This thread follows somewhat along with some of the posts in another thread dealing with proof or documentation of if a dog is a Certified Service Dog.
A press release that I recently received from the State of FL, Division of Emergency Management mentioned Certified Service Dogs
are allowed into emergency shelters.
I am now in the process of sending out emails and making phone calls to explain that was an incorrect statement to have made. Certification per Federal Law is not required in the U.S. It is also not required per FL State Law.
Requesting or demanding such paperwork is in itself against the law. The word *Certified* is in fact a big deal to many. Many of us feel strongly enough on this that we (Assistance Dog Advisory Project along with other individuals in the SD community) are also in the beginning stages of trying to get bills introduced into several states' making it illegal to sell certification of sight unseen dogs or passing of unsuitable SDs by placing certain legal requirements on those individuals, organizations, or businesses that certify Service Dogs.
Part of the email that I have already sent to various emergency organizations is the following:
A point of clarification on a Press Release of May 26 from the State of FL, Division of Emergency Management.
Certified service animals for persons with disabilities are exempt from any restrictions at emergency shelters and lodging facilities
The term *Certified* in this context is incorrect and articles, emails, or Press Releases using this term may lead to confusion at emergency shelters or during needed evacuations. In this press release the word *certified* should not have been used in making this sentence.
I then went on to quote Fed and State Law with links to original sources.
Certification is not only not required by U.S. Law but there are no official certifying agencies at either the Federal or State Levels.
So the use of the word *Certified* may not seem important to some but it is to those who show up at a shelter or possible evacuation and are asked to show their papers/tag/certification ID.