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Kirk W

Service Dog related Issure

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While this story is related to airline travel, the result could impact us all. As one who has a daughter who depends on a guide dog to get around, I have become very interested in issues relating to service animals but experience with some who abuse the protections such animals have makes me look at both sides of the issue. The following story is about a suit against Delta Airlines but the outcome of that suit will probably affect all service animal users and probably everyone. 

The Grim Effect Delta's ESA Lawsuit Will Have on Travel

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We worked at Disney world  in Florida for a few years during our winter stay. We worked at a very popular attraction  in the Magic Kingdom. There is a problem with "Fake service animals" I don't  know what the solution is to that problem but it is a problem.

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I would like to see the lawsuit punish the dog owner but not the airline. In this case the airline is a victim of the dog owner too.

Linda

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32 minutes ago, richfaa said:

We worked at Disney world  in Florida for a few years during our winter stay. We worked at a very popular attraction  in the Magic Kingdom. There is a problem with "Fake service animals" I don't  know what the solution is to that problem but it is a problem.

Just do what is necessary to allow business owners to have the option of not allowing emotional support animals in their businesses.

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41 minutes ago, pjstough said:

Just do what is necessary to allow business owners to have the option of not allowing emotional support animals in their businesses.

Business owners already have that option. Only service animals have nearly unlimited access to businesses. Emotional support animal access is purely voluntary on the businesses part within any other restrictions such as health laws.

On edit: I should add that some regulated public access businesses such as the airlines, do have regulations permitting ESA's on board in addition to service animals.

Edited by Dutch_12078

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I am not big on increasing government involvement in our lives, but since there is no current regulation or licensing of service animals, there is a ready supply of items for those who wish to cheat. In addition, the laws allow for self-trained service dogs so who is to say which dogs qualify? Here are a few examples of what is easily available to everyone.

Service dog ID cards                  Service dog vests                  Complete Service dog kits

 

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Having read the news item, I'm wondering what assistance the dog could provide it's owner that would involve its teeth??

Muzzle the dog.

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I am handicapped, a partial amputee. I could not afford to buy a trained service dog. I rescued a dog from the pound and trained her myself. She is a great service dog. Never barks, goes under the table at restaurants and is quiet (you wouldn’t even know she was there) etc. There is no certificate given by the government, only a certificate ie: diploma from the school, hence none is required. I could not get a service vest from my vet or even at Pet Smart or Petco and had to buy one online. I was going to fly Southwest once and was told by them that I had to purchase my ticket at least a month in advance because they only allow one dog at a time on the plane. This was a few years ago. I decided to drive instead. After several years of therapy I can now walk without assistance. I still have my dog but no longer use her as a service dog because I do not want to abuse the system. 

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5 hours ago, rdickinson said:

Having read the news item, I'm wondering what assistance the dog could provide it's owner that would involve its teeth??

Muzzle the dog.

Some people who have mobility problems have dogs that retrieve dropped items. I doubt the dog on the plane was one of them, though.

Linda

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9 hours ago, rdickinson said:

Having read the news item, I'm wondering what assistance the dog could provide it's owner that would involve its teeth??

Muzzle the dog.

How do you muzzle a Pekinese, a French Bulldog or any of the other breeds that really don't have a muzzle to muzzle? I think that a service dog should be vetted, with a certificate from a testing agency. As it stands right now, $15 online and you have an "emotional support service dog" vest that a lot of people are using to get their dog on a flight for free instead of paying to have them shipped. That is not fair to those who ship their dogs like they should.

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12 hours ago, Twotoes said:

After several years of therapy I can now walk without assistance. I still have my dog but no longer use her as a service dog because I do not want to abuse the system. 

And there lies the problem! Legitimate service dog users also understand proper use of their dogs while the abusers of the system just want to take the pet everywhere. My 100% blind daughter knows that there are places her guide dog isn't appropriate(like at the zoo) and uses a cane or a human guide in those situations.

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17 hours ago, sandsys said:

I would like to see the lawsuit punish the dog owner but not the airline. In this case the airline is a victim of the dog owner too.

Linda

No attorney, or at least one that wants to feed himself/herself, is going after the dog owner.  The deep pockets is the airlines.  Most civil lawsuits are not about "punishing" anyone, it is about cashing in.

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IMHO many of my generation (baby boomers) have for whatever reason decided that fluffy is actually another child they have been blessed with in their golden years.  They groom them, dress them up, talk to them like babies, and rarely subject them to the proper training.  These types of normally good citizens are not about to leave their babies at home when they can carry them to the grocery store or restaurant with them every day.  Nor are they not going to fly without their child.  If that involves cheating or lying with some documentation then so be it.

Probably 75% of the readers on this forum know what I'm saying is true because they will be doing one of the things I just described sometime today.  

In other words, good luck correcting this issue of folks with fake service dogs taking advantage of the system.  It will only get worse. 

Edited by FL-JOE

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A real service dog will not need to be muzzled since it has been trained not to bark bite or attack. There is no certificate issued to someone who is handicapped but it is a good idea. when I got my handicapped plates for my vehicle I had to get a Dr to sign a form.  That Dr or the DMV could just as well provide me with a certificate that I am handicapped. 

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I have had exceptionally well trained dogs and have taken them to pet friendly stores like Home Depot, Lowes, Tractor supply, Goodwill, and many others. My animals are never off leash outside of home, don't strain on the leash, don't jump on people or try to go after other animals in a friendly or other way unless given permission. When asked if they can pet him or her now, because folks tell me you aren't supposed to pet service dogs, I tell them sure, Maggie is NOT a service dog, just a nice dog. In Germany where we were stationed for seven years of our 27 years active duty, our Shar-Pei, Bogart, was welcome in hotels and restaurants with us where he'd lay down and relax and not beg or threaten the waiter. We would never "fake" our pup's status as anything more than much loved family pets. Nor would I keep them if they bit people. People are more important than dogs, even mine.

We are the guard dogs not them. They look to us to protect them from harmful animals, children or adults. We have had to put them in another room when folks deathly afraid of dogs had to come in to buy something we advertised or were service people. None of our friends are afraid of her now or our previous animals.

I don't spend time training and working with my pups to please others here or when we were RVing full time. I trained them because once they learn some English and what they mean, a barrier comes down, and our loyalty bonds become understood both ways. Like a new employee training is faster than trial and error on their part. They have their first year to become an adult and responsible for their behaviors.

We don't crap where we aren't supposed to, nor pee inappropriately. We enjoyed the German custom of pulling off the autobahn and peeing just facing away from traffic. Here the humans get arrested if they do that in public. Sometimes the rules are reversed! LOL!

We even go out with them in our own backyard in all sorts of weather. Our pups are not allowed on the furniture, in or on our bed, they all have their own bed at the foot of ours. She'll be our last pup, as we want to travel to see the continents we missed during our childhood and adult travels. Asia, Australia, and Iceland are our targets once settled in Colorado. Our Maggie's time is nearing an end, and she is as sweet as ever. Like with our other pups we are getting ready to lose her too. Our neighbors in Louisiana or Colorado will never know as she is not allowed to be off leash outside of our yard, and not a barker. She does let us know when someone arrives, and that's enough beyond her companionship.

There are lots of folks like us out there, but unless you go to PetSmart where many of us take our pups, or one of the many dog parks where dogs can meet and play with other dogs, you'll only see the untrained ones, or the abused, chained up in yards 24/7.

 

Edited by RV_

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4 hours ago, FL-JOE said:

No attorney, or at least one that wants to feed himself/herself, is going after the dog owner.  The deep pockets is the airlines.  Most civil lawsuits are not about "punishing" anyone, it is about cashing in.

Sadly, I have come to believe that you are exactly right.

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9 hours ago, FL-JOE said:

IMHO many of my generation (baby boomers) have for whatever reason decided that fluffy is actually another child they have been blessed with in their golden years.  They groom them, dress them up, talk to them like babies, and rarely subject them to the proper training.  These types of normally good citizens are not about to leave their babies at home when they can carry them to the grocery store or restaurant with them every day.  Nor are they not going to fly without their child.  If that involves cheating or lying with some documentation then so be it.

Probably 75% of the readers on this forum know what I'm saying is true because they will be doing one of the things I just described sometime today.  

In other words, good luck correcting this issue of folks with fake service dogs taking advantage of the system.  It will only get worse. 

A good example is the Tampa RV show where the dogs are in buggies being walked about like babies.

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We were at the last Tampa show and witnessed the exact thing you are talking about.  I spent about as much time watching them as I did looking at some of the RVs!

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same thing at the Quartzsite RV Show in AZ. People with small dogs in baby strollers up and down the isles.

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Interplanetary aliens are wondering which species is the dominant one in this nation. Business owners can add another sign next to the No Shirt No Shoes No Service and the No Weapons On Premises and the No Loitering and the Parking For Customers Only and the No Smoking with a No Dogs. Customers are plentiful and on their way while those that need to adjust will, or go elsewhere,  just as Kirk mentioned with the use of a cane. 

Edited by rm.w/aview

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I am glad the man did not take a settlement as this is a big issue that needs to be addressed.  Maybe it isn't that the airlines have deeper pockets, but that this man is thinking of others, especially children, that may be the next ones attacked by such "support" animals.  I would do exactly the same thing that he is doing!  I believe their needs to be testing and an ID card (state-type) issued for the service animal.  Gee, in a town where we lived, dogs had to pass a test to get OK'd in order to visit the senior care home to make as sure as possible that the dog would not present a danger.  The airline made a business decision to allow these types of dogs, so it really is on them.  While unfortunate that those that require service dogs to have to jump through a hoop or two to help stop this, it is necessary.  Imagine what that same dog might have done to an expensive and highly trained service dog were they present or to the owner.  There are requirements concerning even service dogs when it comes to behavior, and growling is not acceptable.  That dog should have been removed immediately when it growled, and I bet the man that was attacked was not the first one the dog had growled at.  Too many people don't want to make "waves" and report something!

In reading an article at CBS, the airline violated its own policy that large animals should be secured to the floor, and this one was hanging over the passenger's seat and also into the aisle.  They amended their policy in 2018 after this incident.  Now they need confirmation animal training and other documentation and have banned pitbulls and animals under 4 months of age, but only on flights over 8 hours.  Not much of a policy change, and that becomes the issue when it comes to businesses and why they should be held accountable!

Edited by SnowGypsy
More info.

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