my walking partner and I got to local coffee shop a mile away, there were two patrol cars parked outside, I thought that is why they were busy someone had held up the place. No, once inside there were 5 officers enjoying coffee. When telling them about the call and the answer, they were embarrassed and said that they would have responded had they been given the call. Enough said about that.

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