ADA-Service Dogs

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Proud Texan's picture
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We are a "no pets" facility.    Our reasons are  (1) The safety of the pet.   We are in a wild area and small pets are subject to becoming someone's dinner.  (2)  Some guests have severe allergies to pet dander (3)  I hate to clean up after someone elses animal.

We are now by law compelled to take a guest who is bringing a service dog.    I'm a little miffed because I feel like we are being forced to do something we wouldn't do otherwise.    My concern is cleanliness of the room after the dog has left and the animal actually being in my home (which I would never allow otherwise).   I would never allow a personal pet in an area where food is being prepared or served.

I know some of you allow pets and for those who don't,  I know some have had to deal with a service animal.    Am I over reacting?   Have you had any problems after the fact with guests having allergic reactions to animals that have come and gone?

And, before you lecture me about the necessity of service pets,   there are hotels and B&Bs in the area that accept animals.    Why do they have to come here?

 

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Proud Texan - 

Service animals are better house guests than most people. They go through thousands of hours of training to ignore and endure unpleasant conditions and focus solely on their disabled handler. 

I am flabbergasted by your complete insensitivity towards your disabled guest. I hope you provided the name of your B&B so I can be sure I don't visit. 

Let me restate what you have said, with a minor substitution to illustrate how offensive and distasteful your post was. "we are a 'no blacks' facility. The reasons are: (1) this is an area where former KKK members may be lurking and we are concerned for the safety (2) many of our guests are allergic to their hair products and may be uncomfortable at their presence and (3) I am concerned about cleaning up after them when they leave. What if their hair sheds on my floor? What if they steal stuff? .... Besides, other places in town are ok with blacks, so why can't they just go there?' completely absurd... Your reasons make you sound paranoid and petty, not traits one wants in a B&B host. 

I am a B&B owner and welcome service animals because I do not discrimate against people with disabilities. 

 

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panda1 wrote:

Proud Texan - 

Service animals are better house guests than most people. They go through thousands of hours of training to ignore and endure unpleasant conditions and focus solely on their disabled handler. 

I am flabbergasted by your complete insensitivity towards your disabled guest. I hope you provided the name of your B&B so I can be sure I don't visit. 

Let me restate what you have said, with a minor substitution to illustrate how offensive and distasteful your post was. "we are a 'no blacks' facility. The reasons are: (1) this is an area where former KKK members may be lurking and we are concerned for the safety (2) many of our guests are allergic to their hair products and may be uncomfortable at their presence and (3) I am concerned about cleaning up after them when they leave. What if their hair sheds on my floor? What if they steal stuff? .... Besides, other places in town are ok with blacks, so why can't they just go there?' completely absurd... Your reasons make you sound paranoid and petty, not traits one wants in a B&B host. 

I am a B&B owner and welcome service animals because I do not discrimate against people with disabilities. 

 

Panda, pull in your claws. Your example is worse than ridiculous. And I have had "service animals" that are nothing more than pets that barely touch the floor with their feet - just long enough to pee on BOTH of my bathroom rugs. I would have NO problem with a real Service Animal (unless it was a miniature horse). Before you go condemning anyone here, you should spend some time getting to know who they are and WHERE they are. PT really does have wild critters that would love the opportunity to experience a delicacy for lunch or dinner. Try again - civility reigns here in case you were unaware since you barged in shooting off. We DO give second chances - not to speak for all, I will give you a second chance.

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and just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...

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EmptyNest's picture
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That's why I pipe in every time someone new doesn't look at the posting dates. Who needs to bring up all this old stuff again?  Start a new thread if you are new here please.

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It is considered rude to necropost... to post a reply to a long dead thread. In this case, over 2 years old and long dead. If you want to talk about the subject, you are welcome to start a new thread. Introducing yourself before going into a tirade would have also been a nice courtesy.

In any case, welcome. But please introduce yourself and please don't post on dead threads, start a new one.

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Behaviour of a true service animal is never a problem - and none of the owners we have ever encountered have ever asked us to pick up poo - I would however make a point of saying this is where it goes ie if people don't know what to do this can then become a problem.

The way to think about the dog is like a piece of equipment like a breathing machine for sleep apnoea that they can't do without.

What sours the barrel for me is people trying to pass off dogs as service animals when they aren't - it means if they misbehave then it looks like all service animals are like that which they aren't. - I would say however we do, do an extra deep clean after the very rare times we have had a dog stay and have not had a problem with allergies. 

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The guests probably liked what you had to offer and that's why they wanted to stay with you. 

I have a friend who has an insulin pump and is a very brittle diabetic.  She has a service dog who alerts her when her blood sugar is low.  It's an amazing thing!  But, she's a young woman in her 30's who has had to adjust her life dramatically to accommodate the necessity of having a service animal with her 24/7.  She can't go anywhere without the dog. 

Just sayin' to think about the other side of the coin on this one....

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gillumhouse's picture
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Service animals are not a problem. The problem are the PITAs who cannot stand to be without their stupid dog and KNOW we have no rights in this matter. All they have to do is SAY it is a service animal.

We have discussed this in the past. Even if YOU or a member of your in-house family will hav ea reaction that will create illness, you cannot refuse the. THAT is what stinks in my not very humble opinion! I guess it also does not matter if another guest will have a problem that will cost you revenue (and perhaps a law suit since they booked because you did not have pets or allow them)..... We are in the wringer and at the mercy of the I GET WHAT I WANT TYRANTS.

seashanty's picture
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I had service animals (dogs) stay at my place about 5 times.  no problem whatsoever.  i worried about all the issues you mentioned.  we did not take pets.  but they were impeccably groomed, silent and did no mess of any kind in the house.  as has been said, they are amazing and, if they are true service animals, you will have no problem.

four of them i knew about in advance.  the 5th was a complete surprise and the guests were hostile at checkin, waving a paper in front of me that they had a service dog and i had to take them.  it would have been courteous and proper to tell me ahead of time. 

but anyway ... i wondered if it was a true service animal  until i watched it interact with the owner.  it was a man who wore it on his person in like a baby carrier all the time.  the man wore white knee high socks and sandal slippers and had serious issues communicating with people.  one morning he all but broke the door down trying to get out of the room, pulled off the doorknob from inside and could not put the doorknob back on. 

i was going to go in through a window (ground floor room thankfully) to open the door from inside.  i stood at one of the windows trying to calm him down, telling him i would remove the huge screen so he could just step out.  his wife was already over the edge dealing with whatever was going on in his mind.

in any case, he pounded and yelled and yanked on the door. shouted and stamped his feet. ran to the window and tried to keep me out!  she sat in a chair and rocked.  i was at the window trying to calm him down. my son was on the other side of the room door, taking off the hardware to open the door, using tools and making a lot of racket.

the little dog in his/her carrier was completely silent and unphased by the whole thing.

 

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I'm sorry, gonna sway from the service dog topic here. 

This was just way too much to have to deal with.  That person has no business traveling about and the person with him/her is the person that should be responsible to handle the situation instead they blocked it out.  And what about the service dog, brought I presume to calm him/her down? It was in it's carrier, not doing its job - not it's fault but that is the problem. 

I do not mind and would not have a problem with a service dog serving a blind person and other physically challenging needs; but when it is emotional need it may be even too great of a problem for a pet... as your example shows.  And where is the line to be drawn, how far are we as business owners supose bend when it affects other guests that paid for a quiet, peaceful stay? 

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copperhead wrote:

  And what about the service dog, brought I presume to calm him/her down? It was in it's carrier, not doing its job - not it's fault but that is the problem. 

I just want to clarify. When I say carrier, I mean the man wore like a baby snugglie carrier thing strapped to his body and wore the dog in that carrier against his chest ... he stroked the dog a lot.  So the dog was doing his/her job.  I suppose it helped calm the man, but all I could think of was, poor dog! 

Luckily, the lock in panic happened at breakfast time so guests weren't awakened by the panic attack which I believe this was.  MAJOR panic attack.

 

 

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 You have to take them no matter what. But if it is a TRUE service dog, rest assured that it will be impeccibly trained, and clean (no fleas etc.). You will not even hear a peep or realize that it's there under the dining room table.

If they are scamming you it could be anything and untrained.

Unfortunately we are not allowed to require any proof.

RIki

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Madeleine's picture
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So, what service does the dog provide anyway? (You are allowed to ask that. Not what the guest's need is, but what service does the dog provide.) I ask because you may need to be more concerned with what the guest will need than having a dog on the premises.

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Madeleine's picture
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My guess is they are coming to you because they liked what they saw on your website vs the other places. (Score one for you.) We have had relatively few problems even with pet dogs and service dogs are much better trained. You won't need to worry about them becoming dinner for some of your wild animals unless the human would also be in danger, the dog will not be let out on its own.

You do have rights. You have the right to refuse service or to ask them to leave if the service dog is threatening to you or other guests (snarling, growling, barking, lunging) or if the dog is not under control (running all over inside, messing in the building).

All the service dogs I ever came in contact with while working with the deaf are better behaved than most guests. If the dog has its harness on it is working, so stay away from it at those times. If the dog is out of the harness (guests relaxing on the porch) the dog will then behave more like a pet and will accept attention.

If you have problems in your area with fleas, ticks or other pet-related bugs, let the guests know so they can prep the dog in advance.

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How many rooms do you have? I know that we are exempt from the act because we are considered a residence and not a commercial establishment. I think in the US you can call 800-514-0301 with questions about the ADA and get direct answers on compliance issues.

I've had a guests ask me about ADA compliance. I have to remind them that the first A, stopped at the border. 

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Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

How many rooms do you have? I know that we are exempt from the act because we are considered a residence and not a commercial establishment. I think in the US you can call 800-514-0301 with questions about the ADA and get direct answers on compliance issues.

I've had a guests ask me about ADA compliance. I have to remind them that the first A, stopped at the border. 

 Called ADA.   We're screwed.   We have to comply.   

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Well, then treat them well. These dogs are usually extremely well behaved. And if you are like me, enjoy taking antihistimines for the duration of their stay and a day or two afterward. I find that taking the 24 hour kind before bed works best, because it beats any drowsy feelings you may have by being during your sleep period in any case.

I think there is an exception if you are considered residential and 5 rooms and under, but otherwise you are stuck.

My favourite sign at a local store says "No Aminals Except Service Dogs" because if the blind man can't read the sign, the service dog ain't going to be helping him read it.

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Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

Well, then treat them well. These dogs are usually extremely well behaved. And if you are like me, enjoy taking antihistimines for the duration of their stay and a day or two afterward. I find that taking the 24 hour kind before bed works best, because it beats any drowsy feelings you may have by being during your sleep period in any case.

I think there is an exception if you are considered residential and 5 rooms and under, but otherwise you are stuck.

My favourite sign at a local store says "No Aminals Except Service Dogs" because if the blind man can't read the sign, the service dog ain't going to be helping him read it.

 The ADA Guidelines changed in 2011.    There is NO EXCEPTION.

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[/quote]  The ADA Guidelines changed in 2011.    There is NO EXCEPTION.

[/quote]

 

The guidelines did change in 2011 but it still says if you are owner occupied and 5 rooms or less you are exempt from ADA.  Not sure what that really means with service animals...it is quite cloudy if you ask me.  

I would love to see a well trained service animal but so far the people trying to stay with me have all been scammers.  I didn't know any better at the time.  I was just taken aback by these people showing up with out even mentioning it in advance.  I took them and their dog which made a mess of hair in the bed and all over the room.  I think something should be done about this on a national level to curtail people taking advantage of others.

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Barry_Manilow wrote:

 The ADA Guidelines changed in 2011.    There is NO EXCEPTION.

[/quote]

 

The guidelines did change in 2011 but it still says if you are owner occupied and 5 rooms or less you are exempt from ADA.  Not sure what that really means with service animals...it is quite cloudy if you ask me.  

I would love to see a well trained service animal but so far the people trying to stay with me have all been scammers.  I didn't know any better at the time.  I was just taken aback by these people showing up with out even mentioning it in advance.  I took them and their dog which made a mess of hair in the bed and all over the room.  I think something should be done about this on a national level to curtail people taking advantage of others.

[/quote]    I didn't see that exemption anywhere in the regs.  Can you cite that?   I spoke with the ADA and described our B&B (2 rooms) we still have to comply.

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Proud Texan wrote:

Barry_Manilow wrote:

 The ADA Guidelines changed in 2011.    There is NO EXCEPTION.

 

The guidelines did change in 2011 but it still says if you are owner occupied and 5 rooms or less you are exempt from ADA.  Not sure what that really means with service animals...it is quite cloudy if you ask me.  

I would love to see a well trained service animal but so far the people trying to stay with me have all been scammers.  I didn't know any better at the time.  I was just taken aback by these people showing up with out even mentioning it in advance.  I took them and their dog which made a mess of hair in the bed and all over the room.  I think something should be done about this on a national level to curtail people taking advantage of others.

[/quote]    I didn't see that exemption anywhere in the regs.  Can you cite that?   I spoke with the ADA and described our B&B (2 rooms) we still have to comply.

[/quote]

 

Try to go to this site http://www.ada.gov/statute.html   Go to section 301 and item number 7 then letter A.   It doesn't say anything about service animals but does say it is exempt from ADA compliance so we don't have to alter the building for wheel chair access etc.  I would think that service animals would fall under that category.   I called the state bed and breakfast association and they told me I was exempt from taking the animals as well.  When I called the toll free ADA number they did tell me I didn't have to take the animals but I can't get anything in writing from anyone.   I wish they would make it easier for bed and breakfasts with 5 rooms or less to deal with this issue.  It would be nice to get something in writing.

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To my understanding the exemption is only for things such as wheelchair ramps etc. We are NOT exempt from accepting the service animals. And I would not want to go to the expense of the legal fees to fight any of this.

RIki

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If you go about it that way, the guests will feel unwelcome which is not your usual style.

My experience with calls for service animals have all resulted in later cancellations. Maybe you dodged a bullet. Maybe someone was looking for a reason to sue and you didn't give it to them. There are lawyers who do this, and only this, for a lucrative living.

If that was not the case, enjoy the guests the way you always do. I have a hard time imaging any other guests recoiling at the idea you allowed a service animal onto your property. Many people look at it in a positive light.

So, you do a little extra vacuuming and some extra loads of laundry. It's not the end of the world. Better a well-behaved dog than an idjit who 'explodes' on the side of the building. At least you can show the guests where you would prefer the dog went. Even though most guests with dogs of any kind do travel with pooper scooper bags, you might want to have a few on hand just in case and a location where you would like them thrown after use. (If this is not 'usual' in your area, you can insist on it anyway.)

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Were you not required to take them before?  The whole thing is very confusing and I know a lot of guests take advantage of the situation and bring animals that they say are service animals when in fact they aren't.  I wish there was some sort of permit or card that guests with service animals would have to carry to prove it is legit.

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Barry_Manilow wrote:

Were you not required to take them before?  The whole thing is very confusing and I know a lot of guests take advantage of the situation and bring animals that they say are service animals when in fact they aren't.  I wish there was some sort of permit or card that guests with service animals would have to carry to prove it is legit.

By law, you just have to take their word for it.   This one is apparently licensed, trained, etc. etc. ......we'll see.

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airlines make you bring your service dog early, and they make you give the dog commands and watch the animal. They also watch how it behaves when people are around to determine if it really is a service dog.

Oh and they do ask to see the 'service card' that is issued. I brought my service dog on the air plane with me 8 years ago and they did all this to me!

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Sunshine wrote:

airlines make you bring your service dog early, and they make you give the dog commands and watch the animal. They also watch how it behaves when people are around to determine if it really is a service dog.

Oh and they do ask to see the 'service card' that is issued. I brought my service dog on the air plane with me 8 years ago and they did all this to me!

Well the airlines must have some pull because we are not allowed to ask for any kind of certification. And five rooms or not, we must take them. Unless you want to spend your retirement on laywers.

Riki

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It is a little harder to ask you to leave at 30,000 feet if the dog isn't trained!

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LOL!

No one (passengers) even knew she was on the plane until she got up, turned around, stretched, and went back and laid down. people were like "oh wow, theres a dog on the plane". That is the way it should be with service animals.

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Sunshine wrote:

 "oh wow, theres a dog on the plane". That is the way it should be with service animals.

Exactly.

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Yep it is a bummer but you don't want to get a lawyer and be the test case so just accept it. We were told to think of it as a medical device. You would not reject someone with glasses, or a prescribed medication. So you can't reject someone with a service animal.

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If it is of any comfort people who have service animals are a tiny minority and they usually try and get into places that take dog anyway as their first choice so the chances of you actually being faced with this are slim. ie I have been in the hotel trade 20 years only have had to accommodate a service dog once and that was when I was working at a dog friendly hotel anyway.

We also make sure that we have a list of dog friendly places ready should anyone ring it helps my friends who take dogs as it saves them commission and means I don't have to worry about it. I would sell it in this situation as we would take you if we have to but if you go to one of these places they will welcome you with open arms plus you may not have any avaliability for when they want anyway.

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