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How to handle people wanting to have a 'service dog'

The Service and Therapy Dog forum is for all service and therapy dogs regardless of whether or not their status is legally defined by federal or state law, how they are trained, or whether or not they are "certified." Posts questioning or disputing a person's need for a service or therapy dog, the validity of a person's service or therapy dog, or the dog's ability to do the work of a service or therapy dog are not permitted in this forum. Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times.

  


Member Since
02/17/2013
 
 
Barked: Thu Mar 14, '13 2:26pm PST 
Hey all, I have someone at church who saw me with my dog a couple of weeks ago, and she asked me how she could get her companion card for her dog. I was confused, so I said that I didn't know what she was talking about, that they weren't required. And she said that she had a prescription from her doctor to have a companion dog, and that she could take him with her. Now, me being the brat I am, I promptly (subtly) tested her knowledge of anything to do with service dogs. I asked her if she had a disability, she said yes. I asked her what her dog did for her. She said it made her feel better. I asked if he had any specific tasks, and she said "oh, he can roll over and sit and shake hands!" And I just about lost it, I thought it was so hilarious that she had no idea. So I told her that unless her dog did a specific task, it wasn't deemed a service dog under the law, and that it wouldn't be able to go everywhere with her. She of course got quite angry and said that yes, he could go everywhere with her because she had a prescription. I told her that's only with housing. So she asked me what tasks she needed to teach her dog to go out in public, after telling me that she didn't need him for anything other than comfort. I told her if she didn't need him for something specific, then it wasn't a service dog. Now, I'm pretty sure I understand the laws correctly, but I've run into quite a few 'service dogs' in my area where the owners simply say "Oh, they make me feel better. I just like having them near." How do I handle this? I was grateful at church, we have a few people who raise dogs for service training, and they backed me up and said I was correct. However, I still worry about all of these people who bring these dogs in that don't fit the description. It's mildly infuriating. How do I handle something like that? Or am I totally wrong and been misinterpreting the ADA and FHA this whole time?
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Levi

PSDiT
 
 
Barked: Thu Mar 14, '13 9:21pm PST 
No, you are absolutely correct. The only access rights Emotional Support Animals have, which is what her dog sounds like it is, is to be exempt from "no pets" housing and to be able to fly in the cabin of an airplane. Otherwise, they have no public access rights under the law. As far as how to handle it, that's a tough one because there are always going to be stupid, stubborn, ignorant people we have to put up with and I think you did absolutely the right thing by attempting to inform her correctly. If they listen or not is up to them unfortunately. If she does bring the dog and either of them are doing something to make service dogs look bad, I would definitely alert management though.
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Crazy Sadie- Lady

Im a SD and- proud of it so- there!!!!
 
 
Barked: Fri Mar 15, '13 9:18pm PST 
Not sure I am going to say this right or responding to this post right. I am not good on exsplanations to why or how I got sadie Or how I train her etc. So if someone came up to me and just started bomb barding me with questions I would freeze up. I have told a lot of friends that ask me about SDs how you can do it. I try not belittling people or judging them about wether they are disabled enough to need a SD. These days I have been really more worried that I would have to deal with someone judging me wether Sadie is a letgit SD cause she is OT SD. I am finding that more often on here then anything cause I can't exsplain when people have asked me outside this forum. Just cause I don't come out with why I have sadie or what she dose for me or what tasks she performs. I have told people she makes me feel safe before cause I really don't want to talk about her or myself. The thing is I am so distracted a lot lately and feel out of place a lot (a part of my disorder). If I were to say this to another SD handler it may sound like I am faking it. The thing is, is that she dose many different things for me and I really don't know what to tell people. I will mostly tell people she helps me to do daily things in my life. I know that the person who made this post might know the person better then I do, but I would not be able exsplain stuff when confronted like I said. I have had another problem come up with my disabilitie come up seems I cold have had a stroke dose exsplain a few things but not sure if it is a solid diognoses. I just would say for the most part I don't flaunt Sadie and for the most part I spend a lot of time trying to be incaspiquis. Then on the other hand I will tell people how I did it if they ask. I feel telling people how to do it the right way is better then ticking them off. I think it will just make them more determin to take their dogs out and use them for SD if someone dose not exsplain what and how I trained Sadie or a SD. Better to edgucate then they just go out and pretend that the dog is not a SD for real.
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Isaac

1278829
 
 
Barked: Sat Mar 16, '13 12:31am PST 
If she's asking about a "companion dog card," I would just tell her there is no such thing. Because, you know, there is no such thing. I'd point out what the laws say about service dogs and then let the matter go. It's not your job to make sure she obeys the law.
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Crazy Sadie- Lady

Im a SD and- proud of it so- there!!!!
 
 
Barked: Sun Mar 17, '13 4:45pm PST 
I don't like to judge people as I have said before cuz it is not fair to judge someone you don't know facts about. When you ask people to not judge you that is. I tell people who ask me what I for steps to have Sadie registered as a SD. What she dose to be considered a SD.
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Member Since
02/17/2013
 
 
Barked: Mon Mar 18, '13 1:58am PST 
I'm not interested in monitoring whether someone obeys the law or not. I really couldn't care less about that, my time volunteering with the police force quickly taught me that pretty much everybody breaks the law at multiple points in their life. But when someone's asking me, I'll tell them what I know. If it pisses them off, too bad, so sad, I tell them and leave. I don't butt in and go 'hey, you're smoking too close to the door." or "Y'all are soliciting, time to stop". I know most laws in my state backwards and forewards, but unless I"m actively on duty, I will never tell a person they need to obey the law, and won't tell them the law unless asked by them. I never told her that she couldn't have a service dog at all, all I told her was that if the dog didn't do a task as defined, then it didn't fall underneath the law as a service dog. Between the ADA and the State codes here, that is very true. I checked. And I wasn't judging her based on our conversation alone - I know her quite well though, and know that she likes to take advantage and manipulate whenever she can, so I guess I do have a pre-existing disdain. I'm not particularly proud of developing a judgement ever, but I do make it a point to not make a snap judgement. I've developed this over years of knowing her (going on 10 years now). I didn't sit there and tell her that I would make sure she never brought the dog, or that she couldn't have one at all, or that she wasn't disabled, because that's not my place to say. But knowing the laws and codes (The ADA I'm still a little new to), I'll give someone the information if they engage in a conversation about it. But I'm not going to tell them how to do something. So I agree that it's not my job to make sure she obeys the law. And I also agree it's not up to me to make a judgement concerning her need for an SD, which I didn't do. But I do know this woman well, and I do not trust her, and won't give her anymore information than the necessary that she can find on her own. I figure that's OK, but the rest of it (like figuring out what tasks she needs the dog to do) is definitely not my place. I can't tell her what tasks she needs or should teach - if she can't think of a task to train, then that's too bad. But it's not my place to give her a list of tasks and say 'teach him this'. Taht wouldn't help her.
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Crazy Sadie- Lady

Im a SD and- proud of it so- there!!!!
 
 
Barked: Mon Mar 18, '13 8:02pm PST 
I know how you feel Guest I have though been on both sides of that door too. I have had many people out side this forum and inside it on telling me that I am not with in the law or rules of the ADA witch is a wrong persomtion since Sadie dose many tasks for me and I have proven it to be so.
It is hard for me to make a judgment. (I am not saying you did so in this case with the woman by the way) I have had many people tell me that Sadie is not a real SD and I have said this many times about having trouble with people saying this to me. I have also had people tell me that if people tell me that Sadie is not a SD then she must not be then. This stuff hurts mentally and sometime impose itself physically. I would say that she has to also be mentally a lil fragel too. So I am usually careful with these people since we all have mental issues of one kind or another.
I understand about also having to have to be blunt and straight forward too, since I am that way too. I have friends caution me to be nicer about my blunt and straight forwardness. Though I guess this would sound a lil jaded since most the time I forget to do the nice part and as you say guest; 'I just tell it as it is'. Exspecially when I am not in a nice mood. On here a lot of peopple find it easy to do that to or I get the idea that they feel that they rightchessely need to do so to weed out the real form the fake. That seems to be the sinces here weeding out fake and real.
I don't like partisapatating in witch hunts. I am not accuesing you of this mind you but I have seen a lot of subject turn in to that sort of space. I don't want to be one of those people or looked as one to be so. Cause in the past I have looked at others wondering if they are going by the laws or rules too.
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Crazy Sadie- Lady

Im a SD and- proud of it so- there!!!!
 
 
Barked: Wed Mar 20, '13 9:28am PST 
I wanted to add something else in this post: In general I really don't like people, I am just not a people person. I guess you can get this form my forum post on ; "How do you Address your dog,"
I guess I just never could deal with human interations and in my adult life it is even worse. I do have friends believe it or not, and they understand why. Talking to people that I like and want to help I try to exsplain to them how the SD work is done. The laws, the rule etc. cause I just feel if they can get through and by all the riff raft stuff and right in to the training it would be good.
I have also talked to a few people out side of that lil group too just cause I felt that they were a lil out of sink with the real thing. I don' t think I am all know it all but I did call my state capital and got the HO DOWN on the Service dog laws. They sent me papers of how I am judged and where I stood with OTing Sadie. She only needed to behave well in store what it came down to. She could not show aggressiveness while working. Though she did need to have some task oriantated on my needs not that she was going to need to prove that when I was working or on paper. She is regester through my town and licensed witch she was. My town dose list and treat her as a SD cause my Doc. did paper work for that. Sadie is a SD and it up sets me and affends me when people challenges me. Now that my Landlord is on board she too backs me up.
I have had a lot of people as I said that have challenged me that Sadie may not be a real SD.
Sadie dose so many things that I can't list them all, and they all fall under the tasks discriptions for SDs. Sometimes I just want to smack someone cause they are just so crude or ignorant about thinking they know it all about SD work. A couple times I have had to face that idea. I don't always take Sadie with me ecspecially when I have to work with my soc. worker. My PA workers though love Sadie so now I can get out and work with her more. I now have a chance to take her out and in to Wal-mart and other stores now. This will be good cause I had to cut back doing that since I have not been able to get out and about as of late cause I was laid up. I guess to rape this up I will say why not just edgucate people Rather then be off handed or brisk. Though I do understand not feeling good I have many days I don't even like to talk to people I like. But I have been working now on pamphlet and T-shirts and vest (for Sadie ) to ed. people about SDs.
I don't like a challange anymore then anyone else. I guess that is my point to this latest post.
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Polly

Lolly girl
 
 
Barked: Wed Mar 20, '13 1:02pm PST 
I have had a couple of people tell (after seeing my SD) that they are going to get a comfort dog. I just smile and say oh, just be aware that a comfort dog or ESA is not covered under the ADA law and does not have access rights to stores etc., they just have rights under housing, for rentals etc.. Then I just walk away, they always looked shocked and say "oh" shrug
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