Service Guinea Pig? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-10-2013, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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Service Guinea Pig?

This is not a GSD or dog-related topic but I just wondered what some more knowledgeable folks think of this. This girl was in my class in HS.

Student sues GVSU over guinea pig, awarded $40K | wzzm13.com
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-10-2013, 09:51 PM
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The guinea pig wasn't certified as a service animal? So I don't see how she can claim it. I would love to take my dog to church, work, anywhere, just because he makes me happy. But that isn't going to fly, because he isn't certified. Just because you can carry a card for medical marijuana, doesn't mean you can use it anywhere, I feel the same goes for an Rx for a companion animal.
I'm surprised she was awarded that, and more surprised that they even cared about her little fuzzball that wasn't causing anyone problems.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-10-2013, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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What I was told was that she was allowed to have the animal in her dorm but they drew the line at taking it to class and to the food areas. Some of the articles got that wrong.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 12:10 AM
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Service animals do NOT require certification in the United States. There is no certification period and most certification sites are just scams to get peoples money. Guinea pigs are not classified as service animals under the ADA. It was revised in 2010 so that the only animals allowed to be service animals are dogs. There is however a clause for miniature guide horses. So no a guinea pig cannot be a service animal because the ADA no longer allows them to be service animals. It was likely an ESA which is why it was allowed in the dorms but not in class or in dining areas. ESAs do not have public access rights so she legally would not be able to take it into public places with her.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 09:12 AM
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I guess I should have used the word classification instead of certification. Thanks for clearing that up TiffC! Surprised she was awarded forty grand when there was no wrongdoing on the part of the housings requirements.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 09:19 AM
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This pet was not a service animal but an ESA. With the facts given, the college trusties were ill advised to consider giving any funds to the girl.

As an ESA the guinea pig would be allowed to reside in her dorm at the most which it was. As an ESA the guinea pig would not be allowed into places where food was served or in classrooms which it wasn't.

If the college followed legal guidelines, the matter would never have gone passed the girl sending a request to the Dept. of Justice for mediation where it would have been denied. Looks like the school admin, trusties, and legal team did not bother to look into the matter and decided it would be easier to just write a check and forget the matter.

They have now opened themselves to more problems when the next wave of students demand taking their ESA dogs, cats, ferrets, bunnies, birds, snakes, lizzards, rats, etc. etc. into the classrooms and cafeteria.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 09:52 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks that was kind of my take on it. They settled to make her go away but opened that door.... I found it interesting because I also work for a college (same city, but mine is much smaller) and we have two SDs that live/work on campus and no one has ever had a problem with them. When I read the comments it's obvious how little the public understands about pets vs. ESAs vs Service animals.... too bad, could have been a good learning experience for the community if they hadn't just paid her off.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 09:57 AM
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Sorry if I'm out of line. This seems ridiculous to me. Especially since she was awarded 40K. What was the money awarded for?


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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GusGus View Post
Sorry if I'm out of line. This seems ridiculous to me. Especially since she was awarded 40K. What was the money awarded for?
I agree with you. Reminds me of the time the pig flew in first class on an airplane as some kind of service/support animal.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 12:43 PM
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On Gawker: Student Banned From Carrying Guinea Pig on College Campus Receives $40,000 Settlement





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