Bunny Won't be a Therapy Dog Afterall - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-15-2011, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
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Bunny Won't be a Therapy Dog Afterall

Bunny passed her evaluation but the membership application asks about the dog's history. Bunny was dog-aggressive when she was 1.5 years old and she did bite another dog when it attacked Jazz. Their insurance provider has a zero-bite policy regardless of circumstance so Bunny has been eliminated.

I feel so sad. She would have been awesome and I've been searching for jobs for both my dogs and I knew this is what suited her best. Jazz isn't suited for this type of work at this point.

I'm a little angry that they do the paperwork after the evaluation because had I known I wouldn't have bothered testing her at all. All it says on their website is that dogs should not be aggressive which she is not. Further more the Team Leader was in my CGC prep course and I told her I was taking the test and I had mentioned to her previously that Bunny was dog-aggressive a few years back. Why wouldn't she have at least mentioned this to me. She encouraged me to take the test knowing Bunny had a past. Another poster mentioned to me that one of the other Therapy Dog Providers here does their paperwork before the evaluation so I mentioned this to the Team Leader and asked for a refund. Maybe that was wrong of me but I feel like they wasted my time and money. The process seems backwards.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what other type of job I could give her? She adores people and attention which is why I wanted to do Therapy Work.

Carolyn

Jazz, Shiloh Shepherd, 5 yrs old, CGC HIC
Bunny, GSD X, 7.5 years old
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-15-2011, 09:02 AM
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that stinks, and yes I would have asked for my money back

How about doing some doggie demo/responsible dog ownership stuff with her? Like pre schools, day cares, maybe senior citizen centers?? Contact local AC see if they have any ideas so you can get her out there and promote what a great dog she is..

I'm so sorry, this is really disappointing, and I would be peeved..

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-15-2011, 09:05 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Diane, that's a good idea. I will certainly look into it. The Team Leader said she feels badly and is going to give me a refund.

Do you think I could still visit places but just not be affiliated with an organization? She'll obviously pass her CGC test without a problem so I could tell places that.

Jazz, Shiloh Shepherd, 5 yrs old, CGC HIC
Bunny, GSD X, 7.5 years old
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-15-2011, 09:06 AM
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Awww, that doesn't sound fair to me - biting another dog in self-defense is NOT being aggressive, IMO.

Are there any other therapy groups in your area that you could check out? Some communities have small local groups, run by local volunteers. Years ago I was a member of such a group with my spaniel mix, and we visited nursing homes and hospitals.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-15-2011, 09:17 AM
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You could still visit but from my understanding the insurance is a big thing. This day and age one little mistake could cost you big time. I take Katie into see my grandmother all the time. Plus my mom works at the home so we are usually all over the place stopping to see people all along the way. Oh sent you a PM too.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-15-2011, 09:35 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by High5 View Post
You could still visit but from my understanding the insurance is a big thing. This day and age one little mistake could cost you big time. I take Katie into see my grandmother all the time. Plus my mom works at the home so we are usually all over the place stopping to see people all along the way. Oh sent you a PM too.
Just responded to your PM. I could try the Humane Society. I know they do pet visits because I did them in the past. They provided the dog to me but to be honest I found the dogs they used to not be well suited for pet visits.

Jazz, Shiloh Shepherd, 5 yrs old, CGC HIC
Bunny, GSD X, 7.5 years old
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-15-2011, 09:37 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Castlemaid View Post
Awww, that doesn't sound fair to me - biting another dog in self-defense is NOT being aggressive, IMO.

Are there any other therapy groups in your area that you could check out? Some communities have small local groups, run by local volunteers. Years ago I was a member of such a group with my spaniel mix, and we visited nursing homes and hospitals.
I don't know about other groups. The two other big ones are St. John's Ambulance and Ottawa Therapy Dogs but I'm willing to bet they operate under the same rules since they're both insured. I'll have to check into smaller groups.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-15-2011, 10:03 AM
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Would you mind if i ran the senario past our evaluator this Saturday? I wont mention area or any names, maybe there is something that can be done. It just seems starnge to me that you paid, passed and then was denied over one instance that was clearly in self defense. Even then you recognized the problem and worked you dog past it. Looking at the guidlines it sounds that even once in the program and something happens the animal is given the chance to be re-evaluated. Maybe they can give you a second chance. Im curious for my own interest also as they have an interest in Katie for the program. Maybe your area TL is a little too strict and if that be the case how strict is there admitance policy? Gee would i be eliminated cause my dog chewed up a field mouse in my back yard last week? LOL

1 Volunteers agree that when any noticeable change in the dog’s or cat’s temperament or if physical limitations are evident they will immediately retire the dog/cat from the program or participate in another evaluation.

2 Volunteers agree to advise their Team Leader immediately of any occurrence involving their dog/cat and agree to abstain from visiting if their dog/cat is involved in any occurrence that could jeopardize the integrity of the visitation program until such time as the occurrence has been investigated by the Team Leader, Director of Team Leaders, Director of Evaluators and the Executive Committee.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-15-2011, 10:19 AM
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That's terrible! I would have been mad too!!

Onyx was involved in a "fight" at the park two years ago where he was attacked by a St Bernard and received severe damage to his thigh and had to have surgery to close up the bite wounds. He did bite the dog in self defense, but I am not sure I would divulge this information as I know he is completely safe around all types of dog/cats and small animals under my supervision. It would not be fair to disqualify us because the ignorance of another owner/dog. He does not have a "bite history" because nothing was ever reported to anyone.

I think it is stupid, how would the dog pass all the test and not show any signs of dog aggression? There are several things you must do around other dogs. Who know, the flip side is they prob created this rule because someone passed all the tests and had a dog with a bite history that did some damage to someone/something and cost the group a lot of insurance money.


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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-15-2011, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
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Tim, feel free to run it by your evaluator but I don't think the decision rests in the hands of the Team Leaders. My Team Leader knows Bunny because we're both taking the CGC prep course. I'm assuming if anything, she'd be more lenient because she knows me and my dog. She is not the one that did the evaluation.

This all comes down to the insurance company I believe and their zero-bite policy regardless of circumstance.

Just so everyone is clear though, Bunny wasn't being attacked and bit to protect herself. My other dog Jazz who was a pup at the time was being attacked and Bunny jumped in and bit the other dog to protect Jazz.

I am being refunded so at least I'm not out the money but that does little to make me feel better. It's just hard when you get your hopes up only to have them crushed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by High5 View Post
Would you mind if i ran the senario past our evaluator this Saturday? I wont mention area or any names, maybe there is something that can be done. It just seems starnge to me that you paid, passed and then was denied over one instance that was clearly in self defense. Even then you recognized the problem and worked you dog past it. Looking at the guidlines it sounds that even once in the program and something happens the animal is given the chance to be re-evaluated. Maybe they can give you a second chance. Im curious for my own interest also as they have an interest in Katie for the program. Maybe your area TL is a little too strict and if that be the case how strict is there admitance policy? Gee would i be eliminated cause my dog chewed up a field mouse in my back yard last week? LOL

1 Volunteers agree that when any noticeable change in the dog’s or cat’s temperament or if physical limitations are evident they will immediately retire the dog/cat from the program or participate in another evaluation.

2 Volunteers agree to advise their Team Leader immediately of any occurrence involving their dog/cat and agree to abstain from visiting if their dog/cat is involved in any occurrence that could jeopardize the integrity of the visitation program until such time as the occurrence has been investigated by the Team Leader, Director of Team Leaders, Director of Evaluators and the Executive Committee.

Jazz, Shiloh Shepherd, 5 yrs old, CGC HIC
Bunny, GSD X, 7.5 years old
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