Taking service dog?

Discussion in 'Camping for the Medically/Physically Challenged' started by SuperHalls, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. SuperHalls

    SuperHalls Camping Adventures of the SuperHalls!

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    So... we've set out to have our pup, Blake, trained as a service dog for me... as my hearing progressively fails, I'm going to need it. Have any of you run into problems or issues with traveling with a service dog?
     
  2. mercman

    mercman Go Ahead, Be That Happy Camper!

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    As long as he is a "certified" service dog, you should have no issues. That is covered under the ADA (Americans with Disabilites Act).

    -Chris
     
  3. Steve A

    Steve A A bad day camping beats a great day at work!

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    From a "neighbor" standpoint, we know your service dog is very well trained and usually far better behaved than "Joe Schmuck's" dog.

    You should be welcome with open arms anywhere.

    Ciao,
     
  4. OlGuy

    OlGuy Our first tent trailer!

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    After helping raise a puppy for Seeing Eyes then receiving him after they retired him, I agree with Steve A, with the exception that they are far better behaved than "Joe Schmuck's" dog, ........ or his kids, his wife, his mother and anyone else.

    If your not welcomed with open arms anywhere:
    1) report it to the ADA.
    2) never patronize that place again.
    3) be vary vocal about it, let Everybody know about it.
     
  5. Dusty82

    Dusty82 Active Member

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    What OlGuy said, and:

    4) Report to the Better Business Bureau.
    5) Let the people at the foundation you got your dog from know. Maybe there are legitimate concerns like bears, coyotes, or wolves? Maybe the foundation needs to introduce another aspect of training to the dogs?
    6) Never be afraid to take your new buddy anywhere - remember that if someone has a problem with your guide dog, it's their problem - not yours.
     
  6. northernmum

    northernmum just starting out!

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    Never traveled with (nor do I have) a service dog. I would have way less concerns with a trained dog vs some of the yappy mutts I've seen at campgrounds.

    That said, every time I see this thread I read it as "talking service dog", and I wonder how *that* training happened. [;)]
     
  7. Dusty82

    Dusty82 Active Member

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    You too, northernmum? I swore that title was "Talking Service Dog." I thought, "Wow - ain't it an amazing age we're living in? They can teach animals to do anything nowadays..."
     
  8. Steve A

    Steve A A bad day camping beats a great day at work!

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    I had originally put something much like that, OlGuy. However, I've seen people flamed and banned on this site for their opinions and wanted to avoid the penalty box.
     
  9. hoodlum

    hoodlum New Member

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    I actually saw a service dog banned from a place 2 weeks ago...We were camping at Land between the lakes,and was in the Golden Pond visitors center which strictly enforces a no pets rule in the building...An elderly man and woman came through the door with a little white poodle,and the man behind the counter told them the dog wasn't allowed inside...The elderly man proceeded to tell him it was a service dog,and he had papers in his pocket...Then the receptionist proceeded to ask the man what service the dog was performing for him...He wasn't blind,he could hear fine,and didn't seem to have any other ailments other than a limp that the dog couldn't help...The man proceeded to tell him that it was only a service dog if it was performing a service,and made them leave....
    If you have one,just remember that the person needing the service has to be useing the dog for it to be allowed in places where pets are restricted...
     
  10. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    Also they should be wearing a vest that states they are a service animal and are on the job, so that little kids and even grown ups don't just walk up to the dog and start petting them.

    I know I have seen some real beautiful dogs as service animals, but if the vest is on, they are all business and the handler should be asked if it is ok prior to just petting or talking directly to the dog.
     
  11. dupreet

    dupreet New Member

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    Sometimes the 'service' the animal provides isn't too obvious. There are many folks out there with 'companion' animals - dogs, monkeys, even snakes. They have paperwork to support this situation. If they are refused entry/service, an ADA complaint can be a costly lesson for the business owner - up to $55,000 for the first offense and up to $110,000 for each subsequent one!!!

    I use the snake example in many of my job interview situations at work - "A person comes into the Theatre with a companion snake and paperwork......do you seat them?" The right answer is yes!!

    So back to the OP; I have seen service animals in all sorts of stores, venues, and places of business. If you have your supporting paperwork, and take a proactive approach to explaining your need for the animal, you should be fine in 'most' situtations.
     
  12. suprz

    suprz may you never doubt yourself....

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    I dont know if it is recognized, but there are dogs that can sense when an epileptic will have a seizure, i would consider that a service dog. and it would seem to the average person that the owner doesnt have a disability until the seizure occurs...
     
  13. rustyinky

    rustyinky New Member

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    Being in the mental health field this stands out as being completely inappropriate. The receptionist had no right to ask this question and should be reported to a supervisor. This bothers me even more to hear this happened in my home state. At the same time, people who abuse the privileges of service animals do harm to those in need.

    However, the worker could have asked "is this a service dog"? and "what can this dog do", that is different. Asking what the animal does for "that person" is against the law.

    btw, in the eyes of the law a service animal is to be treated with all the rights of another human being, otherwise this is discrimination. ADA violations are taken very seriously, report!
     
  14. rustyinky

    rustyinky New Member

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    dupreet, this isnt quite right. Companion and therapy dogs are not afforded the same rights as "service animals", however most business owners don't know the difference and don't ask questions. However, companion and therapy dogs can be refused entry.
     
  15. rustyinky

    rustyinky New Member

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    Yes, this type of dog is considered a "service animal" and can be taken into ANY business, including restaurants.

    *This post has touched on a pet peeve (no pun intended) of mine. I work for Adult Protective Services and train "therapy dogs", any questions I'd be glad to answer.
     
  16. rustyinky

    rustyinky New Member

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    Superhalls, my advice for you would be as follows:
    1. Make sure your animal is appropriate in the first place.
    2. Get professional training for the animal and follow through.
    3. Make sure your animal is always wearing identification when performing the service (although this is not required).
    4. Never abuse the privilege of a service animal. Never allow anyone else to take the animal in somewhere without you, etc.
    5. Educate yourself on ADA laws.

    * Remember that service animals are not "pets" and pets are not always good service animals, you really need to consider whether or not your animal can perform this service.
     
  17. hollywood703

    hollywood703 New Member

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    To the OP, I would have no problem with a service dog being in the campsite next to mine.....Even in a no pet facility, to me its understood that this isnt a pet, its a necessity for some function the person may not be able to perform themselves. I would be one of the first to introduce and mention that if any thing i could help with, I am willing to do so.

    On some of the other posters well I am going to play devils advocate on this a bit...Not the service dogs issue as they are a well needed "assistant" compared to a companion animal. If someone came into a restaurant with a snake and had paperwork saying this was a service animal I would definately question it. (I know that was an example, but there is also common sense). A Dog has been well known to be a service animal.....a snake? You tell me what a snake can do for a person that is required and has been trained? The snake going to go get the salt and pepper?
    Please dont confuse that im saying service animals arent necessary...but there are people who abuse the companion animal as a service animal. They are 2 different things. It is people who abuse the system (as with any topic) that give a bad name to those who truly are in need of this function.
     
  18. hoodlum

    hoodlum New Member

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    That's exactly what the guy in my post was doing...He couldn't provide an answer to the question of what service the dog was performing...He was abuseing the privilage...Kinda like useing someone elses handicap tag so you can get a good parking spot...
     
  19. rustyinky

    rustyinky New Member

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    good analogy
     
  20. slowfatknitter

    slowfatknitter Member

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    Bad dog #1 is a chihuahua and tuned into DH seizures, he's also our family pet. He is not considered a service pet, but has saved our butt more than once. Dog Whisperer had a show about a dog that provided emotional security and was considered a service animal. I guess a snake could fall into this catagory. Not my personal choice. The only emotion a snake has ever given me is panic. Each to his own -
     

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