Why not a SD that is also a visiting TD?
First I would like to be clear on what the Legal Definition of a Service Animal is and what the Definition of a Therapy dog is.
Right from the Department of Justice website, please pay close attention to the areas I highlighted in red.
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Disability Rights Section
The Department of Justice published revised final regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for title II (State and local government services) and title III (public accommodations and commercial facilities) on September 15, 2010, in the Federal Register. These requirements, or rules, clarify and refine issues that have arisen over the past 20 years and contain new, and updated, requirements, including the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design (2010 Standards).
This publication provides guidance on the term “service animal” and the service animal provisions in the Department’s new regulations.
Beginning on March 15, 2011, only dogs are recognized as service animals under titles II and III of the ADA.
A service animal is a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.
Generally, title II and title III entities must permit service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas where members of the public are allowed to go.
How “Service Animal” Is Defined
Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.
This definition does not affect or limit the broader definition of “assistance animal” under the Fair Housing Act or the broader definition of “service animal” under the Air Carrier Access Act.
Some State and local laws also define service animal more broadly than the ADA does. Information about such laws can be obtained from the State attorney general’s office.
Where Service Animals Are Allowed
Under the ADA, State and local governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations that serve the public generally must allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas of the facility where the public is normally allowed to go. For example, in a hospital it would be inappropriate to exclude a service animal from areas such as patient rooms, clinics, cafeterias, or examination rooms. However, it may be appropriate to exclude a service animal from operating rooms or burn units where the animal’s presence may compromise a sterile environment.
Service Animals Must Be Under Control
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.
Inquiries, Exclusions, Charges, and Other Specific Rules Related to Service Animals
When it is not obvious what service an animal provides, only limited inquiries are allowed. Staff may ask two questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability, and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform. Staff cannot ask about the person’s disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.
Allergies and fear of dogs are not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to people using service animals. When a person who is allergic to dog dander and a person who uses a service animal must spend time in the same room or facility, for example, in a school classroom or at a homeless shelter, they both should be accommodated by assigning them, if possible, to different locations within the room or different rooms in the facility.
A person with a disability cannot be asked to remove his service animal from the premises unless: (1) the dog is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it or (2) the dog is not housebroken. When there is a legitimate reason to ask that a service animal be removed, staff must offer the person with the disability the opportunity to obtain goods or services without the animal’s presence.
Establishments that sell or prepare food must allow service animals in public areas even if state or local health codes prohibit animals on the premises.
People with disabilities who use service animals cannot be isolated from other patrons, treated less favorably than other patrons, or charged fees that are not charged to other patrons without animals. In addition, if a business requires a deposit or fee to be paid by patrons with pets, it must waive the charge for service animals.
If a business such as a hotel normally charges guests for damage that they cause, a customer with a disability may also be charged for damage caused by himself or his service animal.
Staff are not required to provide care or food for a service animal.
In addition to the provisions about service dogs, the Department’s revised ADA regulations have a new, separate provision about miniature horses that have been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. (Miniature horses generally range in height from 24 inches to 34 inches measured to the shoulders and generally weigh between 70 and 100 pounds.) Entities covered by the ADA must modify their policies to permit miniature horses where reasonable. The regulations set out four assessment factors to assist entities in determining whether miniature horses can be accommodated in their facility. The assessment factors are (1) whether the miniature horse is housebroken; (2) whether the miniature horse is under the owner’s control; (3) whether the facility can accommodate the miniature horse’s type, size, and weight; and (4) whether the miniature horse’s presence will not compromise legitimate safety requirements necessary for safe operation of the facility.
For more information about the ADA, please visit our website or call our toll-free number.
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Duplication of this document is encouraged. July 2011
This is how a Therapy Dog is defined on numerous sites. Pay close attention to the areas I highlighted in red.
Right from the website of ILGHAUS:
"Q. If I have my dog made a therapy dog or a emotional support dog can it then live in a apartment that doesn’t allow dogs?
A. Therapy Dogs are pet dogs that can be owned by either disabled or non-disabled owners.
Per Delta Society:
Therapy animals and their handlers are trained to provide specific human populations with appropriate contact with animals. They are usually the personal pets of the handlers and accompany their handlers to the sites they visit, but therapy animals may also reside at a facility. Animals must meet specific criteria for health, grooming and behavior. While managed by their handlers, their work is not handler-focused and instead provides benefits to others.
The owner/handler of a Therapy Dog does not have additional rights in Housing or Public Access over any other pet owner."
"Therapy Dogs are not Assistance or Service Dogs. Therapy Dogs are pet dogs with special training and of the proper temperament to work with their owner around and for other people."
I do not know if you are aware, but a mass majority of great Service Dog organizations also do not allow the dual role of Service/Therapy dog for good reason! It is DANGEROUS for the disabled handler to do this.
Can a great Professional trainer and handler train a dog to do both without compromising the Service Dog training or the well-being of the dog? Honestly, the answer is yes and no, it will cause unnecessary added stress on the dog and on the handler as associative behaviors that will create conflict in the dog need to be looked out for 24/7. Can the average service dog handler or owner trainer do it without risk? No, they lack the experience to recognize associative behaviors by doing this and it may put their lives at risk.
Service Dogs are for a disabled handler. They are not pets as defined by law nor should they be treated that way on any level by the public.
Therapy Dogs are as ILGHAUS even defined "Therapy Dogs are not Assistance or Service Dogs. Therapy Dogs are pet dogs with special training and of the proper temperament to work with their owner around and for other people."
ANY good working dog trainer will tell you how powerful association is when it comes to a dog and even more so when it comes to a working dog. Training itself is mostly based on associative behavior.
When this subject reared its ugly head again, I contacted every working dog trainer I know and a lot of other Service Dog Organizations and a lot of other PROFESSIONAL Service Dog trainers. I thought I was out of the loop as claims that this IS in fact acceptable as apparently (according to the majority of the owner trainer crowd) the “handler” in this regard weather the dog was trained by a professional or owner trained knows what’s best for their dog. I passed this information on and got responses that ranged from hysterical laughs to “We won’t certify our dog if they go that route.” To “Yeah and I want my Service dog to be a Police dog too.. What? I can’t do that? You are discriminating! lol.” To “They just will not get it till something happens and they come back with a messed up dog.” “Don’t these people know how many dogs get messed up when they break SD training and they get treated as a pet?” Please forgive me, as I am not knocking all owner trainers. There are a lot of owner trainers that are responsible with their Service Dog and use them for the tasks they were intended for without creating conflict in the dog just to satisfy motivation driven purely by emotion vs. real professional working dog training guidance. Service Dogs are Service Dogs; Therapy Dogs are Therapy Dogs they were never meant to function in a duel role capacity both from a working dog training standpoint to a legal definition of both.
From Pet Partners website formerly Delta Society:
“Are Pet Partners Therapy Animals certified or registered?
Pet Partner Therapy Animal teams are registered, not certified. Certification implies that Pet Partners has participated in the handler's and the animal's training. Whereas registration requires training and screening, Pet Partners does not certify that the team is trained to a certain level. Instead, the team is registered as having met minimum requirements
Furthermore, Pet Partners' commercial general liability insurance will be primary, i.e. it will provide coverage first. However, several notable exclusions exist. They are:
•Pet Partners' commercial general liability insurance does not provide coverage for either member of a Therapy Animal team causing a loss to other Pet Partners volunteers. Such losses are the personal responsibility of the Therapy Animal handler.”
In other words, we don’t know what we are doing for sure so if something happens to the training of your Service Dog or you in connection with the therapy work we are not responsible.
If you want your Service Dog to be a pet and participate in visiting Therapy Dog work, do yourself and your dog a favor. Retire the dog as a Service Dog and go for it. If visiting Therapy work means that much to you and it means more to you than the gift of having a Service Dog… so be it. Or you can Register your dog with someone other than TDI and take your chances.
Ursula A. Kempe, President of TDI has over 40 years of working dog training experience. This decision does not come from delusions or from political pressure nor will she fold under political pressure.
“Many people, especially ignorant people, want to punish you for speaking the truth, for being correct, for being you. Never apologize for being correct, or for being ahead of your time. If you’re right and you know it, speak your mind. Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is still the truth.” -Gandhi
Recourses: DOJ http://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm Pet Partners AKA Delta Society http://www.petpartners.org/page.aspx?pid=267 ADAP (ILGHAUS is a part of) http://blog.workndog.org/adap/
What exactly are you asking?
michelle I don't think he's asking anything, he's explaining why service dogs should not be therapy dogs is my gist:)
Service Dog from that thread
In a previous post on this forum the question of what is wrong with an active Service Dog Teamed with a disabled partner to also simultaneously function as a visiting therapy dog for other people.
This post explains in as much detail as possible the contradiction, conflict and dangers of doing so on multiple levels. I stated in a previous post that I would start a new thread on this subject as I was not the OP on the thread this discussion started and it was a little off topic. This post details why it is not acceptable and why and it is far from being “nothing” wrong with it, both from a legal definition standpoint and a working dog training standpoint.
1. It is a dangerous combination.
2. It contradicts legal terms as a working Service Dog is NEVER a pet unless it is retired. Does it have down time? Yes, with the handler playing ball ect.. Not working for others as a pet. The focus of the dog should always be on the handler the dog was intended for. This is a dog for the disabled person it was teamed with, not for the enjoyment of the public. This is one of the reasons WHY they have public access and Therapy Dogs do not.
While I feel that the ongoing performance of a service dog is both the responsibility of the handler and the facility/trainer and even the sanctioning organization (if the school is sanctioned) it is clear with a good majority of Service Dog organizations that a duel role of Service Dog and Therapy Dog is not allowed with their dogs. I for one agree and it IS with good reason. It is dangerous for the disabled handler and can definitely compromise the training of the Service Dog. Numerous reports of dogs compromised by this duel exist in the industry. Not because of lack of training, in this case I agree 100% handler error and failing to comply with the guidelines of professional trainers and organizations on this subject.
The attorney for the city informed us she could choose any breed for her therapy dog, and this dog was not exempt (by virtue of being a "therapy dog") from the pit bull ban. She had to move the dog out of town, and/or move herself.
By the definitions above, what she was saying isn't even legally legitimate, right? You can have a therapy dog that sees other people and comforts them, but not one for yourself, to make yourself feel better?
The reason I ask this is many folks I've come across will tell me "this is my therapy dog, I feel better when I pet it" or some such, and use that as justification to bring their dogs in stores, on airplanes, basically, any place dogs are normally not allowed.
The same with apartments, many people will try to claim their dog gives them therapy and therefore, even if dogs are banned at said apartment, they believe they can get a doctor's note to keep the dog?
I agree - when a Service Dog with with their handler (the person that NEEDS the service the dog does) - they should be 100% focused on that person.
BUT ... If I have a Service Dog (let's say I'm blind) and my HUSBAND wants to take him to do therapy work - there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Just because a dog is a Service Dog that does not AUTOMATICALLY exclude them from being a Therapy Dog as well.
Everyone knows that a blind person and others with disability has a right to enter any public place with a Trained and Licensed Service dog...
Sadly we have many people who seem to stretch the law to say they need their dog
to enter because i need him for therapy..These people just want to enter and make up their own laws.
Emotional support dogs???? Why not have a emotional support cats, pigs?? haha..
It make me feel better to have my dog or cat, etc.. with me!!!!
Service dogs are highly trained to offer a service to their owner...The dog helps the owner perform tacks they cound not do without the dog. In many cases the owner could not live as full of a life without the help of this service dog.
The service dog does a lot more then just make the owner feel good!
It helps them live.
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