Legality and service dogs - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 56 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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Legality and service dogs

I have a friend who is a biology professor at a local community college. A girl recently enrolled in his class and brings her service dog with here. The dog is an “environmental sensitivity dog” I have no idea what that is, but apparently he dog seemed well enough behaved until a few days ago when it pooped in the classroom and then dragged its leash through the poop, and throughout the classroom. The professor, who was irritated with the entire situation left the classroom. The girl and dog left soon after without cleaning up the mess (the professor ended up having to clean it himself).
He wants to know if there is any way to get documentation proving it’s a service dog without violating ADA? Really, I believe he would prefer if the dog was not allowed back in the classroom, but I’m not sure that’s possible.
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post #2 of 56 (permalink) Old 02-18-2011, 12:01 AM
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I believe that she can be asked how the dog mitigates her disability. In other words, what does the dog do for her? Can she explain what an "environmental Sensitivity" dog does?
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post #3 of 56 (permalink) Old 02-18-2011, 12:22 AM
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Where is the dog kept during class and how did it manage to poop and then drag the leash through the poop? During a class the dog should be a down, and not get up much less be able to poop, and then I don't understand how the dog would have managed to drag the leash through the poop and around the room unless the dog was just wandering about and not being held by the girl. This definitely sounds like a situation where its not a true SD.

I've also never heard of an environmental sensitivity dog. It sounds like it would be a type of alert dog, such as alerting about environmental allergens.. But in that case the dog would be referred to as a medical alert dog.

He can ask what tasks the dog does to mitigate her disability, but cannot ask what her disability is. He cannot ask her to present any type of certification or service dog ID according to federal law. Under federal law owner trained SDs are accepted and would not have certification since they did not come from a training organization.

He CAN ask the dog to leave if the dog is causing a disturbance. Pooping inside and then dragging a leash through it would probably cause a disturbance... And the dog must be under the control of the handler at all times, if the dog is being allowed to wander about or the leash isn't being held something is seriously wrong.

In a situation such as a SD relieving themselves indoors, the handler is required to clean up the mess unless their disability prevents them from being able to do so (such as a guide dog having an accident, but the loss of eye sight preventing the handler to be able to clean up the mess.) I'm appalled at the behavior of just leaving the mess. One time Tessa vomited up a bit of water on the floor at subway, I was mortified and was going to clean it up myself (after rushing her outside to make sure if she still had to vomit it happened outdoors, my ex was standing over the spot) but the employee grabbed the mop and told me to not worry about it.


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Last edited by Lin; 02-18-2011 at 12:24 AM.
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post #4 of 56 (permalink) Old 02-18-2011, 12:22 AM Thread Starter
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Presuming she doesn't come up with any tasks...Then what?

If it's just an "emotional support dog" (which is what I'm guessing) then they don't have public access?
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post #5 of 56 (permalink) Old 02-18-2011, 12:27 AM Thread Starter
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Where is the dog kept during class and how did it manage to poop and then drag the leash through the poop? During a class the dog should be a down, and not get up much less be able to poop, and then I don't understand how the dog would have managed to drag the leash through the poop and around the room unless the dog was just wandering about and not being held by the girl. This definitely sounds like a situation where its not a true SD.

I've also never heard of an environmental sensitivity dog. It sounds like it would be a type of alert dog, such as alerting about environmental allergens.. But in that case the dog would be referred to as a medical alert dog.

He can ask what tasks the dog does to mitigate her disability, but cannot ask what her disability is. He cannot ask her to present any type of certification or service dog ID according to federal law. Under federal law owner trained SDs are accepted and would not have certification since they did not come from a training organization.

He CAN ask the dog to leave if the dog is causing a disturbance. Pooping inside and then dragging a leash through it would probably cause a disturbance... And the dog must be under the control of the handler at all times, if the dog is being allowed to wander about or the leash isn't being held something is seriously wrong.
I have no idea how it dragged it's leash through the poop, all I know he wasn't too pleased with having to clean up trails of poo.

Thank's for taking the time to write out that reply, I'll forward the information along.
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post #6 of 56 (permalink) Old 02-18-2011, 12:31 AM
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Correct, emotional support dogs do not have any public access rights. If she says its an emotional support dog he can tell her she cannot bring the dog to class. (However there IS such a thing as a psychiatric service dog, which is completely different from an ESA.)

If she cannot answer what tasks the dog performs, I would say he should also tell her she cannot bring the dog to class. If she feels her dog is a valid service animal and her rights are not being met, then she can seek out a legal solution but must prove her dog as a SD for that to happen. I would say if she cannot answer such a simple question as what tasks her dog does to mitigate her disability (I can rattle off various tasks my dog does without even needing to think.) then the dog is most definitely not a valid service animal... By the rare chance that it IS, well then she should be better versed on the law and be willing to take full responsibility for the dog and any actions the dog does.


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post #7 of 56 (permalink) Old 02-18-2011, 12:32 AM
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Maybe pooping and dragging the leash through the poop is how it alerts its handler

But - in all seriousness? Gross. Sucks that the prof had to deal with that. I have never heard of an environment sensitivity dog.

I have heard lots of other weird stories about so-called (and maybe they were) service animals - I think most of them were emotional support animals. I've heard of seeing an iguana (large one too), parrot, and cat all as service animals of some type in a grocery store locally. Crazy, huh?
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post #8 of 56 (permalink) Old 02-18-2011, 12:38 AM
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Those people were breaking the law. ESAs do NOT have public access. And when it comes to service animals, under the ADA reformation act of 2008 only dogs are accepted as service animals.


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post #9 of 56 (permalink) Old 02-18-2011, 12:44 AM
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Those people were breaking the law. ESAs do NOT have public access. And when it comes to service animals, under the ADA reformation act of 2008 only dogs are accepted as service animals.
Oh, I don't doubt it...I think it's disgusting personally because cats can carry toxoplasmosis, lizards salmonella, and birds...well, I can't remember but I don't think it's any better considering that just like a lizard they will poop anywhere.

A family member I know works in the grocery store and (if I remember correctly) they're allowed (probably per company policy) to go up and ask the person with the animal if it is a service animal. I can't remember if they're allowed to ask for paperwork.

I know there are a lot of people with true disabilities that need their dogs to help them but then there are people like this who abuse the system...
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post #10 of 56 (permalink) Old 02-18-2011, 12:58 AM
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Sounds like she is claiming two totally separate categories . A service dog implying she needs one for a disability ( which is a protected class) and , the other an "environmentally sensitive" pet?? I think she is full of it regarding that. The pet has no actual public rights and not even related to the ADA act. There is an "ESA" pet i.e. emotional support animal and here in California we have "companion" animals as well. The "companion" animal owner now is under ADA protection as well like genuine "service" animals. I am not a legal expert but have had to sit through a legal presentation in California explain all this relating to real estate and tenant / landlord laws for my Real Estate company.
Regarding her leaving the mess there, that was just plain rude and ghetto. She should be fined and reported to the school administration. She has no legal right to bring her animal unless she provides the documentation that her pet is a "SERVICE or COMPANION" animal. He can ask her proof regarding the pet, just not ask her about what her disability is. It is however her burden of proof to provide the info for the pet anyways, if it was legitimate she would know this. HAVE HIM ASK HER for the documentation for the pet. I would than suggest they provide written documentation of the incident to his supervisor.

Last edited by zeus von entringer staal; 02-18-2011 at 01:06 AM.
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