Speaking of New York Service Dog Laws - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-17-2011, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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Speaking of New York Service Dog Laws

I was wondering if anyone could tell me whether I am reading this right in regards to Service Dogs.

From New York Assistance Animal/Guide Dog Laws

Quote:
1. Definitions. For purposes of this section:
(a) “Service animal” shall mean any animal that has been partnered with a person who has a disability and has been trained or is being trained, by a qualified person, to aid or guide a person with a disability.
In the miscellaneous provisions, it states,

Quote:
3. Persons qualified to train dogs to aid and guide persons with a disability, while engaged in such training activities, shall have the same rights and privileges set forth for persons with a disability in this article.
The way I am reading this is that New York's Service Dog law pertains to both fully-trained Service dogs AND SDIT's. Is this correct?

The way I am reading this ... if I have a disability and am training my own dog, then I would have the same public access rights with the SDIT as I would with a fully-trained Service Dog?

And at the same time, if I am "qualified to train Service Dogs", even if I am not disabled, I have the same public access rights with the Service Dog or SDIT I am training while engaged in training.

Out of curiosity, what would a "qualified person" be, seeing that the ADA does not require Service Dogs to be trained by an organization of Service Dog-specific trainer? What makes one a "qualified" Service Dog trainer?

Is there any case law about this?

I foresee that this will be a grey area when and if Watertown, NY passes that proposed dog ban. I expect we will suddenly get a lot of "Service Dog trainers" working with their dogs at public events where dogs are otherwise banned ...

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-17-2011, 10:02 PM
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in this case, since the state law allows more freedoms than the ADA, it would be up to the states to decide what "qualified trainer" means.
So, if the state doesn't want to recognize owner-trainers, then they are allowed to do that. If they only want to recognize trainers from a specific facility or background, then they can do that as well.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-19-2011, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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So, if the state doesn't want to recognize owner-trainers, then they are allowed to do that. If they only want to recognize trainers from a specific facility or background, then they can do that as well.
Being that the state's laws don't include a definition for what "qualified trainer" means, where would one go to find out what would constitute a "qualified trainer" in the state of New York?

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-19-2011, 08:08 PM
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I would guess that like many things, it's a case of "I'll know it when I see it" lol You would probably have to call the state attorney's office to get advice on that.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-20-2011, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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Eh ... and just to clarify, I do not plan on labeling myself a "Service Dog Trainer". I would just like to know what the actual definition of a qualified trainer is because that may be something I may bring up at the city council meeting regarding Watertown's dog ban. I think the way they want to pass the law is going to breed may people who suddenly become "Service Dog Trainers" at events if dogs are banned. XD And as much as the ban would piss me off, that would piss me off a lot more.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-29-2011, 11:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbyK9 View Post
The way I am reading this ... if I have a disability and am training my own dog, then I would have the same public access rights with the SDIT as I would with a fully-trained Service Dog?

And at the same time, if I am "qualified to train Service Dogs", even if I am not disabled, I have the same public access rights with the Service Dog or SDIT I am training while engaged in training.
Yes that sounds like you have it right. There's something like that where I live too except the law here only allows certain types of SDIT public access and only with a trainer who can provide "credentials" while the one you mentioned seems not to require any credentials.

This is a clipping from the one in my state (I added the bolding):

"When a blind, hearing impaired or physically handicapped person or a person who is subject to epilepsy or other seizure disorders is accompanied by a dog which serves as a guide, leader, seizure-alert, or seizure-response dog for such person or when a trainer of a guide, leader, seizure-alert, or seizure-response dog is accompanied by a guide, leader, seizure-alert, or seizure-response dog or a dog that is being trained to be a guide, leader, seizure-alert, or seizure-response dog, neither the person nor the dog shall be denied the right of entry and use of facilities of any public place of accommodation as defined in Section 5-101 of the "Illinois Human Rights Act", [FN1] if such dog is wearing a harness and such person presents credentials for inspection issued by a school for training guide, leader, seizure-alert, or seizure-response dogs."


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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-30-2011, 01:06 AM
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There is the possibility of state statute changes slowly coming up in regards to SDITs. In the past the Dept. of Justice did not address the issue but in August of 2010 ...

In the NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rulemaking) of Section 35.136 Service Animals the Department had the following to say: (My Bolding)

Quote:
" Training requirement. Certain commenters recommended the adoption of formal training requirements for service animals. The Department has rejected this approach and will not impose any type of formal training requirements or certification process, but will continue to require that service animals be individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. While some groups have urged the Department to modify this position, the Department has determined that such a modification would not serve the full array of individuals with disabilities who use service animals, since individuals with disabilities may be capable of training, and some have trained, their service animal to perform tasks or do work to accommodate their disability. A training and certification requirement would increase the expense of acquiring a service animal and might limit access to service animals for individuals with limited financial resources.

Some commenters proposed specific behavior or training standards for service animals, arguing that without such standards, the public has no way to differentiate between untrained pets and service animals. Many of the suggested behavior or training standards were lengthy and detailed. The Department believes that this rule addresses service animal behavior sufficiently by including provisions that address the obligations of the service animal user and the circumstances under which a service animal may be excluded, such as the requirements that an animal be housebroken and under the control of its handler. "


With this it shows the approval (though not binding by law) of the DOJ on owner trainers. Currently the State of FL is being presented with a bill to revise our SD law. Because this published item from the DOJ was shown to Representative Kriseman, he is now submitting an amendment to his proposed revision.

His exact words were:
Thank you for your email and taking the time to contact my office. My intention in filing this bill was to clarify Florida's current law as it relates to service animals and the rights of those who train service animals, and to create a penalty for those who are knowingly faking the need for or use of a service animal.

It was never my intention to create a conflict with Federal law, and as a result of concerns raised by you and others, I will be filing an amendment at the bill's first committee stop.



There has not yet been any cases where this DOJ guidance has been used for or against any state statutes. But it could be part of a strong legal argument if used properly by a SD law experienced lawyer at the state level.

The above material also shows the Department's recommendation against having standard regulations of training requirements and certification.

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Last edited by ILGHAUS; 12-30-2011 at 05:00 AM.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-30-2011, 01:25 AM
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As to any state limiting the type of SDs used to guide, leader, seizure response in their statutes ....

The Dept. of Justice put this into their definition of a Service Dog:

“Service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability."

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Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-30-2011, 01:31 AM
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Going back to a standard of training, I personally would like to see a minimum standard on at least basic obedience and temperament evaluation. In my opinion something to show that the dog is safe to be in the public. But my opinion goes no further then that as the Dept. of Justice has said otherwise.

When working on state statutes we must give at least what is given within the Fed. guidelines and only options are to given additional over the Federal mandated benefits.

The DOJ projects that the next revision of the ADA will be in approx. 15 years so until that time we all must do the best we can with what we have.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-30-2011, 02:11 PM
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So is it to become anyone with a service dog must check each states laws regarding them before visiting? lmao There are federal laws so I do not understand these state issues and why they feel the need to do this.
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