Friday, April 28, 2006

SERVICE DOG HANDLER'S RIGHTS

Yes, service dogs ARE welcome here, but... Did you know that if your dog misbehaves: Barks in public, growls aggressively or otherwisw disrupts things in a public place that you may be asked to remove your service dog from that setting and come back without him or her? It's true... and it is NOT considered a violation of your rights. That is why it is so important for you to make sure that you and your service dog keep up with your public access training and obedience.


Yes, it is true that when you are asked if your dog is a service dog that the person only needs your word ("Yes, my dog is a medically necessary service animal") and that you do not have to show certification, ID or varify by any other means.

BUT...

Did you know that people can ask what tasks your service dog performs to assist you? You do not have to share what your disability is, but your dog must be able to perform a minimum of three (3) identifiable tasks to assist you with daily living.

ALSO...

Though your service dog does not need to be certified, you must carry with you a prescription written by your doctor for you to have a service dog to assist you with your medical(including psychiatric) disability. The prescription also must state how the service dog assists you, and should understand all of these things before s/he writes the script for an SD. It can be helpful to carry this script with you at all times (or a copy of the script). If you license your dog as a service dog (special), you will be asked to present this script along with proof of up-to-date vaccinations.

It is VERY important to remember that you should NEVER falsely present a dog as your service dog when in truth it is not. This is against federal law... considered "perjury" and carries a hefty fine. Though the biggest impact is not on you but on the whole service dog community, making it more difficult for those SD teams who are going about things honestly. If you see a person falsly identifying a dog as a service dog and you know for a fact that it is not that person's service dog, say something to that person. Ask about the dogs tasks. People who lie or abuse the rights for people with disabilities to own and publicly use service dogs are acting selfishly and are breaking the law. It should not be taken lightly.

1 comment:

Jo-Ann said...

This is something everyone thinking of training a service dog should read. It's very good.