Hi, there is this post attempting to discredit another tumblr post going around. What Nicolas Steenhout is saying is merely his opinion rather than the law and in some instances he is outright lying. This misinformation spreading about service dogs has the potential to harm many service dog teams who may be accused of being fakes. Just to note this is about service dogs in the USA only.
@mariagvogel. This isn’t to single you out, just that you’re the person who cross posted this from twitter and that you mentioned not having enough knowledge on service dogs to form a proper opinion.
I’d first like to address the lies of Steenhout’s posts. @lumpatronics is a grown woman, not a teenager, and is working with a professional dog trainer. When the incident took place lumpatronics was in a grocery store when she tripped and dropped Raider’s (her service dog) leash. Raider was found an aisle over, not 2 blocks away, and was not pawing the woman. Raider is still working as a service dog and was never deemed inappropriate as a service dog (doh!).
With that out of the way I’d like to further explain what a service dog is. This is taken directly from ada.gov: Under the ADA, a service animal is defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person’s disability. There is no list of official tasks or how the dog must perform them. As long as it’s a trained behaviour that mitigates the handler’s disability, it counts. To give you an idea of some tasks a dog might perform here is a list of 143 of them thought the dog only needs to know one task and it’s not limited to that list. You’ll see ‘alert for help’ is on that list.
Each service dog is uniquely tailored to their handler’s needs. What might work with one service dog team won’t necessarily work for another. Steenhout’s example of the dog staying with their handler and barking to alert others would not work for lumpatronics because she has sensory issues and would be sent into sensory overload from the barking while recovering from her seizure. A dog being trained to find help is a perfectly valid and legal task that isn’t unheard of in seizure response dogs.
Service dogs are required to be leashed unless the leash interferes with one’s disability or performing a task. From ada.gov: Under the ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls.
Since Raider was tasking he was considered under other effective control.
While service dogs are not legally required to wear a vest that does not mean vests are a scam. Some service dog handlers choose to utilize a vest some don’t. Registries are a scam but just somebody registered their dog with one doesn’t necessarily mean the dog is a fake service dog. The handler may have simply not have known better. As far as I’m aware Raider is not registered as a service dog so I’m not sure why it was brought up.
Other things to note is that while Labradors, Golden Retreivers, Poodles, and mixes of the 3 are the most commonly seen as service dogs, there is no restriction on what breeds are allowed to be service dogs (Q22). It is also not legally required for the dog to be professionally trained and handlers with owner trained dogs have just as many rights as handlers with organization trained dogs (Q5). There is no restrictions on where the dog comes from or what age it is either. Breeder, rescue, or the family dog are all valid choices if the dog has the right temperament for service dog work.
The best thing to do if you see a service dog team is to ignore the dog. I hear a lot of people say that while they don’t pat service dogs they always make sure to tell the dog’s handler how the dog is doing a good job. While it’s coming from a good place I know a lot of handlers would prefer you didn’t. They are just trying to go through their day like anybody else but usually get stopped because of their dogs. Service dogs are medical equipment. You wouldn’t stop somebody to tell them their cane, wheelchair, oxygen tank, etc, is doing a good job, would you?
This is longer than I intended and their was more things I wanted to add but I’m having a hard time remembering them and I’m running out of energy for this. I hope what I’ve said makes sense and that I’ve educated a few people about service dogs. Here are some links to service dog handlers correcting this post. @pavusiing has a good response to this post here, @ofspaceandboys here, and @coconutsake here. I’m sure there are others but these are the only ones that have come across my dash. While not made as a response to Steenhout’s post @astraltailwags has a very good post about fake service dogs here.
Here are some links to help people to educate themselves on service animals in the USA
ADA on Service AnimalsADA’s Official FAQADA National NetworkService Dog Society
I haven’t posted anything on this I don’t believe, but yes I was disappointed to see that Twitter thread. Thanks for including my post, I’m very happy it’s still getting attention because the SD community can be a brutal place
i think i reblogged the earlier post so im just putting this out there to hopefully remedy any misinformation i mistakenly spread. sorry guys :((
found @ 21 likes ON 2019-01-19 23:41:08 BY ME.ME