|Barked: Mon May 29, '06 9:16am PST |
No service dog has to have a prescription. The reason you'd want a letter from your doctor (Tiny is right it is a letter from your doctor that you want because it will be able to say more and carry more weight than something scrawled on a prescription pad) saying you have a service dog is because if you are ever challenged in court, you want proof that your dog is a service dog. And having a letter from your doctor (written before whatever you're in court for whatever happened) provides this proof. In addition, to get certain disability accomodations you might have to show a doctor's letter, too. Like to get the CA service dog ID tag I had to show a letter from my doctor. And the disabled transit card I had to show the letter from my doctor, too. In addition, the Air Carriers Act says you have to give credible verbal assurance or have some form of proof that your dog is a service dog. Most airlines that I've been on don't believe anyone's assurance is credible so having a letter from your doctor is a great way to prove that you are a real SD. WHen I went through my school's disability services I had to present my letter from my doctor and I had to get a separate university form filled out by my doctor before they'd even talk to me.
So while Tux doesn't need a letter from a doctor, it wouldn't hurt to have one. Not having a letter doesn't change his status as in training or even as full service dog.
As to graduating to full SD status, here is what I am doing. The psychiatric service dog society has a public access test that is basically the ADI test plus some.
I am working with my trainer to be able to do all of these things without the headcollar (with the headcollar Sabrina coudl already pass with flying colors), and probably by the end of the summer Sabrina will be ready for the final "test". This "test" will consist of my husband videotaping my trainer goingn through all the situations with me. I will make sure the time/date stamp is on the video, and I will say the time/date at the beginning and end of the video. The reason to videotape it is again in case you ever need to go to court you will have proof that your dog is in fact a well behaved service dog. And again, it's important that this stuff predate whatever it is you're going to court for.
As to your question about using the doctors note from in training, as long as you are in a state with in training laws, you are totally within your rights using the note while Tux is in training. I'm not sure how the law would look on it if you went to another state without in training laws, though.
Make sure your doctor writes the note on his doctor's letterhead. When you get the note, make a bunch of copies and keep the original at home somewhere, just keep copies with you.
I hope all of this helps!
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