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Service Animals revisited

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seashanty

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so today i sat in a little coffee shop having breakfast alone.
bits of conversation drfited to me and i found myself listening shamelessly ... two women, one man all planning a family trip and they REFUSE to leave their dog home or board her. so they were heading out to the store to buy a special harness. they already have bought (online) a laminated id - on the back of the id with the dog's picture is the federal law about service animals. they also have the service dog vest (also purchased online)
they were laughing about having to train their dog to behave better or the airline would know she is not a service dog, but they are not going to have her travel in whatever section she would have to go on the plane. and they want to take her everywhere they plan to go on vacation or she will be lonely. the neighbors complain that she howls. out the door they went with their coffees.
i like dogs very much and i know it's an expense to board them and you miss them if you go away, but just because you love your dog and it seems like part of the family, you can't bring him/her everywhere you go by pretending it's a service dog. i am wondering if there is a penalty for pretending you have a service animal.
 

YellowSocks

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Argh!
No, and there ought to be!!!
=/
Kk.
 

Morticia

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I know a lot of folks who train service animals are trying to get laws in place to punish people who do this and also get requirements in place so businesses are not forced to do things that aren't the best for everyone concerned in light of the stories they've heard like the one you just told.
One requirement would be that all 'service-related gear' would have to be returned when the dog died. One friend finds this stuff for sale all the time on eBay and it makes her nuts.
 

EmptyNest

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Well that is weird!! If they are blind..how are they going to Fake "being whatever" that needs a service talk. Have to be good actors!!! Gheez!!
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Well that is weird!! If they are blind..how are they going to Fake "being whatever" that needs a service talk. Have to be good actors!!! Gheez!!.
catlady said:
Well that is weird!! If they are blind..how are they going to Fake "being whatever" that needs a service talk. Have to be good actors!!! Gheez!!
Shall we redrudge up all that old stuff? Say it isn't so! ha ha- "support animals" and all that. One friend's sister has seizures and the dog can foretell them and alert her, this dog is allowed everywhere, on planes, in hotels, etc. Remember the support monkey post.

 

NW BB

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Hi Seashanty,
That is an amazing story. I never knew people did that! Would you mind if I reprinted your OP on my aspiring innkeepers blog? That would be a good example for my aspiring innkeepers.
 

Copperhead

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Boy this just ticks me off..big time! Some people just can not be happy unless they are trying to get away with something. I was reminded by this thread of the young lady that came into a coffee shop carrying a Pomeranian and walked right past where we were eating. My first thought was yuck. She walked up to the counter and placed her order, no comment from behind the counter about the dog. Then she came and sat at the table next to us. I got up and went to the counter and quietly said, 'You are aware that there is a law about pets in a food establishment aren't you?' The reply, oh, she is getting it to go.
 

muirford

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Now I'll be on the alert for any service animal phone calls in the near future.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Just remember what the stats are - the average person lies 7 times per hour.
 

gillumhouse

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The problem s I see it (as I started to copy/paste this to one of my State Delegates) is how do you prove it is or it isn't? We are not permitted to ask for documentation - privacy laws bite us every time. WE have no recourse and no one going to bat for us. People like those SS overheard flip is the bird and walk away smiling - no matter what they do to us, they win. It really is a shame because it makes things harder for the people who really do have the problem.
It is like every woman who wants to get back at any man that ticks her off yelling the R word - it demeans (and makes it more difficult) for the woman who really IS. That is the disgusting thing to me. The ME, ME and the heck with you attitude.
 

seashanty

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Well that is weird!! If they are blind..how are they going to Fake "being whatever" that needs a service talk. Have to be good actors!!! Gheez!!.
catlady said:
Well that is weird!! If they are blind..how are they going to Fake "being whatever" that needs a service talk. Have to be good actors!!! Gheez!!
Shall we redrudge up all that old stuff? Say it isn't so! ha ha- "support animals" and all that. One friend's sister has seizures and the dog can foretell them and alert her, this dog is allowed everywhere, on planes, in hotels, etc. Remember the support monkey post.

.
sorry jbj to dredge it up again.
they were planning their fake service dog trip and i just found it amazing to listen to them. nice looking people, pleasant ... just determined to bring their dog with them when they go on vacation ... and i was amazed to hear them openly discussing their plans.
to west virginia by the way ... someplace that has horseback riding nearby where they can ride and not just walk - which made me wonder - what happens to the dog while they go riding?? left alone at the inn/lodge? to wail?
if it wails when they go out for a few hours at home, i am certain it will wail while they go riding! they are making their plans now.
 

seashanty

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exactly kathleen. as i mentioned above your post, we had to take at face value a guest's assertion that a service animal was a service animal.
do you remember the person who was making reservations a few years ago just to see if someone told her they could not accommodate her so she could file suit. why? that is not the way to educate others and get support for your cause. i am trying to remember what that was all about.
 

seashanty

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Hi Seashanty,
That is an amazing story. I never knew people did that! Would you mind if I reprinted your OP on my aspiring innkeepers blog? That would be a good example for my aspiring innkeepers..
well nwbb, here is the problem. if you want to quote that, please quote this as well.
go here for the ADA rules
if you plow through the regulations, you will see that you pretty much must take at face value a guest's assertion that their pet (usually a dog) is in fact a service animal. in maine, i had a few guests with service animals each year, probably because we were located across from a ferry service. they did not cause any problems for me other than that they are dogs with their own odors, etc. i had one room with wood floors, not carpet, that was best suited for service animals. a few were for emotional support, a couple accompanied hearing impaired or deaf guests, one alterted the owner to potential seizures and i believe two were blind guests. i don't remember all the details now.
you cannot ask what the service animal is for. but they have to behave.
only one i wondered about - because the couple did not tell me ahead of time that they had a service animal and the man walked in ready for a fight. i found that all the other guests with service dogs told me in advance.
whether or not a place is 'required' to accept service animals depends on how many guest rooms you have, whether or not you live there, etc. this is a very emotional and hotly debated issue for some innkeepers.
i probably opened a can of worms by bringing it up again ...
 

Morticia

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Just remember what the stats are - the average person lies 7 times per hour..
JBJ said: Just remember what the stats are - the average person lies 7 times per hour.
How can I ever trust me again when I'm arguing with myself???
 

gillumhouse

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exactly kathleen. as i mentioned above your post, we had to take at face value a guest's assertion that a service animal was a service animal.
do you remember the person who was making reservations a few years ago just to see if someone told her they could not accommodate her so she could file suit. why? that is not the way to educate others and get support for your cause. i am trying to remember what that was all about..
It was a couple of lawyers going up the coast doing that so they could file a lawsuit because they knew the insurance company would pay rather than go to the trouble of going to court. The alert was put out to keep innkeepers from getting caught in the wringer. It was the ADA compliant thing.
 

Morticia

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Hi Seashanty,
That is an amazing story. I never knew people did that! Would you mind if I reprinted your OP on my aspiring innkeepers blog? That would be a good example for my aspiring innkeepers..
well nwbb, here is the problem. if you want to quote that, please quote this as well.
go here for the ADA rules
if you plow through the regulations, you will see that you pretty much must take at face value a guest's assertion that their pet (usually a dog) is in fact a service animal. in maine, i had a few guests with service animals each year, probably because we were located across from a ferry service. they did not cause any problems for me other than that they are dogs with their own odors, etc. i had one room with wood floors, not carpet, that was best suited for service animals. a few were for emotional support, a couple accompanied hearing impaired or deaf guests, one alterted the owner to potential seizures and i believe two were blind guests. i don't remember all the details now.
you cannot ask what the service animal is for. but they have to behave.
only one i wondered about - because the couple did not tell me ahead of time that they had a service animal and the man walked in ready for a fight. i found that all the other guests with service dogs told me in advance.
whether or not a place is 'required' to accept service animals depends on how many guest rooms you have, whether or not you live there, etc. this is a very emotional and hotly debated issue for some innkeepers.
i probably opened a can of worms by bringing it up again ...
.
I've had calls but only one booking and they subsequently cancelled. But the calls...'Is your yard fenced so my dog doesn't run away?' What? What kind of training is that when the dog will run away? And why would it not be leashed? She didn't stay.
Another one had a kid who the dog was for. The additional person charge was too expensive, so they didn't book.
The one that did book said he trained the dog himself. Again, what?
And now here are people making up disabilities to have their dog go everywhere? You know, I'd be interested to hear how the lodging establishment handles a service animal being left in the room while the owners are out galivanting. Or how the horse back riding goes with the dog on a leash.
You can ask what service the dog provides without asking what's wrong with the person. And the dog does have to behave. If they leave it alone and it howls, out they go.
 

NW BB

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Hi Seashanty,
That is an amazing story. I never knew people did that! Would you mind if I reprinted your OP on my aspiring innkeepers blog? That would be a good example for my aspiring innkeepers..
well nwbb, here is the problem. if you want to quote that, please quote this as well.
go here for the ADA rules
if you plow through the regulations, you will see that you pretty much must take at face value a guest's assertion that their pet (usually a dog) is in fact a service animal. in maine, i had a few guests with service animals each year, probably because we were located across from a ferry service. they did not cause any problems for me other than that they are dogs with their own odors, etc. i had one room with wood floors, not carpet, that was best suited for service animals. a few were for emotional support, a couple accompanied hearing impaired or deaf guests, one alterted the owner to potential seizures and i believe two were blind guests. i don't remember all the details now.
you cannot ask what the service animal is for. but they have to behave.
only one i wondered about - because the couple did not tell me ahead of time that they had a service animal and the man walked in ready for a fight. i found that all the other guests with service dogs told me in advance.
whether or not a place is 'required' to accept service animals depends on how many guest rooms you have, whether or not you live there, etc. this is a very emotional and hotly debated issue for some innkeepers.
i probably opened a can of worms by bringing it up again ...
.
Here's the info I provide to aspiring innkeepers. It's a little shorter, but also from the Dept of Justice http://www.ada.gov/svcanimb.htm
 

muirford

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Hi Seashanty,
That is an amazing story. I never knew people did that! Would you mind if I reprinted your OP on my aspiring innkeepers blog? That would be a good example for my aspiring innkeepers..
well nwbb, here is the problem. if you want to quote that, please quote this as well.
go here for the ADA rules
if you plow through the regulations, you will see that you pretty much must take at face value a guest's assertion that their pet (usually a dog) is in fact a service animal. in maine, i had a few guests with service animals each year, probably because we were located across from a ferry service. they did not cause any problems for me other than that they are dogs with their own odors, etc. i had one room with wood floors, not carpet, that was best suited for service animals. a few were for emotional support, a couple accompanied hearing impaired or deaf guests, one alterted the owner to potential seizures and i believe two were blind guests. i don't remember all the details now.
you cannot ask what the service animal is for. but they have to behave.
only one i wondered about - because the couple did not tell me ahead of time that they had a service animal and the man walked in ready for a fight. i found that all the other guests with service dogs told me in advance.
whether or not a place is 'required' to accept service animals depends on how many guest rooms you have, whether or not you live there, etc. this is a very emotional and hotly debated issue for some innkeepers.
i probably opened a can of worms by bringing it up again ...
.
Here's the info I provide to aspiring innkeepers. It's a little shorter, but also from the Dept of Justice http://www.ada.gov/svcanimb.htm
.
Just two things that were brought up in a previous set of posts on this subject:
Therapy animals (emotional support) have not been defined by the ADA as service animals; the TSA (transportation) does define them as service animals for transportation procedures. IMO, that means we do not have to accommodate therapy animals under the ADA laws.
You are allowed to ask what service the animal provides. As Bree said, if they disrupt your business, they may be removed. There has been some backlash because of the proliferation of 'service animals' with quesionable provenances.
 

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