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Service Animals and the ongoing ADA saga

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muirford

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There was a good article in the New York Times magazine last weekend about service animals. It is a long article but somewhere on the second or third page there is a distinction made between service animals and therapy animals. Therapy animals are not granted special legal rights. The class of service animals that provide 'psychiatric' service is in a gray zone and some federal departments have stated that they are service animals (like the DOT) for their own policies, although the ADA definition has remained as it was.
I would like to say reading the article brings some clarity but it unfortunatley does not give definitie guidelines either way. But it is an interesting background of how we got to where we are with service/therapy animals.
The article is here. You may have to register to read it; I am already a member as a subscriber so I'm not sure how that works.
 

Copperhead

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Just skimmed the article but it really left me with my mouth wide open - A miniature horse used as a guide for the blind? How feasible is that, really!?! Is it house trained? The picture of them in a store, no poop bag on it either. And the bird as a comfort pet...they have no way of controling their functions.
I love animals but where is this all going??? There is just so far I am willing to go and these to examples are beyond my limits.
My DH has been wanting a parrot for several years, sure hope he doesn't try to pull it off as a comfort pet. As much as I love to see them they are just too messy and I KNOW it would be ME cleaning up after it -no thanks.
 

gillumhouse

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Just skimmed the article but it really left me with my mouth wide open - A miniature horse used as a guide for the blind? How feasible is that, really!?! Is it house trained? The picture of them in a store, no poop bag on it either. And the bird as a comfort pet...they have no way of controling their functions.
I love animals but where is this all going??? There is just so far I am willing to go and these to examples are beyond my limits.
My DH has been wanting a parrot for several years, sure hope he doesn't try to pull it off as a comfort pet. As much as I love to see them they are just too messy and I KNOW it would be ME cleaning up after it -no thanks..
Over an above the poop problem - bodacious as that would be, the noise factor would drive me up the wall. Parrots, macaws and the like are noisy! A couple a block away have 3 (both kinds of birds) and I can hear them down here when I am in the yard in winter and even when in the house in the kitchen in summer. Tell your DH the bird would disturb the guests. Hope it works to fend off the threat to your sanity.
 

seashanty

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i saw a blind woman with a guide horse at logan airport last month. he wore no diaper that i could see so i looked up whether or not mini horses can be house trained. apparently they can.
it was an adorable little creature -- it stood calmly or walked along and the only problem i observed was that people constantly wanted to pet it. he/she wore a little coat that said 'please no petting - i am working' on its back, and on each side of the coat it said 'service animal'.
the little horse was actually smaller than one service animal that stayed here. a very large dog, breed unknown, an emotional support animal. but that's a very long story i already told
 

muirford

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The article in the Times magazine said that the miniature horse did wear a diaper, as do the trained monkeys. The mini horses - there is a farm near here aren't any bigger than a big German Shepherd although I think they are a bit more unwieldy as they can't curl up in tight spaces.
I thought the most interesting point is that the ADA laws do not require accommodations for therapy animals, only service animals. The gray area is defining which emotional support animals are for service (like seizure alerts and calming, maybe) or for comfort (a companion for combating a fear of flying, maybe). The DOT allows therapy animals for travel, but their guidelines are not applicable for other industries or services, even though many people with emotional support animals are using them as if they are.
 
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