DOJ posts new definition of service animal

CJB

New Member
There are times when I wish I qualified for a service dog, but right now, we aren't allowed to have a dog in MIL's house and I don't there are too many other people in the house.

I have more than just my hearing loss to deal with. I fall every so often and these days I am having more vision problems. The house is too small to keep my cane with me all the time.

If you want a dog to do more than just alert you to sounds, the dog is no longer just a hearing dog. If you have low vision then you can apply for a guide dog.
 

OpheliaSpeaks

New Member
I think any well-trained pet dog could do the job.

It's not just about the task and work training, it's about the public access training. A well-trained pet does not belong in public places such as the mall, restaurants, etc. Service dogs are exposed to things and environments that dogs just aren't naturally inclined to be exposed to on a daily basis. These dogs need to be highly temperament tested and trained to navigate the public safely.

A "well-trained" pet is not capable of doing that.

There is no such thing as "certification" for service dogs in the United States. A dog that is individually trained to mitigate a person's disability is considered a service dog. The person must be disabled, however. If the hearing loss isn't disabling or the person isn't considered to be disabled then they don't qualify for a hearing dog or any service dog for that matter.
 

dogmom

Well-Known Member
I think OpheliaSpeaks and I kinda wrote somewhat similar in relation to the public access/training required idea.

Individual agencies like Canine Companions for Independence <which does have a hearing dog component>, Paws for a Cause, offer follow-up and on-going training as well. Acceptance into the program for the client requires an application and several steps.
 

CJB

New Member
It's not just about the task and work training, it's about the public access training. A well-trained pet does not belong in public places such as the mall, restaurants, etc. Service dogs are exposed to things and environments that dogs just aren't naturally inclined to be exposed to on a daily basis. These dogs need to be highly temperament tested and trained to navigate the public safely.

A "well-trained" pet is not capable of doing that.

There is no such thing as "certification" for service dogs in the United States. A dog that is individually trained to mitigate a person's disability is considered a service dog. The person must be disabled, however. If the hearing loss isn't disabling or the person isn't considered to be disabled then they don't qualify for a hearing dog or any service dog for that matter.

I know that dogs need to be highly trained to not get distracted in public areas. My point is that the tasks a hearing dog would do can be covered by the combination of a pet dog and other people. In public areas you can tell if there is a noise from other people's reactions. At home or when going out alone, you can have your pet dog. So while having a hearing dog is an option, it seems like there aren't really many situations where other people/a pet dog can't replace the need for a hearing dog.

Is that true? Blind services told me you have to go through a guide dog school to get a guide dog. Is the level of training the only reason, or could someone who's a really good trainer "technically" train their own guide dog?
 

OpheliaSpeaks

New Member
Blind services told me you have to go through a guide dog school to get a guide dog. Is the level of training the only reason, or could someone who's a really good trainer "technically" train their own guide dog?

Yes, someone who has the advanced knowledge and skills could train their own guide dog. I have known a few who have done it. One woman's vision started declining too rapidly and she gave up and applied to an agency. A guide dog requires very advanced training. It is considered to be the hardest type of service to train because when the dog is out with the handler, it is going through a variety of tasks to make up the work of guiding. It has to navigate obstacles that are on the ground as well as above the handler's head (ie: low tree branch, etc). It has to stop at curbs, navigate stairs and people while avoiding distractions such as food, other animals and other dogs. The handler must be skilled in orientation and mobility (O&M) training before applying for a guide dog. He or she must know how to navigate safely with a white cane. This requirement is pretty standard of all places that train and place guide dogs.
 

Silentwolfdog

New Member
Well...I bet having a hearing service dog would be nice for times I have dropped coins and not being aware of it, because I can't hear it ha. Oh, all those pennies I could have saved!

And all those pens... >.>;
 

pek1

New Member
There are times when I wish I qualified for a service dog, but right now, we aren't allowed to have a dog in MIL's house and I don't there are too many other people in the house.

I have more than just my hearing loss to deal with. I fall every so often and these days I am having more vision problems. The house is too small to keep my cane with me all the time.

KristinaB,

You qualify for more than just a Hearing Dog, sister. The ADA supercedes rules and, unfortunately, if MIL doesn't like it, she can get off her fat duff and pick you up when you fall AND pay for the doctor.

As for any sort of "certification" of any type of service dog: Many here on AD know pek1's stance on this, so long as we keep the government out of our business and threaten them with a lawsuit, they need to mind their own business. Democrats like some here will tell you that we need those dogs "certified." Nope. There is no such thing as "certification" under the ADA and, if it ever happens, pek1 will never allow any dog he trains to be tested by anyone at any time for any reason. Deny me access = go to jail = lawsuit for discrimination.

Keep the government off my back and vote for the party that best supports that decision. Do you want an administration that believes that Americans can't make any decisions on their own and pass health care without us voting?

The government is way too big and has been proven ineffective. But, there is presently zero percent unemployment in Washington, D.C. and that, my dear friends at AD, should tell you something, especially with how many politicians didn't lose their jobs Tuesday night.
 

somedeafdudefromPNW

Active Member
Sue your own family? That's harsh, man.

So, if you don't believe in certifying animals, how do you go about weeding people who are passing off "accessory dogs" (pompoms, pugs, bichons, yorkies being carried in pursues) as "service dogs"? Eventually the restaurant owners are going to force the judges to do something. It has nothing to do with being a Democrat or a Republican; just business owners looking out for their own interests.

Remember, the "right of your fist ends with the right of my nose."

Your fist is the right to have a service dog in public, and the restaurant owner's nose is the right to deny access to accessory dogs being conned as service dogs. And if you don't like conceding a bit to the American social norms, so you can protect your right to have a service dog... maybe consider moving to a country where having a pet dog in a restaurant is socially acceptable. Like... France?

Yes, them Frenchies do allow people to bring in pets into restaurants.
 

OpheliaSpeaks

New Member
So, if you don't believe in certifying animals, how do you go about weeding people who are passing off "accessory dogs" (pompoms, pugs, bichons, yorkies being carried in pursues) as "service dogs"?

I think the best way to combat the "fakers" is to educate the masses. Education is truly lacking in this area of disability law which is why so many legit teams have access issues. Store owners don't know their rights. They CAN exclude a dog if it is defecating in the aisles, barking, being disruptive, etc.

Store owners and employees are permitted to ask if the dog is necessary because of a disability and they ARE permitted to ask what the dog DOES to mitigate the disability. Most store owners and workers are not aware of this, so when someone comes in with a pocket pooch screaming about their rights, they fear being sued and don't push the issue.

So, I think the best way to cut down on the fakers and "huggers" (those who claim the dog provides "comfort") is to educate the public about what the laws are surrounding public access to service dog teams.
 

Usagi

New Member
I believe if discrimination against people with disabilities is to be done, then it should be done with equality. ALL animals should be allowed or they ALL should be disallowed, as was the case before this ridiculous and illegal change.

In the United States the legislative branch (congress) makes law. In 1990, Congress made the ADA then President Bush signed it into law. Now the Department of Justice has decided to over-ride both Congress and the President and rewrite the law to suit themselves and various dog training companies who have lobbied for this change.

I was recently denied access to the local Museum, a museum which I had visited many times before this change. How many more "public" facilities will now deny me?

I have two rabbits who have been my Service Animals since 2005. They have been prescribed by my Psychiatrist and my psychiatric clinician agrees that they ARE Service Animals. I suffer from MDD, Major Depression Disorder. This causes severe panic attacks which can and do happen at any time. The presence of the rabbits has eased this immensely. My psychiatrist agrees and has the data to prove it, a record of my improvement over the years

My Psychiatrist is licensed to practice and I believe that whatever he decides SHOULD be far far more binding than any government agency, the DOJ in this case, to practice medice without a license.

As for "fakers", I don't believe that anyone, on this board or elsewhere has the right or training to KNOW who a faker is or who has the right to deny the so called "faker" the right to have a service animal.

Notice it is "Service Animal. Even the new wording conceded "Animal". Any third grader knows that "Animal is not the same as "Dog" and that the term includes a number of species.

If the zoo-phobic American public must have their ridiculous rights to dine, etc without the presence of any animals I suggest that they should have private rooms in private restaurants (remember, humans are also primates) so they are not offended by the presence of animals.

I would concede that an earthworm, fly or amoeba would probably not be mush use as a service animal. If they MUST change the law, which should ONLY be done by Congress, they might consider eliminating such species, rather than blanketly eliminating nearly all useful species.

As for those who would criticize my (and my psychiatrist's) choice of animals, I'd offer in their defense: Rabbits are cuddly and they are offensive to very few people. They don't smell like dogs. Unlike dogs, they carry very few diseases that are transmittable to man and even the few diseases are transmittable only by direct contact, usually of the internal organs of a dead rabbit.

I guess what really bothers me and has made me angry is that disabled people who are members of this site would attack the rights of other disabled people.
 

marcyp06

Member
Disabled and elderly individuals who may benefit from the companionship of a pet, are permitted Emotional Support Animals in residential housing where the Fair Housing Act is implemented. The ADA does not and never has applied to housing situations. It is the Fair Housing Administration Act (FHAA) that defines Emotional Support Animal (ESA) and outlines who may have one, how to request a reasonable accommodation to keep one and what the procedure is for the landlord. Not all housing is covered under the FHAA.

So if a Deaf person is trying to get into an apartment ADA holds no ground? Im preparing for a situation trying to get a 90 lb Boxer/Rotwiler mix into an apartment with two Deaf adults. He is not a specially trained service dog but does provide protection and alert his owners at some sounds (most importantly someone near the door). Because of his size and breed mix many apartments are going to say no so im trying to get an idea of what steps need to be taken to assure he can stay with them.
 

dogmom

Well-Known Member
marcy, another thought is - many times if the dog in question such as you describe, has her CGC - Canine Good Citizen, which is a very basic initial test of dog/handler skills and control ....the testing comes with paperwork the handler turns in to AKC <American Kennel Club> - many times with the certificate received back from the AKC, this can provide some measure of influence on landlords and other types of situations <stay in hotels etc> With my Rotties the CGC is one of the first very basic things I try to do with them and ideally require of all my dogs. It shows the dog has gone to a basic dog class and has been tested and rated pass/fail on a list of basic items.
There are two trainers in my area who can offer the test and who sign - one is actually a terp. I've seen both of them at dog things here and there, so there is also a possibility that there may be someone like this where you and the people you mention are.
Unfortunately with any dog perceived to be a Rottie, Pit, or mix involving the two, there is so much more fear and bias than with other dogs that having something like the above COULD really make a big difference in many situations.

Good luck there-
 

marcyp06

Member
I will look into that. Unfortunatley we got him into training a bit late and then he has already moved two times and soon a third. He graduated from intermediate class but has digressed a bit and there are no trainers where I am living now. So we'll see what happens. I wanted to have him trained as a service dog but we had a few roadblocks after starting far too late anyways. I hope we can find a way to make it work.



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pek1

New Member
I think the best way to combat the "fakers" is to educate the masses. Education is truly lacking in this area of disability law which is why so many legit teams have access issues. Store owners don't know their rights. They CAN exclude a dog if it is defecating in the aisles, barking, being disruptive, etc.

Store owners and employees are permitted to ask if the dog is necessary because of a disability and they ARE permitted to ask what the dog DOES to mitigate the disability. Most store owners and workers are not aware of this, so when someone comes in with a pocket pooch screaming about their rights, they fear being sued and don't push the issue.

So, I think the best way to cut down on the fakers and "huggers" (those who claim the dog provides "comfort") is to educate the public about what the laws are surrounding public access to service dog teams.

Only two questions they can ask: 1. Is your dog a Service Dog? 2. If so, what does your dog do for you?

Those are the only two questions. Sorry for the delay in responses.
 
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